Even after release of 14 policemen and their close relatives abducted last week by terrorists, there is an air of fear and panic among the affected families in South Kashmir. Relatives of the released persons are tight-lipped and refuse to utter a single word about the horrific experience after being kidnapped by heavily armed terrorists from their houses.
The fear-stricken relatives are also not allowing mediapersons to photograph them.
Three policemen and 11 close relatives of several men in khaki had been picked up by terrorists last week from their houses in Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam in South Kashmir.
The abducted persons and their relatives are in a state of trauma as it was for the first time that the terrorists indulged in targeting families of policemen.
In a bid to trace the terrorists involved in these abductions, the security forces on Monday cordoned about 20 villages in South Kashmir but it proved a futile exercise.
It is learnt that the security agencies are preparing lists of overground workers (OGW) who are lifeline of the terrorists. Their strategy appears to be to smash the OGW network to curb terrorism.
The incidents of abduction have thrown up a challenge for the security agencies as nearly 90,000 police personnel and about 31,000 Special Police Officers (SPOs) are on the rolls of the J&K Police. Besides, families of hundreds of serving soldiers of the Armed Forces, CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB and other agencies are residing in civilian areas across the state.
Such families are considered vulnerable as incidents of killing of security force personnel while on leave at home have been reported from time to time.
South Kashmir’s Pulwama witnessed killing of 26 policemen in the first seven months of the current year.
J&K DGP SP Vaid recently said about 1660 policemen have been martyred ever since terrorism broke out in 1998.