Srinagar, Oct 4: All Special Police Officers (SPOs), barring those engaged as drivers in the Jammu and Kashmir police, have been withdrawn from security of protected persons in the state with immediate effect.
The order to disengage SPOs from duty with protected persons came few days after a SPO decamped with seven rifles and a pistol from the residence of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLA at Jawahar Nagar.
Official sources said that majority SPOs are engaged on the recommendation of politicians of different political parties in the state. There are over 30,000 SPOs and government has recently increased the wages of SPOs when scores resigned following threat by militants.
Recently, SPO Adil Bashir decamped with seven rifles and a personnel pistol of PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir from Jawahar Nagar. Adil has since joined Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).
Taking a very serious note of the incident, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Munir Ahmad Khan in an order said that SPOs should be withdrawn from the security duty of protected persons.
The order said that all SPOs, barring SPO drivers presently engaged with protected persons, be immediately withdrawn adding henceforth no unit/district SSP shall deploy any SPO for personal security officer (PSO) duties.
Besides, Range DIGs have been asked to furnish list of all SPOs to the headquarters by October 5, the order said adding in case any SPO does not report back, honorarium may not be released and nominal roll of such SPOs be furnished to this headquarters so that their disengagement.
Officials said that there were two reasons behind the move: to prevent accidental fire by these SPOs as they are not trained to shoot and to prevent any untoward incident like the one that occurred at Jawhar Nagar. They said SPOs can never perform the duty of a personal security officer who is trained and a professional policeman. (UNI)