In a bid to calm down the tempers of policemen, Jammu and Kashmir Police has issued an order to clarify that the contribution of one-day salary for the families of slain policemen was not mandatory but purely a voluntary move.
The fresh direction comes after massive outcry over an announcement that every policeman will have to contribute a day's salary, every month, in an account maintained at Police Headquarters under martyrs welfare fund. The police officers had chosen Whatsapp route to register their anger against the decision asking whether they were "fighting for State or for themselves."
Many police officers had demanded Rs 1 crore each for the next of kin of policemen getting killed in militant attacks. The Whatsapp rage came close on the heels of killing of six policemen including a Station House Officer (SHO) at Achabal in South Kashmir's Anantnag district. The demand gained impetus after a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Muhammad Ayoub was beaten to death at Nowhatta Srinagar recently.
Sensing resentment, Police issued a wireless/email/fax message to all officers across J&K. According to the message number AIG (W)ACCTTS/2017/44894-901, a copy of which lies with the Greater Kashmir, "it is hereby clarified in order to remove the confusion that contribution of one day's salary towards the welfare fund is mandatory. All the DDOs shall make it clear to subordinates under their command and control that instant contribution towards the welfare fund is purely on voluntary basis. DDOs shall disburse the full salary for the month of June 2017 among the police personnel." "Moreover, the police officers/officials may at their own will contribute towards SB A/C number 0110040100004910 maintained at the J&K Bank extension counter PHQ for the martyr families."
The Whatsapp groups created by police officers to remain in touch and to share information with each other had witnessed thousands of messages to oppose the decision of contributing day's salary. While some officers had asserted that donations are meant for mosques, temples; not martyrs, a senior police officer had stated that if anyone's salary needs to be deducted it should be the ministers, the legislators, the judges and all government employees except police. "Aren't we giving sacrifices for these people," he had asked in the group.
A senior police officer said that so far only a few policemen have contributed voluntarily from their salaries towards the welfare fund. "There is every likelihood that the police top brass in consultation with the State's home department may take up the issue with the Chief Minister, who holds Home portfolio, to work out some packages for the families of police officers who die in line of duty," he said.