Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police are now the prime target of terrorist outfits operating in the Valley. A Special Operations Group of the State police has led all anti-terror operations in the Valley with specific inputs from local Kashmiris who are no more sympathisers of terrorism in the Valley.

Since the State police comprise personnel from the local population, they enjoy a wider acceptance among the people of Kashmir. It’s the confidence of the people that they enjoy which gave them clues that led to the elimination of some top terror commanders including Burhan Wani in 2016.

After the death of Burhan Wani, terrorist outfits switched their target from Army and CRPF to Jammu and Kashmir Police to build a fear psychosis among local Kashmiris and to restrain them from sharing information with cops. The terrorists failed in their endeavour as the local intelligence system of Jammu and Kashmir Police have turned increasingly robust.

“Terrorists don't dare to faces us. That is why they are targeting our warriors,” director general of police SP Vaid told MyNation over the phone. 

The director general of police said, “Our boys have been facing this challenge since the 1990s but such terror attacks won’t affect our morale. Our boys are ready to face any situation.”

Hitting out at the cowardly acts of terror outfits, Vaid dared terrorists to face the challenge of a direct confrontation. He said, “Wo (terrorists) samne aayen! Choron ki tarah hamla kar rahe hain. Hamare jawan unka samna karne ke liye taiyar hain [Why don't they come out and face us? They are striking like thieves. Our boys are ready to confront them].”

A series of horrific killings of Jammu and Kashmir Police officers, which started with the killing of Feroz Ahmed Dar, is becoming the new normal in terror-hit Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir Police officer Dar, along with five other policemen, were killed in an ambush in the Anantnag district by Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba in June 2017.

In June 2017 again, DSP Ayub Pandit, a senior police officer, was lynched to death by a mob outside the Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar. His body was recovered outside the mosque a day later.

For the terrorist organisation, their ploy to murder policemen has backfired. The youth of Kashmir have turned out in large numbers to join the police despite many video messages spread by terror commanders to boycott the security forces.

Data available with MyNation shows that more than 1,600 police personnel have been killed since 1989, which includes a deputy inspector general, a superintendent of police, 21 deputy SPs, 23 inspectors, 36 sub-inspectors, 164 assistant sub-inspectors, 143 head constables, 186 selection grade constables, 527 constables and other officials.

This ‘new normal’ of targeting Jammu and Kashmir Police officials continues unabated in 2018. With three brutal killings on Friday, 25 cops of the Jammu and Kashmir Police have lost their lives in terror incidents. Nineteen police officers and 6 SPO's have been targeted by terror outfits in different attacks and encounters.