SPO shot dead by militants in Kashmir

SPO shot dead by militants in Kashmir

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A special police officer (SPO) was shot dead by unidentified militants in Hanjan Payeen area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday evening

Reports said militants fired upon at SPO Sameer Ahmad Mir at his home and he suffered serious bullet wounds. He was shifted to nearby district hospital, where he succumbed to injuries, reports added.

A police officer while confirming the incident said Sameer was had received fatal bullet injuries.

On Saturday four militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit were killed in a fierce encounter with security forces in the same village.

SPOs are recruited by the police on a fixed monthly remuneration of Rs 12000. The wages of SPOs are given by the state government and reimbursed by the Centre under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme. The police maintain SPOs are an important element in their strategy to combat militancy.

The 30,000 men and women SPOs - bolstering a police force with duties ranging from fighting militancy to maintaining law and order and stretched at a strength of 90,000 – have been targeted specifically by militants in the last few years.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police Act says an SPO may be appointed “when it shall appear that any unlawful assembly or riot or disturbance of peace has taken place or may be reasonably apprehended and that the police force ordinarily employed for preserving the peace is not sufficient….”

It was in 1996, during the reign of the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference, that the government first appointed SPOs to deal with militancy.