Three policemen were abducted from their homes in south Kashmir's Shopian district and shot dead by militants on Friday.
Shortly after bodies of three policemen were found, videos emerged on social media that allegedly showed special police officers (SPOs) announcing their decision to resign. The Home Ministry, however, refuted the reports.
In the evening, India announced it has decided to call off the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York.
Citing the killing of three policemen, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said talks with Pakistan in such an environment would be "meaningless".
Security experts say the recent incidents show Kashmir conflict is moving beyond manageable levels. A section of politicians argue that the government of India should make talks between India and Pakistan incident-neutral to defeat the forces “who don’t want any forward movement between the two countries.”
A senior police official on condition of anonymity said today’s killings and earlier incident of abduction and release of family members of policemen will have long-term ramifications.
“The trust has been broken and it is only fear that is working,” he said.
He said there were certain norms in the nearly 29-year-long conflict which are not being adhered to. “The situation seems scary and I can tell you that the police lower rung is no longer interested in anything. They want the Army to take over,” he said.
Another official said these are very trying times and this tension cannot be sustained. “Both sides will have to introspect, and the ground rules will have to be redrawn,” he added. He said the establishment is clueless and hostage to some strange people and strange ideas. “The Delhi paradigm of treating it like just a governance issue that will reverse the history of seven decades is misplaced and, in my opinion, failing with most dangerous consequences for Kashmir, unfortunately,” he said.
Analysts say Kashmir for long had remained manageable conflict and political parties were not showing any urgency to hold a dialogue.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Centre’s muscular policy is not working in Kashmir.
Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said talks must be incident and event neutral.
“The only hope to come out of this web in which many agencies have chestnuts in the fire is that statesman with a vision carries the peace process forward and show the contempt to these hate mongers on the TV channels they deserve,” he said.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah reiterated the need for a sustained, structured and result-oriented dialogue between India and Pakistan. “It is the responsibility of both India and Pakistan to rescue people in the state from a never-ending cycle of fear, pain and misery,” he said.