State govt spends Rs 1.5 crore annually to protect separatists in Kashmir
While numerous figures about government spending on separatists have been doing the rounds, sources in security reveal that only eight separatists have police protection and just two own passports.
Most of the leaders are from the moderate faction of Hurriyat and have been provided security after independent threat perception by police. According to government sources around Rs 1.5 crores is spent on security of the resistance leadership by the government.
While HT could not access recent figures, Jammu and Kashmir government had informed the Legislative Assembly in March 2013 that over Rs 9.47 crore was spent on providing security to separatist leaders and activists for a period of 12 years —from 2001 to 2012.
In its written response to a question, the then CM Omar Abdullah said an expenditure of around Rs 4.96 crore has been incurred on salaries of PSOs/drivers attached with the separatists. Another Rs 71.10 lakh has been spent to meet the fuel expenditure for the security vehicles deployed with the separatists during the same period, the government reply said.
Besides, the government has borne an expenditure of Rs 3.79 crore on salaries of residential guards of the separatists, Omar had said. All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders, who have been provided security cover, include Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Molvi Abbas Ansari, Prof A B Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone.
Hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani has no security cover.
Reacting to the media reports of providing hotel and airfare expenses, spokesperson of moderate Hurriyat Conference, Shahid-ul-Islam, said the government provided security to Mirwaiz after his father was killed in 1990. APHC denied that government provided any travel expenses to Mirwaiz.