Mehbooba govt prunes Kashmir separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s security cover | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Mehbooba govt prunes Kashmir separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s security cover

The move comes weeks after deputy superintendent of police Mohammad Ayoub Pandit was lynched by a mob in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2017 07:37 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq during the EID Milan function in New Delhi.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq during the EID Milan function in New Delhi.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

Jammu and Kashmir government has downgraded the security of Valley’s head cleric and moderate separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

The move, seen as a pressure tactic, comes weeks after deputy superintendent of police Mohammad Ayoub Pandit was lynched by a mob in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area on June 23.

Mirwaiz was provided ‘Z’ category security after unidentified gunmen killed his father Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Farooq at his residence in 1990.

While government insisted Mirwaiz, who delivers sermons from the grand mosque, was present in the mosque as the policeman was being lynched outside, the separatist leader said he reached Jama Masjid about one hour after the incident.

While no official was available for comment, sources said two havildars and eight constables have been removed from duty. A DSP-rank officer in Mirwaiz’s security for over a decade has also been transferred. The officer was shifted on June 29 and no replacement has been sent since then.

Mirwaiz confirmed the move and said some security personnel guarding his house have been removed. He, however said, he doesn’t mind even if his entire security cover is removed. “Let me make it clear that neither did I seek it in the past nor do I seek it today .The authorities concerned can take their call on it anytime and put an end to the politics being played over it,’’ he said.

Speaking to HT, a senior police officer from the security wing, who did not want to be named, said Mirwaiz still has ‘Z’ category cover. Only the excess force has been removed,” he added.