Jammu and Kashmir: Govt withdraws security of 5 separatist leaders after Pulwama attack

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The government on Sunday withdrew security provided to five separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

The decision came three days after the deadly terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama that cost at least 40 lives.

According to the Jammu and Kashmir administration, all security and vehicles provided to the separatists will be withdrawn by Sunday evening.

An official said, “no security forces or cover will be provided, under any pretext, to them or any other separatists. If they have any other facilities provided by the government, they are to be withdrawn immediately.”

Besides Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the security has been withdrawn from separatist leaders – Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah.

Officials said, Police will review if there are any other separatists who have security or facilities which will be withdrawn forthwith.

Reacting on the security withdrawal 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 “It was the government’s decision at that time; today it’s their decision to remove it. It’s not an issue for us,” the statement added. 

The order came two days after Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir on Friday to review the security situation in the Valley after the Pulwama attack.

Rajnath after reviewing the security situation in valley had said, “security given to people who get funds from Pakistan and its snooping agency ISI should be reviewed.”

“Some elements in Jammu and Kashmir have links with the ISI and terrorist organisations. Their security should be reviewed,” he said.

At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and several injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.