New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday decided to withdrew security of all separatist leaders, including that of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah, Hashim Qureshi, Bilal Lone and Abdul Ghani Bhat, news agency ANI reported. The development came in the wake of 40 CRPF soldiers killed in Pulwama terror attack. (CHECK HERE LIEV UPDATES)
The government said, “We are issuing orders withdrawing all security & any govt facilities provided to separatist leaders-Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi & Shabir Shah. All security & any vehicles provided to them will stand withdrawn by today evening.”
“No security cover should be provided under any pretext to them or any separatists. If they’ve any facilities provided by Govt, they’re to be withdrawn forthwith. Police will review if there’re any separatists who’ve Govt security or facilities&will withdraw them immediately,” the statement further read.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the Kashmir Valley on Friday, had said that security provided to those who receive money from Pakistan would be reviewed.
Shah is presently in custody in Delhi after he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Srinagar on July 26, 2017, in connection with a terror funding case. Security cover was, however, deployed outside his residence in Srinagar where his family resides.
Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik were not provided any security cover by the state government.
Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in parts of the Kashmir valley. Shopkeepers in Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Residency Road and other adjoining areas downed their shutters at 3 pm in response to a shutdown called by trade bodies of the Valley.
People protested the Thursday’s attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir by burning Pakistan’s national flag and effigies of terrorists. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the carnage.
The trade bodies have also called for Kashmir bandh on Sunday. The bandh call was issued by the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Forum, Kashmir Economic Alliance and other trade bodies of the Valley.