SRINAGAR: In an eerie repeat of last month’s abduction spree of cops and their relatives that took the security agencies by surprise, suspected militants abducted three special police officers and the brother of a policeman in Shopian district of the volatile south Kashmir. While the three police officers have been killed, the relative has been let off.

Police sources and officials said the militants barged into the residences of three special police officers (SPOs), a volunteer, highly underpaid unit of J&K police, and a civilian whose brother works in J&K Police, after carrying out raids in two villages of the district. All the four were taken to unknown location.

Officials identified the abducted persons as Firdous Ahmad Kuchey and Kuldeep Singh, residents of Batgund in Shopian, and Nisar Ahmad Dhobi and Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, residents of the adjoining Kapran village.

Sources said Fayaz Ahmad is the brother of a policeman.

“While Fayaz has been let off unharmed, the bodies of three police officers with bullet injuries were found in an orchard in Dangam village of Shopian. We have filed a case and investigations are underway to nab the culprits,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the abductions or killings.

The tragic development comes close on the heels of relentless search operations by security forces in parts of south Kashmir during which the family members of the active militants from the area are being reportedly detained to build pressure on their wards to give up arms.

Last month, Hizbul and Lashkar militants abducted eleven persons including special police officers and relatives of the state police personnel in retaliation against the detention of families of the militants in south Kashmir.

All 11 people were released by the militants after the police released the family members of the Hizb ul Mujahideen militants. The decision to let go the detainees was also blamed to have cost the former DGP of J&K Police his job who was replaced by Dilbagh Singh.

Meanwhile, days after their release, security forces again carried out search operations in south Kashmir and detained some family members of militants in order to pressure their wards to give up arms.

The Hizb’s Kashmir chief Riyaz Naikoo, whose father has been reportedly detained on more than 100 occasions since the last six years, had warned policemen against targeting the families of the militants. He had threatened to target the families of security forces if the detention of their family members did not stop.

(Cover Photo: Representational image by BASIT ZARGAR)