SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government has spent more than Rs 15 crore on providing security to separatist leaders in the State in the last 10 years, including over Rs 6 crore spent on security for moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The government revealed this in the J&K Legislative Assembly in reply to a cut motion by Pawan Gupta, the MLA from Udampur.
The cost includes that of guard, escort and Personal Security Officers (PSOs) provided to the separatist leaders. According to official statistics, Rs 1.27 crore was spent on the police escort attached with moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in the last 10 years. The government also disclosed that Rs 5.06 crore was spent on guards for the Mirwaiz. The Mirwaiz lives in the Nageen area in downtown Srinagar and his residence is guarded by the police. Besides, a PSO is also attached with the Mirwaiz.
The government further disclosed that Rs 2.34 crore was spent on guard duty for senior separatist leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat. The police guard and six SPOs are attached with Prof Bhat since 2011.
Prof Bhat is an executive member of the moderate Hurriyat Conference led by the Mirwaiz and had reportedly met the Central government’s interlocutor on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma.
The government revealed that Rs 3.09 crore was spent on the guards and PSOs of senior Shia leader and separatist leader Molvi Abbas Ansari.
Ansari is a former chairman of the Hurriyat Conference. The government has also spent Rs 1.04 crore on the security of Shia leader Aga Syed Hassan Mosavi. Six police guards and six SPOs provide a security cover to Mosavi. The government spent Rs 1.65 crore on security for moderate separatist leader Bilal Gani Lone. He is the brother of state minister Sajjad Lone.
The government also disclosed that Rs 34.70 lakh was spent on security for Salim Geelani; Rs 47.95 lakh on Zaffar Akbar Bhat; Rs 81.47 lakh on Shahid ul Islam, Rs 8.74 lakh on Abdul Gani Shah of Kishtwar, Rs 25.21 lakh on Syed Abdul Hussain, Rs 8.74 lakh on Farooq Ahmad Kichloo (Kishtwar), and Rs 22.10 lakh on Masroor Abbas Ansari.
The PSO and guard of Shahid ul Islam, who is media advisor to the Mirwaiz, was withdrawn from July 25, 2017 after his name figured in the National Investigation Agency’s probe into separatist and militant funding in Jammu and Kashmir
Shahid was arrested along with eight other separatist leaders in Kashmir by the NIA and is lodged in Tihar Jail, New Delhi.
The government also disclosed that Rs 2391.48 was spent on security for Yasin Malik.
Yasin Malik and hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani are among the separatist leaders who have not availed of government security.
Mirwaiz alone cost the state over Rs. 6 crore
More than Rs 6 crore was spent on security for moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
The PSO and guard of Shahid ul Islam, who is media advisor to the Mirwaiz, were withdrawn from July 25, 2017 after his name figured in the NIA probe into separatist and militant funding .
Yasin Malik and hardliner Syed Ali Geelani are among the separatist leaders who have not availed of government security.