A week ago, police constable Rayees Ahmad Sheikh took leave from duty. He was to return to Bandipore police station, where he was posted, after Eid. But he did not. Instead, he posted a video on Facebook, announcing his resignation on the “call of conscience”. While police say they haven’t received any “official resignation” from Sheikh, he has been detained to check “what prompted him to resign”. “He (Sheikh) has posted a video on Facebook which we don’t take as his official resignation,” IG, Kashmir, Muneer Khan told The Indian Express. “He has not given anything in writing”.
Sheikh, who is in his mid-twenties, posted the video on September 4. “My conscience would also question me if it is right for me to see the streams of blood that are flowing here. I had no answer to this question then, nor do I have now. But this question has continued to pinch me inside,” Sheikh purportedly said in his video message. “I have now found a solution to my problem. I have decided to leave police so that my conscience doesn’t question me again”.
While there have been cases in the past where policeman have deserted the force and joined militants, Sheikh said in the video that he has no such plans. “As far as jihad is concerned, I will continue to struggle by doing hard work to fulfill basic necessities of my family,” he said. “I would feed my family by doing hard work but I can’t see my conscience dying.”
Sheikh, son of a mason, joined the police force seven years ago. He is a resident of Nishat on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
A police officer told The Indian Express, “He has been detained to check what prompted him to resign and post the video on Facebook. We are trying to find out if it is his own decision or somebody is behind it”.
According to police sources, Sheikh had said during questioning that it was his own decision to quit the police force. “He told us that the question of resignation had been on his mind for quite some time,” said a police officer. “He also said that day he was in an Islamic seminary and listened to certain speeches. It was there that he decided to resign and put up a Facebook video”.
IGP Khan said police will take disciplinary action against Sheikh. “He was on leave when he posted this video. We are going to take disciplinary action against him,” he said. “He has to face departmental action. We are bound to do that”.