J&K mob violence: Who will protect the cops?

Last Updated: Friday, August 6, 2010 - 23:15

Srinagar: They lead from the front and it
shows.

662 Jammu and Kashmir police personnel are counting
their injuries received while battling the fury of
stone-throwers who have virtually paralysed the Kashmir valley
for the past seven weeks. They have worked in the most trying
circumstances without much appreciation.

Bashir Ahmed is Deputy Superintendent of Police in
Budgam on the outskirts of Srinagar. Nine days ago a big stone
hit him in the leg. The protesters then attacked him with huge
sticks and ensured that he sustains a fracture.

Three days from now his daughter is to get married. He
is lying in a hospital with his leg in plaster. His best hope
is to be able to attend the wedding.

Bandipora SP Sheikh Junaid is still sporting four
stitches on his forehead. The plight of another senior police
officer Mehrajuddin, Additional SP of Anantnag, is no
different, for he too was injured in the head.

The state police chief Kuldeep Khoda went round two
hospitals here to enquire about the health of his men. He
appreciated the restraint they had shown under the most
difficult circumstances. Notwithstanding the injuries, he
found their morale high.

The stories of how the state?s police force--whose
revival in recent years has been truly remarkable--has been at
the receiving end during the current turmoil are many. Besides
physical injuries, their families have been threatened and
hosues attacked.

Take the case of Sub-inspector Imtiyaz Ahmed of
Srinagar’s Humhama police post. He suffered a broken leg and
was hospitalised for several days. Once out, he went back to
do his duty when he was struck by more trouble. A police jeep
carrying him and his staff was chased by a stone-throwing mob.
Trying to avoid a confrontation, Ahmed asked the driver to
drive away from the stone pelters. In the process the vehicle
fell into a ditch. He was back in the hospital with an ankle
injury.

Bijbehara’s Sub Divisional Police Officer Farooq Zargar
is going round with a nose fractured by a stone. He is now in
Jammu for treatment.

"It has been a trying time. Our job is to protect our
people. But who will protect us," said a policeman from his
hospital bed.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, August 6, 2010 - 23:15

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