Separatist leaders’ security withdrawn, Abdul Ghani Bhat says don’t need it

New DelhiL Cracking down on pro-Pakistan elements in Kashmir, the government on Sunday withdrew security provided to five separatist leaders, meeting a long-pending demand by various sections.

The decision comes in the wake of Pulwama terror attack in which around 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

The separatist leaders whose security was withdrawn included All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

“The Government is issuing orders withdrawing all security and any government facilities provided to the following separatist leaders namely Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah,” read the order by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

Reacting to the move, Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Bhat said, “This security was provided to me by the government and I don’t need this. My security is Kashmiri people. I am not afraid of death and it can happen any time to anyone. Leave this issue of security cover to Hurriyat leaders aside and address the issue between Pakistan and India as there seems to be a chance of war between the two.”

As per orders of the state government, all security and any vehicles provided to them will stand withdrawn by today evening.

No security forces or cover should be provided, under any pretext, to them or any other separatists said the administration order.

The state administration has also said that the Police Headquarters will review if there are any other separatists who have government security or facilities and will withdraw these immediately.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had given an indication in this regard on Friday when he visited Kashmir to assess situation arising out of the Pulwama attack a day earlier.

Singh, after chairing a high-level security meet, had said that the security of those hobnobbing with Pakistan and it’s intelligence agency ISI and getting funds from there should be “reviewed”.

Various sections of the society have been questioning why the separatists were being provided security by the government when they openly propagated pro-Pakistan stand.