‘Most of cops manning traffic without BP jackets’
Srinagar: The reported presence of militants in Srinagar and some other towns of south and north Kashmir have spooked beat policemen who are deployed at various junctions to control the smooth movement of traffic.
After a number of attacks carried out by militant outfits over the months, the fear has gripped among the cops manning traffic on the crowded roads and streets.
The fear psychosis among the cops is visible, but they don’t speak up as they say they have to do their duty in any situation.
However, the prime concern among these cops is that most of them don’t have any security equipments or weapons to counter if they are attacked.
What these policemen posses are lathis and batons in their hands and a Challan register.
“Most of us are even without BP jackets. Everyone loves his/ her life. Life is precious. If I say I don’t fear, it would be a big lie. But we have to do our duty. We stand by it to ensure secure movement of people,” said a cop at Jahangir Chowk.
It may be mentioned that in the wake of the prevailing massive traffic jams in Srinagar, around 500 cops mostly Special Police Officers (SPO’s) have been deputed in traffic police department to control traffic in the city.
Senior officials in police department believe that the attack on police makes it clear that the militants have changed strategy in Kashmir.
“They would normally come on bikes and fire on policemen, often in the crowded markets, killing mainly the ‘soft targets’. It is like a hit and run case,” said a top police official.
The official said the militants usually choose ‘soft targets’- the policemen without guns or bullet proof jackets, but couldn’t elaborate why the police department is not providing the same to the men on ground.
Another senior most police officer said the cause of the govt is served when there is peace, but the cause of militants and separatists is served when there is no peace.
“If a person leaves home in the morning and comes back in the evening, he or she should do their routine stuff without fear. We (police) are here to remove that fear. Police is the pronounced organ of the government,” he said.
He also said that this is just propaganda by the militants that their targets are SOG men. “SOG men can’t be soft targets. If the SOG personnel are deployed on a routine duty, they know how to protect themselves. They only get killed in live encounters. (KNS)