Jammu and Kashmir government withdraws security cover of 18 separatists, 155 political persons

The security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn.

Jammu and Kashmir government withdraws security cover of 18 separatists, 155 political persons

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday withdrew the security of 18 separatists and 155 political persons, including PDP leader Wahid Parra and IAS officer Shah Faesal, news agency PTI reported quoting officials.

The security review meeting, which was held in Jammu under the chairmanship of state chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, took the decision as it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is a "wastage" of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere. 

Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat. 

This is in addition to the five separatists whose security was withdrawn on Sunday.

The security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn.

This includes Shah Faesal, the 2010 IAS topper from Jammu and Kashmir who recently resigned from bureaucracy, and PDP leader Wahid Parra, the officials said.

Through this, over 1,000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles are freed to do regular police work, they said. 

Earlier last week, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had issued orders to withdraw security of five separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Besides Mirwaiz, the security cover for Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah was withdrawn. 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Srinagar, had said security given to people getting funds from Pakistan and its snooping agency ISI should be reviewed.

"Some elements in Jammu and Kashmir have links with the ISI and terrorist organisations. Their security should be reviewed," he had said after reviewing security in the aftermath of the dastardly terror attack in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

Forty CRPF personnel were killed and several injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.

The bus was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.