All-round condemnation of the statement of the J&K police chief

Srinagar: Reacting sharply to Director General of Police (DGP) Dr S P Vaid’s warning to militants asking them not to forget that they too have families, AIP chief and MLA Langate Er Rashid said in a statement here on March 8, “Undoubtedly the families of militants and police should not be tortured or harassed by either sides but the state DGP needs to be reminded that it is the section of police officers who have been so brutal towards relatives and families of militants since long.”

The independent legislator from Handwara in north Kashmir further emphasized that one of the core reasons of youth joining militancy has been the humiliating behaviour, torture and atrocities carried out by security forces, especiallypolice, on the relatives of militants.“Who doesn’t know how brutal a section of police has been towards even common people for expressing their views on political issues. What the state DGP has threatened, by asking militants not to forget that they too have families, has exposed the claims of police of being a disciplined and law-abiding force. Should DGP and other top cops answer if militants break the law of the land does it permit or justify that police will follow them.”

The DGP on March 8 had told militants not to drag families of police officers into the conflict and instead face the force on ground. The warning came after a group of militants reportedly entered into the house of a senior police officer in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on March 6 and warned his relatives to persuade their son “to quit the job or face the consequences.”

Rejecting the statement made by the DGP, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) spokesperson Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi, while quoting the outfit chief, Mehmood Shah, in an e-mailed statement to local news gathering agency KNS (March 9) said, “We never targeted the families of police officials but the forces after failing in the battlefield usually target the families of militants and this process must stop. We respect the families of police officials, otherwise it is not difficult for us to reach their families.”

Pertinently, posters had reportedly surfaced against some police officers in their home localities with messages asking them to stop “troubling” those taking part in or spearheading the protests during the 2016 summer unrest. Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat in a video message in December last year had warned family members of policemen that they would be targeted if police continued to harass relatives of militants.

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