By Zahid Rafiq
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
Suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir abducted three policemen from their homes on Friday morning and later shot them dead.
The killings came days after the militants warned Kashmiri police officers to resign from the police force that works at the behest of Indian government.
In a video statement, the militants called police officers collaborators who were at work against their own people.
The police confirmed the killings.
“We have lost three of our brave colleagues in a barbaric terror strike. We condemn this inhuman act and assure that all the culprits shall be dealt under law," the police said in a statement.
They added that the militants raided around two dozen homes of police officers in two villages in southern Kashmir, and took away three personnel and a fourth person who had resigned from the police some days ago.
Police said the three were shot dead and the former policeman was released unharmed. Their bodies were found in an orchard and were retrieved by villagers.
Soon after the killings, six police officers announced their resignation on videos that went viral.
Last month, militants abducted families of a dozen policemen as a warning to the police force to not harass families of the militants. The families of the policemen were later released unharmed.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.