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Militant Relatives Freed After Kashmir Police Family Kidnappings

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SRINAGAR: In a move to secure the release of 11 relatives of policemen kidnapped by terrorists in south Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have quietly released around a dozen family members of militants, sources told NDTV on Friday.

The police had arrested the relatives of terrorists including Asadullah Naikoo, the father of Reyaz Naikoo, a self-styled “commander” of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, after four policemen were killed in a major terror attack on Wednesday. Two houses of militant were also set on fire. Asadullah Naikoo was among those who have been released from police custody.

Militant had retaliated with raids on the homes of policemen and kidnapped 11 of their relatives in Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts late Thursday evening. Since then they have been held captive.

A top police officer told NDTV that action against the families of Militant was not sanctioned and they are investigating at what level the decision was taken. He said that their priority is to secure the safe release of those who have been held captive.

Families of policemen plead for mercy for their kidnapped relatives.

In a tweet, Hizbul commander Reyaz Naikoo commended his men for the kidnappings and threatened to avenge “an eye for eye”.

While the allegations of action against families of Militant are not new, it was for the first time that the police had resorted to mass arrests. Militant too had also raided some families of policemen a year ago but did not take any relative captive.

Last year, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Shesh Paul Vaid had warned terrorists that they would face reprisals if they tried to harass families of policemen. His remarks triggered a controversy and escalated tensions.

A distraught police family have made a passionate appeal to release their 22-year-old son Asif Rafiq who was kidnapped from his home at Tral in the Pulwama district.

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