Shortly after the bodies of three policemen killed by militants were found in south Kashmir’s Shopian today, several videos messages emerged on social media that purportedly show special police officers announcing their decision to resign.
A senior Kashmir police officer said they are yet to authenticate the claims being made in the video messages. At least six such messages have emerged and are being circulated widely.
The Union Home Ministry in Delhi, however, rebutted the claims. “Jammu and Kashmir Police have confirmed that these reports are untrue and motivated. These reports are based on false propaganda by mischievous elements,” the home ministry said, according to news agency ANI.
In one video, the person identifies himself as Shabir Ahmad Thokar of Samnoo in south Kashmir. Thokar says on camera that he has been working as a special police officer for the last eight years, but has now decided to disassociate himself from the force.
This decision, he says, was not taken under duress.
A report by news agency PTI referred to a video by another SPO who had resigned on Monday and claimed to putting out the video to put to rest any doubts that anyone may have.
The three policemen found dead today had received threats from militants, who said they must resign by September 19.
According to reports, nearly two dozen militants had stormed homes of the policemen in two southern Kashmir villages and took them away. The three were shot dead and the former officer was released unharmed.
Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo has several times warned local policemen, especially SPOs, to resign from the force, saying that the government was using them.
Last month, militants abducted 11 police personnel and their family members and demanded release relatives of militants in police custody. Police quietly released Naikoo’s father and some other relatives of militants, who later set free the 11 people they snatched.
The central government had replaced the state’s police chief SP Vaid soon after and asked Dilbag Singh to hold temporary charge.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has attacked the central government for what is often described as a ‘muscular policy’