- 3 policemen and 6 relatives were released by terrorists on Friday
- In videos, policemen ask top cop "not to harass families of terrorists"
- Cops targetted as most operations are held based on police inputs: police
On Friday evening, terrorists in south Kashmir released three policemen and eight relatives of police personnel who they had kidnapped 24 hours earlier. The kidnappings were the fallout of security forces arresting some family members of terrorists in the valley.
Along with releasing the family members of policemen, the terrorists also released videos of these three policemen in captivity, asking the Director General of Police or DGP "not to harass the families of terrorists."
In all the three videos, abducted cops of the Jammu and Kashmir police and special police officers ask DGP SP Vaid not to let civilians or security personnel destroy the houses of terrorists. "Either you give us security or don't ask us to do this as our families are being put in danger," one abducted constable, requesting Mr Vaid, can be seen in a video.
In another video, another policeman from Pulwama can be seen saying that he does not want to work anymore.
These videos have sent alarm bells ringing not only in the ranks of Jammu and Kashmir police but also in New Delhi.
"It is a paradigm shift. We have to see how do security personnel on ground react to it," a senior level functionary in National Security Council told NDTV.
According to him, rules of engagement in the Valley have been changed and the situation may worsen if all those abducted are not released safe and sound.
Officials say the police will have to have an upper hand if such a situation arises again.
Officers also claim that this method was adopted by security forces in Punjab in 1980s when militancy was at its peak there. "Same model cannot be adopted here in the Valley as public sentiment is against security forces here," he explains.
Police officials on ground claim that since most of operations in Kashmir are taking place on the intelligence gathered by the local police, that is why the terrorists are targeting them.
Terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, in a statement, has warned the police: "The responsibility of current situation lies on the shoulders of police and the CID."
A former Director General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir told NDTV that this is not a battle of the police alone. "All men in uniform need to join hands and fight it out. If these terrorists get emboldened they can go after civil servants and politicians too," he said.
According to him, most of these cases are reported from south Kashmir which is a bastion of the Peoples Democratic Party or PDP. "How come no one is condemning it," he asked.
Meanwhile, two Special Police Officers on Friday announced their resignation from the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Masjids in Tral and Qazigund areas of south Kashmir.