NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir government provides security cover to separatists in the state and the Central government has nothing to do with it, Parliament was told on Tuesday.
"As reported by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, it provides security cover (to separatists) based on security categorization as decided by the State Security Review Coordination Committee (SSRCC)," Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Lok Sabha in a written reply in response to an question of Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajendra Agrawal.
"Security categorization is reviewed periodically by the SSRCC," he said, stressing that the Central government has nothing to do with it as it is a state subject.
Data presented last month in Jammu and Kashmir assembly reveals that Rs 10.88 crore was spent on the security of separatist leaders, including moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and former chairpersons Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulana Abbas Ansari and others.
A sum of Rs 10.36 crore was spent on the salary of the policemen guarding and protecting the Hurriyat and other separatist leaders, while Rs 49.7 lakh has been spent on the fuel for the vehicles used for escorting the separatist leaders.
According to data, Rs 19.51 lakh was provided on the salary of the guards/escort of Mirwaiz in 2017-18. Besides, Rs 77.37 lakh was spent on the guard's salary in the current fiscal.
Since 2008-09, Rs 1.27 crore has been spent on the salary of the guards and escort personnel of Mirwaiz. Similarly, Rs 5.06 crore was spent on the guards' salary of Mirwaiz since last 10 years.
Security of former Hurriyat chairman Bhat has cost the state exchequer Rs 2.3 crore in the last 10 years. Similarly, Moulana Abbas's security has cost state Rs 3 crore since 2008-09.
State government was also providing security to Mirwaiz's media secretary Shahid ul Islam till he was arrested by National Investigation Agency in the terror funding case. His security has now been withdrawn.
Now the state is providing the security to only 10 separatist leaders, mostly from the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference. Hardline Hurriyat leaders do not enjoy any security cover.