New strategy to minimise attacks on J-K policemen

New strategy to minimise attacks on J-K policemen

Policemen won’t be granted long leaves to visit homes

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S P Pani attending funeral of JK policeman Mohd Yaqoob Shah, who was gunned down in Pulwama on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. (PTI Photo)

With the spike in attacks on Jammu and Kashmir policemen by the militants, police top brass has devised a strategy to ensure its men don’t become an easy prey for the ultras.

To begin with, state police chief Shesh Pal Vaid said, policemen won’t be granted long leaves to visit homes. “Rather, they would be allowed surprise family visits for only two hours in case of emergency and only after informing the concerned police station beforehand,” he said.

However, Vaid said policemen’s can’t be denied home visits altogether. “It is their right to see their families but they need to take precautions and have to be extra careful,” he said. 

While terming the attacks on policemen as an “act of frustration” the police chief said that it was a major cause of worry for top officials that lower rung police officials visiting homes don’t have personal security officers (PSOs) with them. 

The advisory, sources said, would be for the policemen belonging to four south Kashmir hypersensitive districts of Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag, where most of the attacks on cops have occurred. 

The latest advisory has been issued in the backdrop of killing of three policemen, including an officer, in Pulwama and Kulgam on Wednesday. The slain policemen had visited their homes to celebrate Eid with their families when the militants attacked them. 

Participating in anti-militancy operations and the alleged harassment committed by the police on people is seen as the major reasons for the attacks on policemen by the militants. “By targeting policemen, militants want to destabilise the counter-insurgency grid and also deter youngsters from joining the police and the military,” a senior police officer said.

While in the early 1990’s when militancy broke out in Kashmir, J&K police, by and large, didn’t participate in any anti-insurgency operations, a counter-insurgency force of the police came into existence when Special Task Force (STF) was formalised in 1996.

However, in the last more than a decade, all the SHOs were directed to participate actively in anti-militancy operations while district SPs were directed to eliminate militants in their respective areas. Most of the anti-militancy operations, especially in urban areas, are conducted by the police with the support of Army and paramilitary forces.

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