Even as police is investigating the decamping of eight weapons by a Special Police Officer (SPO) Adil Bashir from the residence of PDP MLA in Srinagar, the district-level screening committee had reportedly failed to detect the negative conduct of the SPO.
Sheikh was part of security for PDP MLA Wachi, Aijaz Ahmad Mir before looting seven AK rifles and pistol from his Srinagar residence.
The SPO has now joined militant group HizbulMujahideen.
According to reports, Sheikh had a negative record of stone pelting before joining police and the Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh recently admitted that the SPO was connected with militants.
Deputy Commissioner ShopianOwais Ahmed, who heads the district-level-committee, said that the process of verification of SPOs was going on.
He said the provisional assessment of SPOs in the district was positive and not negative.
“No SPO was dropped,” Owais told Rising Kashmir two days before the SPO decamped with eight weapons.
He, however, didn’t reveal the number of SPOs who came under screening in Shopian district.
“It (screening of SPOs) is not yet complete. This is an ongoing process,” he said adding that after civic elections the screening process would continue.
On September 28, Sheikh fled with seven AK 47 rifles of his colleagues and a licensed pistol of PDP MLA from his Jawahar Nagar residence in Srinagar.
On July 12, the state’s Home Department had constituted district-level committees headed by Deputy Commissioners with the Superintendent of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Police (CID-SB) concerned as members to assess and screen the SPOs engaged in the past six years with regard to their appointments, antecedents, and performance from the viewpoint of the job required to be performed by them.
The committees were asked to submit their report to Home Department within a month.
On August 2, the Home department extended the deadline and asked the committees to submit the respective report by or before 15 September which has also come to end.
The aim was to weed-out weed out the undeserving and unsuitable recruits.
On whether the screening of SPOs was complete in all districts of Kashmir, Principal Secretary Home, Raj Kumar Goyal said, “The verification process is in progress.”
Over 30,000 SPOs are assisting police in counter militancy operations, intelligence gathering, and maintenance of law and order and guarding vital installations.
Recently, the Union Home Ministry announced hike in monthly salary of SPOs as per the service rendered by them.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Nasir Ahmad said verification process was complete and the report was submitted to the concerned authorities.
Deputy commissioner KulgamShameem Ahmad Wani said the interim report on scrutiny of SPOs was sent to the government.
He said more deliberation could be held on the matter.
“As of now all are okay. Whatever the number, we have recommended to the government,” Wani told Rising Kashmir.
After the interim assessment, he said some insignificant numbers (SPOs) were dropped by the committee.
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Ghulam Mohammad Dar said the screening process of SPOs in the district was complete and the report was submitted to government.
He said the conduct of SPOs was “satisfactory.”