Indian government fears revolt in Occupied Kashmir Police force after scrapping Article 370
*The Associated Press* issued a report on plight of Kashmiri policemen after interviewing the 30 policemen.
Without weapons, riot gear or even clean uniforms, a group of police officers sat on the sidewalk outside a shopfront in Srinagar, the main city in the, weighing their allegiances.
Thirty Kashmiri police officers who spoke on the condition of anonymity fearing retribution from their superiors told The Associated Press that they have been sidelined and, in some cases, disarmed by New Delhi-based authorities since the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi downgraded Jammu and Kashmir from a state into two federally administered territories, tightening its grip on the restive region.
The state police force was shocked by the sudden presidential order earlier this month that stripped Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy, leading officers to feel spiritless, caught between the federal security forces they now report to and the friends and neighbors who question their loyalties like never before.
“At the end of the day, we neither belong to our own nor are we trusted by higher authorities,” said one officer. For years, Kashmiri police have been on the forefront of intelligence-gathering and profiling of activists and armed militants fighting Indian rule.
Officers described Kashmir’s sudden re-organization as a betrayal by the federal authorities they had been serving at the risk of social alienation in their communities.
Many of the policemen said their department-issued firearms were taken away from them days before Modi’s government’s order was presented in Parliament because authorities feared they could rebel.
It is pertinent to mention here that at least three fights have broken out between state police and soldiers since Kashmir’s status was changed, leading to injuries on both sides, two police officers said.