Kulgam: Militants have released the brother of a police officer who had been abducted by them from Kulgam here in South Kashmir.
Gowhar Ahmed Malik, a resident of Kathpora Kulgam and the brother of a DSP rank police officer was picked up by a couple of gunmen on Thursday night.
Besides Gowhar Ahmed Malik, militants on Thursday night had abducted four other relatives of policemen.
Reports said that a large number of people visited the house of Gowhar Ahmed Malik and enquired about his well-being.
Gowhar Ahmed told CNS that a couple of gunmen picked him up on Thursday night and this time they asked him to go to home.
Police earlier released the father of Hizb Commnader Riyaz Naikoo from the custody. Asadullah Naikoo, 70, was ‘arrested’ by the armed forces in a nocturnal raid from his Beighpora Awantipora residence in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
SP Awantipora Zahif Malik confirmed to news agency CNS that the father of Riyaz Naikoo has been released. “Police had not arrested him. He was brought here only for questioning,” Malik said.
Apart from senior Naikoo, 18 youth have also been detained during nocturnal raids in several villages of Pulwama district last night.
In the past few days, 11 family members of police officials have been kidnapped by militants in different areas across Kashmir. Condemning the incident former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said that the abductions of eleven relatives of policemen was a “very worrying reflection of situation in the valley”.
The conflict in Kashmir takes a dangerous turn with families on both sides being involved in the war.
Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo had reportedly tweeted about the kidnappings warning the armed forces about a ‘tit for tat’ after Naikoo’s father was arrested by the armed forces in a night raid on August 30.
The twitter handle cannot be verified at the moment.
Hizb Commander Riyaz Naikoo, according to police, is the brain behind militant recruitment. “Naikoo has motivational power and he has managed to persuade youth and brought them into the fold of the Hizb outfit,” police had said recently.
Recently, Naikoo had said that Amarnath Yatris were ‘guests and that the reports suggesting that militants were planning to attack them were baseless’. “Amarnath Yatra is not our target. They come here to perform their religious rituals. They (yatris) are our guests,” said Riyaz Naikoo, Field Operational Commander, in an audio clip released on social media.
Earlier on August 30, families of two militants in the Shopian district of Kashmir alleged that the armed forces set their homes on fire.
According to report in the English daily Greater Kashmir, the family members of a militant Shahjahan alleged that the armed forces raided their house in Amshipora village of the district.
Earlier, the authorities had sounded high alert across south Kashmir areas on Thursday after gunmen abducted seven persons connected directly or indirectly with the local police force.
Reports said the gunmen on Thursday evening abducted Zubair Ahmad, son of a policeman from Arwani area of Kulgam district; Arif Ahmed, brother of a middle-rung police officer from Arwani; Faizan Ahmad, son of a policeman from Kharpora, Kulgam; Sumar Ahmad Rather, son of a policeman from Yaripora, Kulgam; and Gowhar Ahmad, brother of a Deputy Superintendent of Police from Katapora, Kulgam.
Earlier on Thursday, gunmen abducted Nasir Ahmad, son of a policeman from Midoora Tral. Gunmen had on Wednesday abducted Asif Ahmad, son of a local policeman Rafiq Ahmad Rather, from Pinglish village of Tral in Pulwama district. Following this alarming development, authorities have sounded a high alert across south Kashmir.
The authorities also decided to launch a massive operation in south Kashmir areas to check the alarming trend of militants going after relatives of police personnel.
Reports here said a high-level security meeting was held by top brass of security forces on Thursday evening where it was decided that a massive manhunt would be started with the first light on Friday to trace the abducted persons.
Also, on August 30, Syed Shakeel Ahmad, elder son of the UJC chief, was arrested by the NIA during a raid at his residence in Rambagh area of Srinagar yesterday.
Another son of Salahuddin was arrested by the NIA in October last year. He is lodged in Tihar Jail since.
On August 29, a team of the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday raided the house of Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmad Shah, who was detained up by the NIA in the alleged terror funding case.
According to the family, the raid happened when their daughter-in-law was alone in the house and was subjected to questioning.