Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

J&K cop sees threat to life

Never before has such a senior officer in the Valley publicly spoken of a threat to life

By Muzaffar Raina in Srinagar
  • Published 22.03.19, 1:58 AM
  • Updated 22.03.19, 1:58 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Security forces in Srinagar. Mir made the allegation after a Twitter war with some Kashmiri journalists over the death of a 28-year-school principal, Rizwan Asad Pandit, in police custody this week Picture by Shutterstock

A police officer tackling insurgency in Kashmir has publicly said some people claiming to be journalists were “creating an environment” to get him killed by militants, effectively questioning the competence of his force to protect someone responsible for the security of “all protected persons” in the Valley.

Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, an SSP-rank officer in Srinagar, tweeted on Thursday that “some well known people hyperactive on Facebook and Twitter” were “building an environment to get me killed”.

Mir is responsible for the security of “protected persons (VVIPS) and vital installations” and also for “securing venues during sensitive events”. Never before has such a senior officer in the Valley publicly spoken of a threat to life.

Mir made the allegation after a Twitter war with some Kashmiri journalists over the death of a 28-year-school principal, Rizwan Asad Pandit, in police custody this week.

The death has triggered outrage in the Valley. Mir is not believed to have had any role in Rizwan’s arrest.

In a series of tweets, Mir said: “There are some well known people hyperactive on Facebook and Twitter who are building an environment to get me killed. These people claiming to be journalists aren’t apparently working with any media house.”

Mir alleged that the “perception being created against me is slanderous” and said he was “among very few police officers active on social media and being forthright and calling a spade a spade”.

“This is becoming intolerable to them and their bosses across (the border) have employed them to target me. They want to silence me on social media. They are the same people who… built a case for Shujat Bukhari’s killing,” Mir tweeted.

Bukhari, the editor of an English daily, was killed by militants last year.

The officer claimed that Bukhari had “confided” in him that “some media guys” were “spreading canards against him and creating a conducive atmosphere for his murder”.

Top officers, including former Jammu and Kashmir DG and current transport commissioner S.P. Vaid, promised Mir that “no harm will come to you” and that the entire “police force has always been behind you”.

Mir responded that he was “not afraid” but was worried about the “slander campaign” against police “who’re bravely fighting proxy war/terrorism for last 30 years”.

The officer did not take calls from The Telegraph.

Hours after Mir tweeted, Kashmiri journalist Gowhar Geelani, who has fiercely

criticised the police over Rizwan’s killing, took to social media to claim that two police officers, who he did not name, had threatened him, “one of them publicly on social media”.

“I spoke to my lawyer. But I want to convey to both: I indeed pity you. I am not scared of you, your threats and conspiracies. You can’t cow me down, you cowards. And I wish you well. You carry on,” Geelani tweeted.

“Some English-speaking J&K Police officers — the poster boys of the Hindutva project in Kashmir for quick fame, money and promotion — should look into the mirror to see how horrible they look while justifying cold-blooded murders of civilians in custody,” he added. Geelani told this newspaper that neither he nor any other journalist had mentioned any police officer by name.