Three abducted policemen killed in Kashmir

The reports about the abductions have come nearly three weeks after terrorists had abducted and released relatives of policemen from various places in south Kashmir. PTI Photo/ representation only

The bodies of three policemen, who were abducted by militants in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday night, were found on Friday morning.
 
Reports said the bullet-riddled bodies of the three policemen were spotted by the locals in Lamni-Wangam village in Shopian, 65 km from here, who accordingly informed the police. The slain policemen were identified as Firdous Kuchey, Kuldeep Singh and Fayaz Bhat, all residents of Shopian. 
 
The three, working special police officers (SPOs) in J&K police, were abducted by masked militants during raids in two villages of Shopian late last night. The SPOs are recruited by the police on a fixed monthly remuneration of Rs 6000 and police maintain they are an important element in their strategy to combat militancy.
 
Sources said a massive search operation has been launched in the area to trace the militants involved in the killings. Police suspect Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo is behind the abductions and killings, as he had recently asked the SPOs to resign “for their own safety.”
 
Last month, militants abducted eleven relatives of the police personnel in retaliation of detention of families of the militants in south Kashmir. They were set free after the release of around a dozen family members of militants, including the father of Naikoo. The swap provoked a huge controversy and was said to be one of the triggers for the midnight exit of Shesh Pal Vaid as state police chief.

The killings are believed to have triggered panic in the lower ranks of the police department with at least two policemen issuing video messages dissociating themselves from the force.

"My name is Irshad Ahmad Baba and I was working as a constable in the police. I have rendered my resignation...," said one of them in a video being widely circulated on social media here.

Tajalla Hussain Lone, an SPO, said he had resigned from the police department on September 17 and was issuing the video to put to rest any doubts that he had done so.

Police officials refused to comment on the resignations, saying they would verify the information.

(With inputs from PTI)

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