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Cops surrender 4 SLRs to militants

Cops surrender 4 SLRs to militants

Author: Excelsior Special Correspondent
Publication: Daily Excelsior
Date: January 4, 2004
URL: http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/04jan04/news.htm#2

Hindu family's guard personnel arrested, suspended

In the umpteenth incident of its kind in Jammu & Kashmir, J&K Police personnel, "guarding" a family of the minority Hindu community, have surrendered their automatic weapons to militants in Chadoura area of Budgam district. Five of the six Police guards have been immediately arrested, put behind bars and placed under suspension.

Informed sources told the EXCELSIOR that a group of four to five militants in Army uniform appeared at a two-storeyed building at Sogam, Chadoura, late last night. Without facing any resistance, they reached straightaway in two rooms of the building housing J&K Police guard personnel. While as Constable Mohammad Ashraf (199/Budgam) was on leave and SPO Riyaz Ahmed (70/ SPO) was absent, others of the unit were asked by the militants to surrender all of their weapons. The guard personnel handed over four loaded SLRs to the militants.

On finding the Police personnel submissive, militants did not harm them. They were also 'magnanimous' enough to leave the "protected" Hindu family unharmed. Well after the militants disappeared leisurely, head of the guard unit, Head Constable Munir Ahmed (613/Bud) fired several shots from his carbine, which he had concealed alongwith a wireless set.

DIG Central Kashmir, Mohammad Amin Shah, and SP Budgam, R K Jalla, visited the spot today after they learned that, once again, militants had disarmed the J&K Police guards. The entire unit was placed under suspension. While as a Police team set out to find the whereabouts of the absentee SPO, Riyaz Ahmed, all others of the unit were arrested and detained for questioning. Sources said that case FIR No: 4 of 2004 dated 3-01-2004 was registered against the militants who snatched away the weapons. Chadoura Police Station also registered case FIR No: 5 of 2004 dated 3-01-2004 against the guard personnel for delinquency, carelessness and cowardice.

Enquiries by EXCELSIOR revealed that the authorities had positioned 1:5 armed guard of District Police Budgam at Sogam for the "protection" of a Punjabi Hindu family, comprising seven members-4 men, 2 women and one child. This state subject family, headed by a retired Police Inspector, Bikram Singh, has not migrated to Jammu or other places in the wake of separatist militancy in 1989-90. Residents looked relieved over the fact that the militants had harmed neither the Police party nor the minority family.

Today's incident happended inspite of the fact that authorities have put all the Police units, deployed for the protection of the minority community, on the "maximum alert". There were apprehensions among the official circles that militants could go for a "major mischief" around the timing of the Saarc summit currently in progress at Islamabad, Pakistan.

SP Budgam, R K Jalla, said that stringent action would be initiated against the delinquent Police guard after the preliminary inquiry was conducted and completed in the next two days. Services of the guilty cops, he said, would be terminated after necessary inquiry. He said that, at the same time, everybody in the District Police showing gallantry and excellence in professionalism while combating criminals and infusing a sense of security among the society, would be rewarded suitably. He said that the deployment of the static guard units all over the district was being reviewed.

In the past, militants had snatched away the weapons of Police guards at the Dreygam shrine of Sheikh-ul-Aalam Sheikh Noor-ud-din Noorani, Narbal bridge and a few other places in Budgam district. It has also been observed, of late, that Police guards protecting the houses of some religious leaders and political activists have begun the extra-curricular activity of capturing wood- poachers and extorting from them huge amounts of a money during night in Budgam and Beerwah localities.

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