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two days ago, Hizbul Mujahideen circulated a video, threatening to kill all Kashmiris who did not resign from the Jammu and Kashmir police force, within the following four days. Photo: HT File
two days ago, Hizbul Mujahideen circulated a video, threatening to kill all Kashmiris who did not resign from the Jammu and Kashmir police force, within the following four days. Photo: HT File

Militants kill three policemen in Kashmir

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo claim responsibility for attack

New Delhi: Within weeks of terrorists abducting families of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel from their homes in south Kashmir, the Hizbul Mujahideen, on Friday morning, abducted and killed three personnel of the state police, senior security force officials confirmed.

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo claimed responsibility for the attack, wherein the outfit abducted and killed two special police officers and a constable from the state police, in Kashmir’s Shopian district.

The policemen abducted and killed were identified as Firdous Ahmad Kuchey, Kuldeep Singh and Nisar Ahmad Dhobi.

The abductions come just two days after the Hizbul Mujahideen circulated a video, threatening to kill all Kashmiris who did not resign from the Jammu and Kashmir police force, within the following four days.

Within minutes of the killing, former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Twitter, “Three more policemen have lost their lives to militant bullets. Outrage, shock & condemnation will be expressed by all of us on expected lines. Unfortunately, it brings no solace to the families of the victims. Clearly, with the rise in kidnapping of police personnel and their families, the Centre’s muscular policy is not working at all. Dialogue, the only way forward seems to be a distant dream for now."

Experts, however, said that while this shift in tactic had come about suddenly, it was not something that should catch security forces by surprise.

“Terrorists keep changing their strategies, so when the police hone in on their relatives, they strike in the same coin. It is a kind of tactic which has been used before also. There are no rules in insurgency and this is a form of retaliation for the terrorists," said Lt. Gen (retd) H.S Panag, a former Indian Army official and defence expert.

Experts also added that while the families of Indian Army officials living in the valley enjoyed greater protection in fortified camps, the families of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel were vulnerable, since they lived in civilian areas in the valley.

At the same time, in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, two militants were killed by gunfire, late Thursday night in an encounter with security forces.

Security personnel from the Indian army’s Rashtriya Rifles, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the J&K police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had embarked on a cordon and search operation (CASO) in Bandipora’s Sumlar village after receiving intelligence inputs regarding the presence of militants in the area.

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