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Security of 919 ‘undeserving persons’ withdrawn in J-K, says MHA

The withdrawal of security of these persons has freed 2,768 police personnel and 389 vehicles, which can now be used for election or other useful duties, said an MHA officer, requesting anonymity.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2019 22:06 IST
Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
New Delhi
security,jammu and kashmir,MHA
Ranchi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Senior Security Advisor, Ministry of Home Affairs, K Vijay Kumar, during a review meeting on Left Wing Extremism (LWE), in Ranchi on Friday. (PTI Photo) (PTI5_11_2018_000048B)(PTI)

The ministry of home affairs claimed on Friday that security of 919 “undeserving persons” has been withdrawn in Jammu and Kashmir since the Governor’s rule was imposed in the state on June 20 last year.

The withdrawal of security of these persons has freed 2,768 police personnel and 389 vehicles, which can now be used for election or other useful duties, said an MHA officer, requesting anonymity.

The list of persons whose security cover has been withdrawn by the Jammu and Kashmir administration include 22 separatist leaders, which the MHA officer said, is a clear message to those involved in “anti-national activities”.

In the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack on February 14, security of 155 political leaders in the state was also withdrawn.

The political parties in J&K have criticised the withdrawal of security of their leaders ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, saying it is hampering their political campaign.

The move came following the strict stand taken by the central government on inappropriate usage of scarce police resources in Jammu and Kashmir. It was observed by the MHA that many undeserving persons managed to get security cover resulting in a lack of state police resources for the public at large.

“(Thus), the Jammu and Kashmir government has withdrawn security cover of 919 undeserving persons since the state has come under Governor’s Rule on June 20, 2018, thereby freeing 2,768 police personnel and 389 vehicles,” the officer cited above said.

The MHA had directed the state administration, currently headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik that a case-by-case in-depth review may be taken on merit.

“Following these strict directions, the Jammu and Kashmir State Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) held regular meetings to examine all the cases to ensure strict compliance of norms. After the review, the state government has withdrawn 2,768 police personnel from 919 undeserving persons and also from those who were having security cover excess than their entitlement. A total of 389 vehicles were also withdrawn,” he added.

As per the directions of the home ministry, the SRCC will continue to examine and review the requirement of security cover on case-to-case basis, based on merit, so that scarce and expensive resources could be freed and engaged to do regular police work, said another senior MHA official.

J&K Pradesh Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir said security cover of its leaders was withdrawn or downgraded without any reason. “Even our district presidents who had just one personnel security officer, were asked to return them. The withdrawal of security looks like a conspiracy to hamper our poll campaign, especially in militancy-hit south Kashmir,’’ he said.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) election in-charge, Naem Akthar, has written a letter to the state chief electoral officer on the matter.

“Withdrawing or downgrading security is nothing but a move to demoralise PDP workers and limit their party activities,” Akthar said in the letter.

Earlier, former J&K chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah tweeted: “At a time when the administration has used the excuse of the security environment to refuse to conduct assembly elections this decision is all the more bizarre. God forbid should anything happen to any of these politicians who have had their security withdrawn Governor Malik & his administration will be personally responsible.”

First Published: Apr 05, 2019 21:46 IST