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Earlier this month, militant group Hizbul Mujahideen circulated a video threatening to kill Kashmiris who did not resign from the Jammu and Kashmir police force in four days. AP
Earlier this month, militant group Hizbul Mujahideen circulated a video threatening to kill Kashmiris who did not resign from the Jammu and Kashmir police force in four days. AP

30 J&K cops resign on social media over Hizbul threat

MHA says it has not received any official resignation but it's working to boost the morale of police officials

New Delhi: More than 30 special police officers (SPOs) of Jammu and Kashmir have tendered their resignations on social media, within a week of three police officials being killed by the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Earlier this month, the militant group circulated a video threatening to kill Kashmiris who did not resign from the Jammu and Kashmir police force in four days.

The Union home ministry said it has not received any resignations.

However, some officials familiar with the development said the ministry is likely to receive official resignations in the coming weeks “because of the looming threat of the Hizbul in the Valley".

“The police have been tendering their resignations on social media because there is a huge threat by the Hizbul, who have already abducted and killed police officials once. In the coming weeks, official resignations are likely to come in as well. This is a big blow to morale because militants now target police personnel when they are unarmed, to exact revenge," said a senior central government official, on conditions of anonymity.

Despite the threat the Union home ministry has started pulling out all stops to try and retain state police officials.

“We have not received any official resignation but we are working to boost the morale of the police officials," said a spokesperson of the ministry.

The Jammu and Kashmir government earlier this week proposed to increase the salaries of SPOs and the ministry cleared the proposal on Wednesday.

This will impact the 30,000 SPOs in the state police who were earlier getting a salary ranging from 5,000 to 6,000.

Special police officers who have less than five years of service will be paid 6,000 a month, according to the home ministry order.

“SPOs who have completed five years of service, will be paid 9000 per month. Those who have completed 15 years of service will be paid 12,000 per month," the order said.

Last month, militants abducted 11 family members of state police officials. A deal was brokered within hours of the 31 August kidnappings under which the abducted policemen and their family members were set free while the state police released several family members of terrorists, including Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riaz Naikoo’s father, Asadullah Naikoo, who had been arrested on 30 August by the police.

Naikoo was arrested after four policemen were killed in a terror attack by the Hizbul Mujahideen last month.

Experts, however, said that while this shift in tactic had come about suddenly, it was not something that should catch the 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. 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 officer and a defence expert.

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