A section of police officers in Kashmir has expressed disappointment on social media that when their colleagues have died in militant encounters, politicians have not come to show their respects and stand by them. “We are fighting the dirty war of these politicians. We are the ones who on the ground face the consequences of their (politicians’) ill-conceived decisions. We stand by them in their worst times,” a police officer posted in south Kashmir said on condition of anonymity. “But when it is time for them to stand with us, they simply vanish.”
The policemen are aghast that while they are on the forefront on anti-militancy operations, they don’t get “equal respect” from politicians and the media as army and paramilitary personnel in the valley. “If a soldier is killed, our politicians, even Chief Ministers, attend the wreath laying ceremony. From New Delhi to Srinagar, everyone pays homage to them. For television channels, they are the bravehearts,” said a policeman posted in Srinagar. “But when any of our colleague falls, there is no word from anywhere. Even the local politicians stay away.”
A few police officers have expressed their anger on social media. “Those who enjoy #JKpolice protection/help and fail to side with them at the time of grief are hypocrites with dead conscience,” tweeted Tahir Ashraf, a Superintendent of Police rank officer posted as Staff Officer to an Inspector-General of Police (IGP). In another tweet, Ashraf asked: “Fine, but what the government is going to do for martyrs? Why shouldn’t state give at least Rs 1 crore to each family? Are we fighting for ourselves or the state?”. His question was in response to a tweet of J&K Police that police personnel will donate one day’s salary for the policemen killed in the militant attacks.
Sensing their anxiety, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday visited the house of slain police officer Feroz Ahmad Dar, who along with five of his colleagues was killed in a militant attack at Achabal in south Kashmir on Friday. On Sunday, deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh had also visited his house.