Govt mulling to withdraw security cover of Separatists

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Nagender Jamwal

The state government has finally decided to remove the security cover, provided to the separatist leaders.

In the name of security, the separatists enjoy around 950 cops to guard them. This costs the government around Rs 50 crore annually.

Sources said that within few days the government plans to “remove” the security provided to the Hurriyat conference leaders particularly of the Chairman of Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar, and his party colleagues while as Mirwaiz who heads the Hurriyat Conference (M) is being provided a Z-security cover, other senior separatist leaders equally avail a high security blanket.

Sources said in a bid to counter the agitation programme as being announced by the Hurriyat leadership, the state government has planned to “cut the security cover to separatists.”

Sources said over a week back a KPS official who was the security incharge of the separatist camp, was called back to his office, while a plan was being prepared to reduce the security cover.

Official sources said reduction of security cover to the Hurriyat leaders would save annually around Rs 50 crores to the state exchequer.

In September 2015, a report quoting officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the Jammu and Kashmir government has spent close to Rs 560 crores for the “maintenance” of Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, in the past five years.

This huge amount has been spent on their travel and accommodation in Kashmir, their elaborate security cover as well as travel out of Kashmir whenever they visit the national capital for talks with government officers and foreign dignitaries.

Now, the central government also plans to stop facilities to the separatist leaders during their foreign tours. The central government has also asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to stop the same provided by the state government, as per reports.

Sources said, “Centre plans to stop providing air tickets, hotel and taxi services to the separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Farooq and Yasin Malik during foreign tours.”

Around Rs 100 crores are spent annual on separatist leaders in which centre shares is 90 percent of the burden while the state spends only 10 percent.

The decision to remove the security cover provided to the separatist leaders has to be taken by the state government. At present, 950 cops are on duty to guard the leaders.

For the last 55 days, life has remained totally paralysed in Kashmir due to curfew and protest shutdown called by the separatists, ever since Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani’s encounter.

A total of 72 people — 69 civilians and three policemen have killed and over 11,000 others injured in the Valley during this period. The government is tightening its noose over Hurriyat hardliner Geelani.

Naeem Geelani, the elder son of Geelani, was recently summoned by National Investigating Agency (NIA) for recording his statement in connection with a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered by the probe agency.

The case pertains to a PE registered by the NIA to probe flow of funds into various bank accounts from overseas which in turn is allegedly being used for anti-national activities in the Valley.

However, NIA said the allegations levelled against the probe agency were totally baseless and that the agency was probing a legitimate case where funds were being received in the state and diverted towards terrorism and anti-national activities.

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