Other States

Jammu and Kashmir government withdraws security cover of 5 separatist leaders

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. File  

In the backdrop of the Pulwama attack by a suicide bomber in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed, the Governor’s administration in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday issued orders to withdraw all security personnel and government facilities provided to five separatist leaders in Kashmir.

The separatist leaders included Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, his two close aides Abdul Ghani Bhat and Bilal Ghani Lone. 

Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Shah, who remains behind bars after the Enforcement Directorate arrested him in July 2017, and Democratic Liberation Party chief Hashim Qureshi, one of the accused in the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1971, are also among those whose security stands withdrawn. 



“All security and any vehicles will stand withdrawn from Sunday evening. 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 If they have any other facilities provided by the Government, they are to be withdrawn forthwith,” reads the government order.

It said the police headquarters would also review whether any facilities were offered to other separatists. 

The move comes two days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh talked about acting “against those who get money from across the border and are hand in glove with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).”

Never sought it: Mirwaiz

The Mirwaiz termed the move “a non-issue.” “We never asked for it. The security of separatists was being politicised. It has no bearing nor can it in any way change the reality of the lingering Kashmir dispute,” he said.

The Mirwaiz’s father Moulvi Muhammad Farooq and his uncle were killed by unknown gunmen in two separate incidents since 1990. Lone’s father Abdul Ghani was also killed. The government had blamed “unknown gunmen” for these incidents. 

‘False propaganda’ 

Meanwhile, Mr. Shah’s wife Dr. Bilquees claimed that there was no security cover for her husband. 

“This is a false propaganda. My husband has never ever trusted Indian security,” she said.

Mr. Qureshi said his writings and articles have been “consistently against violence and terrorism in Kashmir” and “he faced a threat.”



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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 7:01:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jammu-and-kashmir-administration-withdraws-security-of-5-separatist-leaders/article26295874.ece

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