BJP activists protest against withdrawal of security

Members of the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) take part in a protest to demand heightened security for party workers in Srinagar on May 7, 2019, in the wake of violence against political workers in state. (AFP)

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) activists on Tuesday held a protest in Srinagar against the security withdrawal of its political workers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Led by BJP state general secretary Ashok Kaul in the aftermath of the killing of a party leader in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, scores of BJP workers assembled at the Press Enclave, here, and demanded protection to their workers. 

“I will also not take any security till the same is not provided to other political workers as well,” Kaul told reporters.

He said that a formal letter has also been sent to the Additional Director General of Police (Security Wing) in which they have demanded that till full security is not provided to the BJP workers ‘he as general secretary will surrender the security till the demand is not mitigated.’

Kaul also said that he had personally approached SSP Anantnag and SHO Verinag not to withdraw the security of slain BJP district vice-president Gul Muhammad Mir. 

Following Mir’s killing, J&K governor Satya Pal Malik Sunday ordered an inquiry into the killing of political activists belonging to various parties in the state in the past few months. The governor also asked state Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to identify any lapses on the part of security agencies in ensuring the security of political activists.

There have been several instances of militants attacking political or social activists in the state. In the last about two months, four such incidents took place which include militants killing senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard at the District Hospital in Kishtwar on 9 April.

The State Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) last month de-categorized 409 protected persons from the security cover. Following SRCC recommendations security cover including personal security officers (PSOs), escorts and attachment guards were withdrawn from 96 leaders of Congress party followed by 77 of National Conference (NC),66 leaders of BJP and 26 leaders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The SRCC’s recommendations came in the wake of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asking the state government to recover over 2000 police personnel and 250 vehicles, which were given in excess to the entitlement of various protected persons across Jammu and Kashmir.

However, governor Malik Monday said it was wrong to link the issue with the killing of political activists by militants in the Valley.

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