Setting off alarm bells among J&K’s top police brass, at least 10 gun-wielding militants vandalised the home of a senior officer in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Monday night, and warned his relatives that he should quit his job or face the consequences.
Officials said the militants damaged electronic appliances and broke window panes at the family residence of the DySP-rank officer who is currently posted in Srinagar.
Speaking to The Indian Express, DIG (South Kashmir) S P Pani said, “We have been informed that militants entered a police officer’s residence and threatened the family. Police are investigating the incident.” Officials said there have been previous instances of threats being issued to policemen but this is the first time that a senior officer’s home has been vandalised by militants.
Police sources said the assailants also told the officer’s family that police were harassing those providing shelter to militants and damaging their property during raids in different parts of south Kashmir.
Later, top police officers visited Shopian to review security arrangements at the home of their colleague. An officer told this newspaper that if such incidents continued, police have “every right to retaliate and take action against those harassing the family or relatives of policemen and officers”.
Last year, during the unrest in the valley, posters had surfaced against some police officers in their home localities with messages asking them to stop “troubling” those taking part in or spearheading the protests.
In December, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat had warned family members of policemen in a video message that they would be attacked if police “continue to harass” relatives of militants.
”You (police) have committed a big mistake by harassing our families, by involving our families,” Bhat said in the message. “If you touch our families, we will not spare your families. You think your families are in Jammu so they are safe. Even if your families are in Kanyakumari, we have the capacity to kill them there,” he had warned.