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SPOs to remain under tight vigil of officers, movement to be tracked: Officials

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‘No SPO can leave his place of posting before depositing personal weapon’

Srinagar: Top officials in the Security Grid of Kashmir Friday revealed that all the Special Police Officers (SPOs) will remain under the “constant monitoring of their respective unit heads and their movement will be tracked round the clock to ensure that they don’t leave their units along with their weapons”.
The fresh directions come in the wake of killing of two SPOs-turned-militants, who were killed in Lassipora, Pulwama gunfight on Friday.
The duo had deserted their units in District Police Lines Pulwama on Thursday morning and joined Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit.
Though the duo was tracked within 24 hours of their disappearance, the incident has prompted the top brass to go for fresh measures to prevent it from becoming “a trend or a rebellion” in the police force, that has thwarted countering the insurgency in Kashmir since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, police sources have said.
“From now onwards, all the SPOs will remain under constant watch of their superiors in their respective units. A tight vigil will be maintained on them,” a top officer in the security grid told KNO, wishing not to be named. “Though every SPO can’t be seen with the eyes of suspicion, but some measures will strictly be followed to ensure that no more SPOs join the militancy in future,” he added.
The officer said the movement of SPOs across Kashmir will be “tracked through a proper mechanism and they won’t be allowed to go out of their units and wings along with their service rifles”.
“The SPO has to deposit the service riffle before the in-charge of his wing and seek proper permission for visiting home or moving out of his unit or wing,” the official said.
He said that police “stepped up their intelligence” and tracked the movement of two SPOs—Shabir Ahmad of Tujan, Pulwama and Suliman Ahmad of Uthmulla, Shopian and killed both in a gunfight.
“Both of them were tracked in just few hours of their disappearance. They were killed after 24 hours of their disappearance,” the official added.
He said that travel movements of SPOs will also be “monitored while as their personal phones too will be kept on the surveillance to ensure that they don’t come under any militant influence or pressure to join militancy”.
“This is obviously something to worry for but it is not an alarming thing. We have killed more than 110 militants this year so far,” said the officer.
The killing of SPOs in a few hours of their disappearance, the official said, “stands lesson for others, who may have come under some militant influence.” (KNO)

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