Govt withdraws security of Mirwaiz, 3 other separatists

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Feb 17: The State Government today withdrew security of the senior Hurriyat Conference leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, two days after Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, asked the State Government for it.
A Government order issued today said that the security and other allied arrangements have been withdrawn to the four separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone and Shabir Ahmad Shah.
The order to withdraw security to these four Hurriyat Conference leaders was issued after Home Minister directed the government to do so two days ago.
“There are some elements who are hand in glove with militant organizations and ISI across the border. They are involved in conspiracies too. They are toying with the future of the people, especially the youth, of J&K. There are some elements here who take money from Pakistan and ISI. I have told the officers that the security provided to such people should be reviewed”, the Home Minister had said here.
Soon after the Government announcement on withdrawal of security to four separatist leaders, Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party today said Shabir Shah was never provided any security by the State.
Hurriyat Conference (M) spokesman said that the Government and its propagandist media had repeatedly been raking up the issue of police personnel provided to Hurriyat leaders to politicize, knowingly well that it has no bearing nor can it in any way change the reality of the lingering Kashmir dispute or the situation on ground or our principled stand and outlook regarding its resolution. “With or without these police personnel at Hurriyat residence, all remains the same”, the statement said.
Hurriyat said it was the Government decision at that time to keep it. “Today it’s their decision to remove it. It’s not an issue for us”, he said.
And a complete shutdown was today observed against the targeting of Kashmiris in Jammu and other States in the backdrop of Lethpora Pulwama attack.
Shutdown call given by trade bodies in Kashmir valley had a thorough response on ground with transport remaining off the roads, business establishments shut and all major roads wearing a deserted look.
Trade bodies in protest against the attacks launched against Kashmiris presently staying in Jammu and other States including Delhi, Bangalore and others, had called for the shutdown.
To foil protest demonstrations, administration in Kashmir valley had taken requisite precautionary measures including suspension of internet services and imposition of restriction in already violence infested Old City areas of Srinagar. Additional deployment of security personnel was made in various volatile areas to thwart any law and order disruption.