Srinagar: Top Kashmiri separatist leaders have refused the government`s offer to provide them security in the wake of senior cleric Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah`s assassination two days ago, police said on Sunday.
A high-level review was taken of the increased threat perception to separatist leaders following Shah`s killing in a bomb blast here Friday.
"A review was taken of the increased threat perception to the local separatist leaders in the wake of Maulana Showkat`s murder," a senior police official said here. "Accordingly, we have offered security cover to separatist leaders, but it is up to them, whether they accept it or not."
The official also said Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF); Shabir Ahmad Shah, chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP); and Syed Ali Geelani, chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat group, had refused to accept the security cover.
`Discreet security` has been provided to some separatist leaders by the authorities here and guards are posted at the residences of some of them.
"It is our duty to provide security to the separatist leaders and it is their choice whether they accept it or not," SM Sahai, Inspector General of police Kashmir, told a local newspaper here when asked about the increased threat perception to separatist leaders in the wake of Shah`s killing.
Shah had been provided personal security officers (PSOs) by the authorities after he received hate mails and threats because of his rejection of "stone pelting as a means of peaceful resistance".
He was killed when an IED, placed on a bicycle outside the Jamiat-e-Ahlihadith mosque in Gaw Kadal area adjacent to city centre Lal Chowk, went off as soon as Shah reached the spot and was about to enter the mosque for Friday prayers. The blast was so powerful that the building sustained major damage.