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SSP's love for Kashmir

Senior Superintendent of Police Hans Raj Parihar's first love were postings in the Kashmir Valley even when terrorism was at its peak, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 12:32 IST
Arun Joshi

Senior Superintendent of Police Hans Raj Parihar's first lovewere postings in the Kashmir Valley even when terrorism was at its peak. Today, he is behind bars on charges of murder because of his alleged role in the staged killing of a villager from Kokkernag, Abdul Rehman Padder.

Ever since he became superintendent of police in 1997, he hashad postings in Awantipora, Kulhgam,Anantnag and Ganderbal.During these 10 years, he was for less than one year inBhaderwah and Udhampur in Jammu region.

He wasinductedinto the Kashmir Police Service (KPS) in 1992 following a ruling of thecourt in his favour. Parihar, who hails from a remote area of Palmar in Kishtwar in Doda district in the Jammu region,has spentalmost nine yearsin the the Valley.

Most officers in the policeprefer postings in the relatively calm Jammu region and there is tremendous pressure onpoliticalleaders to get them posted outside the Valley, where terrorism is continuingwith daily killings.

The killings of terrorists brings laurels and rewards.And in some cases, fake encounters are staged forrewards and promptions.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azadwhile reflecting on the fake encounters had stated that these appeared to havebeen "motivated bya desire to earn rewards, promotions or to please superiors."

Parihar wasinKashmir's worst terrorism-affected areas.

Parihar, whowas declared unsuccessfulin the KAS/KPSlist declared in 1984, is a lawgraduate from Jammu university. Before he got into police in 1992, he had a stint as a manager in the Handloom department.

The officer hadpolitical clout, alleged National Conference president Omar Abdullah. "The officer was handpicked bythe then chief ministerMufti Mohammad Sayeedto be posted in Ganderbal because that was my constituency,"National Conference president Omar Abdullah told Hindustan Times.

Parihar was postedinGanderbal in April 2005.

Omar hadlost the 2002 Assembly elections, which he had contestedfrom Ganderbal —a constituency regarded asa bastion of the Sheikh Abdullah family. He had lost toQazi Mohammad Afzal,who was hailed as a giant killer and inducted into the coalition government as a minister from day one.

But he recoveredin a big way inthis assembly segment, which is one of the 16 segments of Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency.

PDP chiefMehbooba Mufti retorted to Omar's charges, saying:"Chief Minister doesn't scan each and every posting."

She also advised that"Omar shouldlook into the past records of the postings of the officer. He wasa favourite officer of the National Conference."

These accusations and counter accusationsagainst the officer by the top political leadership of the state, police departmentofficials said, werealso indicative of the political clout of theofficer.

First Published: Feb 16, 2007 12:32 IST