Spotlight on withdrawing security cover of Separatists in Kashmir Valley
The first ever incident of a lynching of a senior police officer outside the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar has once again put the spotlight on withdrawing thick blanket of security cover extended to the separatists in Kashmir valley.
A Deputy Superintendent of Police identified as Mohd Ayoub Pandith was lynched outside the mosque by the followers of Mirwaiz Omar Farooq late Thursday night. The police officer was detailed for security duty to ensure worshippers safety in the wake of the volatile situation in Kashmir valley.
Close relatives of Pandith claimed the attackers believed he was a Kashmir Pandit hence lynched him to death after verifying his name on the identity card he was carrying. Pandith was cornered by the attackers after he stepped out of the mosque after checking access control of the mosque.
The barbaric attack on the police officer was widely condemned by the mainstream politicians in Kashmir valley including Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and opposition leader Omar Abdullah.
Interestingly, for the first time anger against the separatists spilled onto the streets when mourners assembled outside the residence of martyred police officer questioned the politics of separatists.
Even angry policemen shared their anguish with the top brass of the state police claiming their hands have been tied by the ruling dispensation in the state by ordering them to show restraint in the face of extreme provocations.
What kind of Islam were the attackers practicing?
The lynching of the police officer has also shaken the conscious of the civil society of Kashmir while questions were raised over the ongoing struggle to attain Freedom (Azadi).
The sisters of the slain police officer Friday questioned the Islam practiced by the attackers.
They said how could someone be attacked and killed during this holy month and that too outside the mosque?
“Was he (Dy SP) an informer? What kind of prayers had they come to offer? Had they come to read this kind of Namaz only?” said his wailing sister.
Some other wailing relatives also questioned the hardline separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani. “Where is Geelani now?” said his another relative.
“Is this the azadi (freedom) we are fighting for that we have started lynching people? What shall we do with such Azadi?” she asked.
“Our children are getting orphaned. They (the mob) did not just kill one person, but three more with him,” she said, referring to Pandith’s wife and two kids.
CRORES SPENT ON PROVIDING SECURITY TO SEPARATISTS?
The state government is spending crores of rupees on protecting separatists.
Recently when an RTI activist from Jammu sought details of expenditure incurred on providing security cover to separatists the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government shied away from disclosing the expenditure done on Kashmiri separatist leaders for the last two years.
The state government claimed it cannot share the details because of threat perception to these leaders.
According to the officials of the state Home Department, at least eight Hurriyat Conference leaders have been provided security cover in the Kashmir Valley, except Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Bilal Lone, Molvi Abbas Ansari and AB Gani Bhat all are enjoying round the clock security cover.
Earlier, on April 1, 2015, the state government had disclosed in the Assembly that over Rs 506.75 crores were spent on the security cover of 1472 political activists including Kashmiri separatists leaders in the state in the last five years.
The state government at that time informed the Assembly that during this year, an amount of Rs 118.63 crore was spent on security of 1472 political activists in the state and in 2010-11, the amount spent was Rs 85.95 crores.While in 2011-12, Rs 93.70 crore was spent on security cover of political activists, in 2015 the state government informed that the total expenditure incurred on security of political activists in 2012-13 touched Rs 101.06 crore and it was Rs 107.06 crore in 2013-14.
Till January 2017 as many as 1785 protected persons were availing security cover either in the form of PSO’s/residential guard/vehicle/accommodation. Besides there were 284 political activists in the state who were availing secured hotel accommodation.