SRINAGAR: The Governor administration in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday admitted that some Special Police Officers (SPOs) have resigned after threats from militants but described it "negligible" and said their salaries would be increased soon.
"Some SPOs have resigned from their jobs.," J&K Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said while addressing a press conference, here.
After killing of three policemen including two SPOs by militants after their abduction in south Kashmir's Shopian district early last week, there was wave of resignations by SPOs hailing from south Kashmir comprising four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama. Over a dozen SPOs have either released video or written statements on social media announcing their resignations from the police. Among those who have released their resignation video include a woman SPO Rafiqa Akhtar, who said she had served in the police for 15 years as SPO.
The SPOs are mostly taking part in anti-militancy operations in J&K as State police is leading the counter-militancy operations. The chief secretary said over 30,000 SPOs are working in the J&K police. 'If you compare the number of people that has resigned, it is negligible per centage of total," he said. Subrahmanyam said the SPOs have been instructed about their personal security.
The CS announced that the Governor administration was working to increase the remuneration of SPOs considerably from present Rs 6000."Rs 6000 is much lower than what the government's class IV employees get. The SPOs are going to see increase in their remuneration in next few days," he said.
Referring to Article 35A, which grants special privileges to J&K residents, Subrahmanyam said, "The state government's stand on the legal challenge to Article 35- before the Supreme Court will remain consistent that an elected government should plead the case before the apex court. "He said Governor Satya Pal Malik has gone on record multiple times saying his is not an elected government and it would be right if an elected government in the state actually fights the case in the Supreme Court.
The apex court has deferred hearing on petitions challenging validity of Article 35A to January next year. The Article 35A bars outsiders from purchasing land and property in the State and also bars them from government jobs and government scholarships.