They want to join police, army for avenging death of their friend

50 people left lucrative jobs in Saudi Arabia to return to Salani village. Rifleman Aurangzeb was killed by terrorists in south Kashmir in June

At Salani village in Mendhar, 250 kilometres from Srinagar, anger has overtaken grief at the home of rifleman Aurangzeb, killed by terrorists in south Kashmir on June 14, just when he was returning home from his formation to celebrate Eid.

The friends and family members of Rifleman Aurangzeb have come together at his home in Mendhar to pray for him and remember him.

Mohammad Kiramat and Mohammamd Taj are among 50 people who left lucrative jobs in Saudi Arabia to return permanently to Salani village, to join police and army for avenging the death of their friend and fellow villager Rifleman Aurangzeb.

"When we heard about the killing of brother Aurangzeb, we left Saudi Arabia the same day, and forcibly got ourselves relieved from the job. It can't be done on the spot, but we managed somehow. 50 youth from this village returned with me. The only mission is to avenge the death of Aurangzeb", said Mohammad Kiramat.

Aurangzeb's murder was followed by the killing of two policemen and a CRPF jawan when they were home on leave.

There is a sense of disbelief at the home of Naseer Rather, the CRPF Jawan killed in Pulwama on July 29.

"He was just doing his job. He didn't face any threat, neither there was any indication that he would be targeted," a relative said.

What has made things worse is that terrorists have warned special police officers to announce their resignations.

Just last month an SPO Mudassir Wani was abducted in south Kashmir. Family members made passionate appeals to the terrorists to release him. A video of him in captivity was released with him appealing the SPOs to leave their jobs and earn some other livelihood.

"SPO is a very disrespectful job. We get treated very badly. We are asked to keep a track of people. What's the point? It is better to leave this job. We will work hard and do some legitimate job," Mudassir Wani said in the video.

But most security personnel from Jammu and Kashmir say they are undettered by the terrorists' threats.

Rifle man Aurangzeb's brother, a serving army man, blames the terrorist handlers for the killings.

"We won't fear just because militants have issued a threat, militants are not responsible for doing this, but those handlers who are sitting in Kashmir and have given the orders to carry out such acts", said Mohammad Qasim.

"We will perform our duties as we have been doing, we will keep giving sacrifices for our country despite the threats, many of our brothers have been martyred, for them as well", said an SPO who didn't want to be named.

So why are the terrorists suddenly targetting the local men in security forces? Sources say successful anti-terror operations have frustrated terrorists and a series of brutal killings of local security forces personnel is a ploy to demoralise them and block human intelligence gathering.

"It is a temporary phenomenon and exists because of instigation from across the border. I am sure very soon this would be reversed and things would improve. We are going to take many steps in which the overground structure of these terrorists will be paralysed", SP Vaid, DG Police, Jammu and Kashmir told NDTV.

After the killing of Rifleman Aurangzeb, a sort of a pattern has emerged in the valley. Security forces personnel on leave are being selectively targeted, clearly a comprehensive strategy need to be evolved to counter this tactic.