SP Vaid has been transferred as DGP of Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid was removed from his post late on Thursday - part of a reshuffle at the top level of the state police days after a terrorist's father was set free to secure the release of the kidnapped family members of the state's policemen.

On Tuesday evening, Mr Vaid's deputy Abdul Gani Mir was replaced by Dr B Srinivas.

Last week, three policemen and eight relatives of policemen were kidnapped by terrorists in south Kashmir. They were set free hours after the police released around a dozen family members of terrorists, including the father of Hizbul Mujahideen 'commander' Riaz Naikoo.

Negotiating with terrorists has not happened in the country for nearly two decades. The last time it took place was in 1999, when jailed terrorists, Masood Azhar, Mustaq Ahmed Zargar and Omar Sheikh were released after the hijack of Indian Airlines plane IC-814.

Home Ministry sources said the release of terrorists is believed to have hugely affected the morale of the rank and file of the Jammu and Kashmir police. It was also said that the top officers of the department misjudged the impact of the decision.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Mr Vaid said transfers were "routine" and a "prerogative" of the government.

"@JmuKmrPolice has been fighting a proxy war for decades which requires a lot of courage & determination of the men & officers of JKP. Speculative articles which undermine their morale should be avoided. @ndtv as regards to transfer, it's routine matter & prerogative of the govt," his tweet read.

Mr Vaid has been replaced by Dilbagh Singh, the Director General of Prisons.