SRINAGAR: The ongoing fight between the militants and the police have reached a psychological level for gaining the upper hand in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir. Last week, Hizbul Mujahideen militants abducted the family members of policemen in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts. After keeping them in captivity for a day or two, they released all the family members.
This was for the first time in over two decades of Kashmir militancy that families of the police were abducted. This was revenge tactics by the militants to respond to the detention of their family members, including the father of Hizbul’s Kashmir chief Riyaz Naikoo, and damage of their houses. The abductions have set alarm bells ringing as the police are the face of anti-militancy operations and they lead counter-militancy operations.
According to a senior police officer, over 20,000 policemen hail from south Kashmir. Sources said these policemen are worried over the new tactic. They said families of some policemen have already shifted to safer places after threats. Just like DGP SP Vaid who praises his men after every militant death, Naikoo also glorified the militants for targeting police families. “They know that the police are an important component of anti-militancy operations. So, they want to demoralise the force by targeting families,” a police officer said. He rejected militants claim that their families were being victimised by the police in revenge attacks.
The officer said the police force is planning measures to counter this psychological fight. Security analysts are worried that this psychological war may turn the situation murkier in Kashmir in coming days.