Srinagar: Terrorists should realize that they too have families, the Jammu and Kashmir police has said in a strong warning after an attack on an officer's home on Monday. "Militants should realise they too have families. Let militants take this as a warning," Jammu and Kashmir director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid told NDTV.
The police chief also said, "This is between police and terrorists, families should not be brought into this conflict. If the police start doing this, what will happen to their families?"
The warning came after a brazen attack on Monday night on a police officer's home in Shopian in south Kashmir. At least a dozen terrorists barged into the house when the officer wasn't in, held his family hostage and also vandalized the house. Sources say the attackers told the family that "since the police are damaging the property of the families of militants and those who give shelter to them, we (militants) are going to retaliate."
The ruling PDP or People's Democratic Party's spokesperson reacted cautiously to the police warning but added that the forces were working under tremendous pressure.
"One sort of threat should not respond with threats. But It's reality... police are working under tremendous pressure. It is a local force. At the same time they are saving their own people and confronting militancy and stone-pelting," said Waheed Ur Rehman.
The families of policemen came under mob attacks during last year's unrest in the valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. The homes of several policemen were vandalised by crowds after separatist groups named some officers, accusing them of killings and harassing people.
The Monday attack is seen to indicate growing militant presence in south Kashmir, where insurgents enjoy massive public support.
Recently, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat warned that Kashmiri locals who picked up arms and appeared to support terrorists would be treated as anti-nationals.