Contradicting the remarks of the Ministry of Home Affairs that the news about Special Police Officers (SPOs) resigning from the J&K Police force was a “false propaganda”, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam Tuesday said some resignations had taken place in south Kashmir.
He said he had come to know through social media that some SPOs had resigned from their jobs in south Kashmir.
Earlier, the MHA had stated that none of the SPOs in Jammu Kashmir had resigned and the reports were false.
“Reports have appeared in a section of media that some SPOs in Jammu Kashmir have resigned. The J&K Police have confirmed that these reports are untrue and motivated. These reports are based on false propaganda by mischievous elements,” the MHA had said.
The chief secretary said while more than 30,000 SPOs were working in J&K Police department, the resignations compared to the total number of SPOs was negligible.
He said the government was going to make a substantial hike in the salaries of SPOs within next few days.
“They were paid Rs 3000 earlier and now Rs 6000, which is way less than what a Class IV employee is paid,” Subrahmanyam said. “Soon, the honorarium paid to SPOs will be increased substantially.”
The SPOs were actually militants who later surrendered and started working with the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Police.
Later on the SOG was disbanded and the SPOs were merged in the J&K Police.
Some of them continue to work with troops and paramilitary forces.
In 1995, a surrender policy for the militants was announced for the first time that was to get reward for each weapon surrendered.
Subsequently, the State government carried on with the policy, offering amnesty to the militants whose involvement was peripheral.
The policy known as “rehabilitation policy” was adopted in January 2004.
Shun gun and take money and jobs was the mantra.
Having worked as militants, the SPOs had a better understanding of the psyche of the militants and knew their modus operandi.
It was with their tips that the Police and troops were able to crack a number of modules of various militant outfits operational in the State.
Quite a few SPOs are also killed in gunfights with the militants while combating them working in unison with Police and troops.
There have also been instances when they have turned deserters.
Lack of motivation because of working for meager salaries and operating under duress may be one of the reasons for their deserting Police and troops.
At times, according to reports, militant outfits have also planted them to work with Police and troops.
The trend of militants joining as SPOs started after a surrendered militant Mohammad Yousuf Parray alias Kukka Parray started working against the militants.
His group was known as Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen.
There were other groups too like Muslim Mujahadeen.
Surrendered militants are often referred in derogatory term as “renegades”.
However, some of them found their place as informers with the Army and also joined the J&K Police as SPOs.