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J&K Administration Withdraws Security of 5 Separatist Leaders

However, there is no mention of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani in the order.

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India
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The security cover of six separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was withdrawn on Sunday, 17 February, in a decision that comes in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror strike in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, officials said.

Besides Mirwaiz, the security cover of Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi, Fazal Haq Qureshi and Shabir Shah has been withdrawn, they said.

While there was no categorisation of security for these leaders, the state government in consultation with the Centre had provided them ad hoc security, keeping in mind the threat to their lives from some militant groups.

Militants of Hizbul Mujahideen had killed Umar's father, Mirwaiz Farooq, in 1990 and Abdul Gani Lone in 2002.

No security was provided to pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and JKLF chief Yaseen Malik.

According to the order, all security and vehicles provided to the separatists will stand withdrawn by Sunday evening. 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 If they have any other facilities provided by the government, they are to be withdrawn forthwith.

Catch all the live updates on the Pulwama attack here.

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Rajnath’s Earlier Hint

Police will review if there are any other separatists who have security or facilities and they will be withdrawn immediately, the officials said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Srinagar on Friday, had said security given to people getting 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 had said after reviewing security in the aftermath of the dastardly terror attack.

Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.

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The bus was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.

Govt Order Propaganda: Hurriyat

Hurriyat spokesman termed the government order ‘propaganda’ and said it has no bearing on the Kashmir dispute or the situation on ground and it can in no way change the reality.

"With or without these police personnel at the Hurriyat residence, everything remains the same," the spokesman said in a statement, adding, the whenever an issue was made, Mirwaiz announced from the pulpit of the Jamia Masjid that the government can withdraw the security cover.

Mirwaiz is one of the religious heads in Kashmir valley.

The spokesman said the Hurriyat leaders had never asked for security "In fact, it was the government that insisted on keeping the personnel based on what they said was their assessment of threat perception. 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 said.

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J&K BJP Welcomes Move

Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina welcomed the government decision to withdraw security cover of six separatist leaders and said he would "like them to be arrested and jailed" outside the state.

“The hurriyat people are the real enemies of the Kashmiris and they are the ones who ruined the valley. Their security has been withdrawn is a welcome step and I would like them to be arrest and lodged in Tihar and Jodhpur jails (in Delhi and Rajasthan, respectively),” state BJP chief Raina said.

Describing Hurriyat leaders as "sinners", Raina alleged that they were the ones responsible for the killings in Pulwama.

"If Kashmir is facing terrorism today it is because of (Syed Ali Shah) Geelani, Mirwaiz (Umar farooq), Shabir Shah and Yaseen Malik," Raina said.

Their own children are studying in London and enjoying in Europe and they have properties in Dubai but are instigating Kashmiri children to pelt stones and orchestrating innocent killings," he alleged.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Jammu and Kashmir   Hurriyat   Separatist 

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