Omar Abdullah slams withdrawal of security for mainstream politicians

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday condemned the withdrawal of security cover to mainstream politicians in the state in the wake of the suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers.

“Withdrawal of security to mainstream political workers and office bearers is a retrograde step that will only weaken political activity in the Kashmir Valley,” the National Conference leader said.

He also condemned the attacks on Kashmiris across India and demanded immediate action against the miscreants and asks for the safety of Kashmiris who are by any profession in other states of India.

Meanwhile, Omar also criticized the PM Narendra Modi for not speaking against the alleged harassment of Kashmiri people in various parts of the country.

“At a time when mainstream political parties should be encouraged to step up their activities and build greater contact with people to counter the forces that have supported radicalisation and violence, this will have the opposite fallout,” he said.

Abdullah asked Governor Satya Pal Malik to reconsider the step. “If it is not revisited, we will approach the courts and ask them to intervene.

“I have no doubt this step was taken without taking into consideration inputs from central and state intelligence agencies which can only means it was been done for political purposes and there is an element of pick and choose at play here,” he added.

The security cover of 18 separatist leaders and 155 politicians in Jammu and Kashmir has been withdrawn.

According to an official order, the list covers leaders from the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Others are Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and former IAS officer Shah Faesal.

“Over 1,000 personal security guards and 100 vehicles provided to the secured persons are being withdrawn,” an official said.