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World

In past 30 years: 508 PSOs among 1,700 cops killed in IIOJK

  • Police say majority of the PSOs lost their lives while protecting the person or a politician they were deployed with
  • Police official says a fresh security advisory is on cards for the PSOs given the fact that many political leaders are taking part in rallies and campaigning in the wake of ongoing District Development Council
15 Dec 2020

(Karachi) Over 1,700 policemen including 508 Personal Security Officers (PSOs) protecting politicians belonging to various political parties have been killed in the past 30 years in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) , reveal a report published in Kashmir Walla.

Giving details, a senior police official said: “Majority of the PSOs lost their lives while protecting the person or a politician they were deployed with.”

He added that the PSOs protecting the person are vulnerable to attacks and are “considered as prone to attacks.” “Even though they are equipped with the latest weapons, but given their job schedule that includes guarding the person at home and on the road besides at a political event or a rally, they are prone to militant attacks,” the official said.

Deadly encounters

Highlighting a number of attacks on political figures, he said in one incident, two or three militants opened indiscriminate fire at PSO Manzoor Ahmed at the entrance gate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Haji Pervez Ahmed, leaving him critically wounded. “He suffered multiple bullet injuries and died. Even though the attack was repulsed by the second PSO, who fired but we lost PSO Manzoor Ahmed,” the official said.

Similarly, PSO Altaf Ahmed was gunned down during an attack on BJP leader Ghulam Qadir at Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir. A militant was also killed in Altaf’s retaliatory action while the BJP leader escaped unhurt.

However, he maintained that BJP’s youth leader Waseem Bari, his brother and father were killed at north Kashmir’s Bandipora despite the fact that Bari had 10 PSOs for his protection. The Police top brass later suspended all 10 PSO’s “for dereliction of duties.”

Risky job

Narrating job difficulties, PSO Imtiyaz Ahmed who is deployed for the protection of a politician in Srinagar, said that a PSO's life is so tough that he has to think twice and sound an alert before taking dinner, lunch or breakfast. “Fear always looms over on our head. Our nature of job is full of risk. You never know when and where we can be attacked. But life goes on, this is our duty and we will perform it to the best of our capabilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer said that a fresh security advisory is on cards for the PSOs given the fact that many political leaders are taking part in rallies and campaigning in the wake of ongoing District Development Council (DDC) polls. “An in-house security advisory will soon be issued to the PSOs across Kashmir,” he said.

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