In a shocking development to the security operatives in troubled Jammu and Kashmir state, three policemen, two of them special police officers, were kidnapped last night and killed hours later in south Kashmir’s Shopian, considered the hotbed of militancy in the state.
A fourth person, brother of a policeman, who had also been abducted was, however, released this morning. The three policemen were found dead near an orchard in Wangam village, four kilometres from the spot where they had been taken away.
“We have lost 3 of our brave colleagues in a barbaric terror strike. Our tribute to the 3 martyred jawans, Nisar Ahmad, Firdous Kuchay and Kulwant Singh,” Kashmir police tweeted, condemning the “inhuman act”. However, No militant group has yet claimed responsibility. Their bodies of the martyred policemen — Firdous Ahmad Kuchey, Kuldeep Singh and Nisar Ahmad Dhobi — were found in Shopian.
Meanwhile in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district, two militants were gunned down last night in an ongoing encounter with security forces. Troops from the Rashtriya Rifles, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had started a cordon and search operation in Bandipora’s Sumlar village after receiving an input about the presence of militants.
It may be recalled that Hizbul Mujahideen, had recently delivered what it had called was the “final warning” to the special police officers, or SPOs, to quit by September 19. There has been a spike in incidents of attacks on security personnel and their families in recent months that is seen as part of an effort to demoralise them.
Last week, suspected militants killed a 45-year-old army man, who was home to mourn the death of his teenage son in Kulgam. Last month, 11 members of police families were abducted but later released unharmed. Former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti was unsparing in her attack on the centre. In two tweets, Mufti said the “centre’s muscular policy” was clearly not working at all.