Former Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid who was abruptly removed from his position late on Thursday told NDTV that he will “miss the uniform.” Mr Vaid has been shunted off as the state’s transport commissioner amid serious differences with newly-appointed Governor Satya Pal Malik and a major controversy over the release of relatives of terrorists in exchange for family members of kidnapped policemen.
“I will miss the uniform. There is a sense of pride and satisfaction in uniform. It will be a great miss in rest of the service,” Mr Vaid told NDTV on Friday. The former top cop said he “wanted to end the cycle of violence and killings in Kashmir“, adding that though it has “come down, it hasn’t ended completely.”
“I wish the new DGP and the police force to complete the task,” Mr Vaid said, who led the state police for 20 months. Dilbagh Singh, the Director General of Prisons, has replaced him for now, until a new Director General of Police or DGP is appointed.
The former police chief refused to comment on who authorised action against the families of terrorists, including burning their homes, that led to the kidnapping of family members of policemen as a retaliatory move by the terrorists. The centre has blamed Mr Vaid for the kidnapping fiasco, in which a terrorist’s father was freed in exchange for the kidnapped family members of policemen last week.
Three policemen and eight relatives of policemen, kidnapped by terrorists in south Kashmir, were set free hours after the police quietly released around a dozen family members of terrorists, including the father of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Riaz Naikoo.
Mr Vaid also refused to comment over reported differences with the central government which widened after he was stripped of crucial administrative powers, including the sanctioning of operational funds, and his junior Munir Khan was allocated some of his functions. Sources say the former top cop registered his protest with the Governor as well as union Home Secretary.
In response to a question over the BJP reportedly being upset over his stand on the Kathua rape and murder, Mr Vaid said, “For the police, a criminal is a criminal and it doesn’t have anything to do with religion or caste.” Sources close to Mr Vaid say the BJP was upset with him for his stand on the case, in which an eight-year-old girl was raped, tortured and killed in an attempt to drive a Muslim nomadic tribe out of Jammu’s Kathua. Top BJP state minsters had attended rallies in support of the accused.