SRINAGAR: It was the new governor Satya Pal Malik on whose directions rebel leader Riyaz Naikoo’s father was set free and that ended the impasse, The Hindu newspaper has reported.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Governor’s office took strong exception to the detention of the father of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Riyaz Naikoo by the local police, which led to a spate of abductions of relatives of policemen in the Kashmir Valley last week,” Vijaita Singh reported. “It was on the intervention of senior officials in Governor Satya Pal Malik’s office that Naikoo’s father Asadullah was released and the impasse over the abduction of 11 relatives of policemen in south Kashmir on August 31 was brought to an end, a top source told The Hindu.”
Quoting a senior official, Singh reported that there should be no “over-reaction” to these kinds of threats – 32 cops were killed in 2018, as it would trigger more panic, and the government did not want a repeat of the 1990s when Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee their homes.
“The lower ranks of the police are aware of the practical aspects; they have the tremendous advantage of language, location, and habitation. We cannot isolate and segregate them. This happened in the case of Kashmiri Pandits. After Pandits were attacked, there was panic and most migrated to Jammu and other parts of the country,” the officer was quoted saying.
The official said Naikoo, now heading the Hizbul, suffered a blow when his deputy and field commander, Altaf Ahmed Dar alias Altaf Kachroo, one of the oldest surviving militants, was killed in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag on August 29.