The Jammu and Kashmir government is grappling to control unrest and street protests as senior police officials declined to assume offices at trouble spots in the recent reshuffle.
While several police officers declined new postings, many Dy SPs on probation have either applied for leave, switched off mobile phones to avoid getting calls for emergency duties or have simply put in excuses not to take command on the ground.
From fearing reprisals to social boycott, police officers are caught in catch-22 situation. A senior preacher in south Kashmir, Qazi Yasir, has already issued a diktat to boycott policemen in south Kashmir and avoid selling essentials to them in protest to the killing of three youths in the area on July 29 in police firing.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Special Branch, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, declined to take charge of Baramulla district after two persons were killed in a police action this week. Later, SSP Railways Mansoor Ahmad Untoo was transferred to Baramulla to replace SSP Sheikh Mehmood. Bhat has cited “personal reasons” for not being able to assume the office in Baramulla. SSP Mehmood has fled to Chandigarh for “specialized treatment for heart ailments”.
The district has witnessed massive protests after a school-boy Faizan Ahmad(13), according to locals, was “forcibly drowned” by the police’s special operations group.
The police have lodged an FIR against the cops, who according to locals pushed Faizan into the waters. The district administration is collecting the details to initiate probe into Monday’s firing incident.
The deputy commissioner, Kupwara, next to Baramulla, was reportedly airlifted to the district when massive protests broke out there. He went on a leave but, later, the deputy commissioner rejoined as nobody accepted to work there at his post.