Amidst the rising political and security tensions in Kashmir after the Pulwama attack, the government has decided to revoke the security cover of 18 separatists and 155 political persons.
This decision is in addition to the previous order in which the government had withdrawn the security cover given to the top Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and four others including Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi, and Shabir Shah.
According to the spokesperson of the Home Department, in the security review meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of state chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is a ‘wastage of scarce state resources’ which could be better utilised elsewhere.
Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are, SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yasin Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat.
Earlier though, it was mentioned that SAS Geelani and Yasin Malik did not have any security cover, but according to latest updates, they were included, in the list of separatists who were entitled to the same. However, they too have been stripped off the security cover.
In addition, the security of 155 political persons and activists, including that of Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS and Wahid Parray, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn.
This measure taken by the government would free over 1000 police personnel and more than 100 vehicles to do regular police work.
In the last 10 years, the Jammu and Kashmir government has spent more than ₹10 crore in providing security to the so-called moderate Hurriyat leaders.
In the aftermath of the horrific attack on a CRPF convoy done by Pakistan based Jaish-e-Muhammad, Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, had announced in Srinagar, that the security provided to elements having links with terrorists will be reviewed. Rajnath Singh had said that separatists are hand in glove with terror organisations, terror forces & ISI across the border. They are involved in terror conspiracies too, he had added significantly.
The horrific Pulwama attack had left the entire nation in a state of shock and rage. The Indian government, resolute to discipline Pakistan has taken several measures against them. The most favoured nation status accorded to Pakistan under WTO norms were withdrawn, and then customs duty of 200% was imposed on all imports from Pakistan. Government is also working towards isolating Pakistan on the global front. PM Narendra Modi had announced after the Pulwama attacks that the Indian Army has been given a free rein to plan and execute a retaliatory action.