J&K home secretary denies report of seizure of SPOs’ weapons, terms it ‘fake news’ 

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra on Monday rejected a report that weapons of special police officers (SPOs) were being seized.

Terming these reports fake news, Shaleen Kabra said such rumours are spread by people with vested interests and urged citizens not to believe them. The state home secretary further asked citizens to first verify the information that they receive.

“A fake news is being spread that weapons of special police officers of J&K police are being seized. This is purely a rumour being spread by vested interests. It is categorically denied,” Kabra was quoted by Jammu and Kashmir’s Department of Information and Public Relations as saying.

“Public at large is further advised not to believe in such rumours/ baseless news and not to further spread such news without verifying from authentic sources,” the home secretary added.

Weapons of more than 250 SPOs in Jammu and Kashmir were seized days before the central government’s decision to scrap the provisions of Article 370 which gave a special status to the state, a leading news channel had reported. Special Police Officers or SPOs are contractual employees who assist the regular police in maintaining law and order. Mostly, locals join the police department as SPOs.

The government seized SPOs’ weapons after reports of some of them going missing with their weapons emerged, an indication that they may have joined terror groups in the Valley, the report had claimed, quoting sources.  Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader Shehla Rashid, in a tweet, also alleged that the state police has been stripped away from powers.

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