In huge move, J&K govt scraps security for 18 separatists, 155 politicians
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday downgraded or withdrew the security cover provided to 18 separatist leaders from the Hurriyat, including SAS Geelani, days after a similar move followed a suicide bombing in Pulwama that killed 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
The security detail of 155 political personalities and activists who did not require it as per a threat assessment was also withdrawn, a home department statement said. Those affected by the move included Shah Faesal, who recently resigned from the Indian Administrative Services.
The statement said the administration felt that providing security to the separatist leaders was wastage of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere.
Among the leaders whose security was downgraded or withdrawn were Geelani, Yaseen Malik, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat. The administration said after the move, about 1,000 police personnel and 100 vehicles were freed up to be redeployed.
On Sunday, the administration withdrew the security cover of four Kashmiri separatists, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, amid protests and growing calls for action following the suicide bombing in Pulwama.
Home minister Rajnath Singh last week issued a veiled warning to separatist leaders, saying officials were asked to review the security provided to those “who take money from Pakistan and ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence]”.