Demoralised, scared: The plight of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir

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Pulwama, Aug 25: It is tough being a cop in Jammu and Kashmir today. Most of them have not gone home since the unrest began on July 9th. Dealing with stone pelters and government orders to show restraint against an unrelenting lot of stone pelters is not something that is easy to deal with.

Violence in Jammu and Kashmir

It is not easy to fire at your own people, says a deputy superintendent of police posted in Pulwama. What  does one do when an unrelenting lot of stone pelters attack you. We need to fire to protect our force. The best way forward today is to find a solution so that at least peace returns.

The force is demoralised and there is also this lurking fear at all times that our families will be targeted, the officer also says.

Not easy to fire at own people:

Dealing with the stone pelters is no easy deal for the police officials. One batch of stone pelters appear on the scene and then immediately another batch replaces them. Once the first group gets tired of pelting stones, the police would think that the madness has stopped. However, it continues as they are immediately replaced with another batch.

The government has told us to exercise restraint. We do that as much as possible. The pelters, however, do not stop and then we are forced to use the pellet guns. As I said earlier, it is not easy to fire at your own people, the officer also notes.

Many officers have not had a proper meal at home since the unrest has begun. There is a curfew in place for the past 46 days and this means manning the streets at all times. As a result of this none of us have been able to visit our houses for a long time, the officer says. We speak among each other and try keeping the morale up, he also says. 

Along with work pressure, there is also the added tension of our families. They are worried for us and we for them. There are instances of families of police personnel being targeted. We are aware that a list with all our names, addresses and family members has been prepared and the directive is to target. This has only added to the woes of the police personnel.

We are aware that 95 per cent of the people in the state is opposed to violence. However, just one per cent is sufficient to create a problem. In the current scenario, it is five per cent of the people who are causing trouble and that is a large number in itself, the officer also says.

The officer says that the situation at the moment is a tough one. We wish that the government finds a way out of this so that peace is at least restored immediately. Everyone, the people the police and the rest of the security forces are tired of this situation and we hope and pray that a way out of this madness is found immediately, the officer says.

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