Security withdrawn over Pulwama attacks, separatist leaders say ‘don’t need it’
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has withdrawn the security of five separatist leaders including Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The orders come three days after the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide bombing.
Apart from Mirwaiz, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has also removed the security cover of Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah.
Reacting to the withdrawal of security from the separatist leaders, the Mirwaiz-led All Parties Hurriyat Conference spokesperson said, that the separatist leaders had never asked for security and that they had repeatedly said that the government can withdraw it.
According to the order issued by the administration, security cover and vehicles that have been provided to the five separatist leaders will be withdrawn by today evening.
The order said that no security forces or cover should be provided, under any pretext, to them or any other separatists.
“If they have any other facilities provided by Government, they are to be withdrawn forthwith,” the order states
The order further states that the police headquarters will review if there are any other separatists who have been provided government facilities and security and these shall be withdrawn immediately.
The order comes two days after Union home minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir on Friday to review the security situation in the Valley after the Pulwama attack.
After reviewing the security situation in Kashmir, Rajnath Singh had said that security given to people being funded by Pakistan and the 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.
He said, “They are involved in terror conspiracies too. They are toying with the future of the people, especially the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.”
A statement issued by the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that “with or without the security nothing had changed” and that everything “remains the same”.
“The government and its propagandist anti-Kashmir media had repeatedly been raking up the issue of police personnel provided to resistance leadership to politicise, knowing fully well it has no bearing nor can it in any way change the reality of the lingering Kashmir dispute or the situation on ground or our principled stand and outlook regarding its resolution. With or without these police personnel at Hurriyat residence all remains the same,” the statement said.
The spokesman said whenever the issue was raised, Mirwaiz had repeatedly said “from the pulpit of the Jamia Masjid that the government can withdraw it”.
He said the Hurriyat leaders had never asked for it. “In fact, it was the government that insisted on keeping the personnel based on what they said was their assessment of threat perception,” he said.
The APHC said, “It was the government decision at that time to keep it, today it is their decision to remove it. It’s not an issue for us.”
Separatist leader Abdul Ghani Bhat also said, “Security was provided by state government, I don’t need it. My security is Kashmiri people. There are chances of war between Pakistan and India. Let them address the war issue first.”
The attack on a CRPF convoy had left 40 jawans dead and five injured on Thursday in the biggest such terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan-based terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the attack and had identified the suicide bomber as Adil Dar.
The Central government has reacted strongly to the attack that was carried out on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. At a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government decided to withdraw the most favoured nation status accorded to Pakistan since 1996. Pakistan has, however, refuted the allegation of being behind the terror attack saying “don’t blame us”.
The ministry of external affairs has also been charged with “initiating” steps to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan globally over its continued support of terrorism.