The government's official policy of luring people with government jobs in exchange of information about militants seems to be bearing fruit. Or is it?
Days after police posters in Sopore town of north Kashmir sought information regarding seven top Hizbul Mujahideen militants in exchange of reward and government jobs, one of the militants has been killed in a gunfight.
The posters in Urdu with pictures of seven militants operating in the Sopore area appeared in the north Kashmir town on September 8. "Get rewards worth lakhs of rupees and a government job for providing information regarding seven people who are involved in murder, robbery and other heinous crimes and are wanted by police. The information provider's name will be kept secret," these posters read.
On Tuesday, 10 days after the posters appeared, two militants were killed in a gunfight with police and army at Goshbugh village near Pattan in north Kashmir.
One of them, Aqib Rashid, had figured on the list.
A police spokesman said the gunfight, which took place in a school campus at the village was triggered after specific information.
"They were waiting for someone. They were not out on some operation as we recovered only an AK 74 rifle and a Chinese pistol from the two," a top police official, who did not want to be named, told Hindustan Times.
Rashid is believed to have joined Hizbul Mujahideen four months ago, after Hilal Molvi, a senior militant, was killed in Srinagar. The other slain militant, Bilal Ahmed, was his friend. "Bilal's name did not figure on the list because he had joined more recently," the official said.
The police officer said militants being killed in encounters triggered by tip-offs have been a common practice. However, he said the police issued these posters as "we were under pressure".
"The militant movement in this belt was increasing... so had to come up with the posters," he added.
Rashid was the first one from among the militants who were on the list and were to be eliminated. Imtiaz Ahmad Kandu, divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, and Nisar Ahmad Dar, a senior commander of the outfit, also figure in the poster.