The security of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq as also various politicians and police officials has been “thinned” because additional manpower was required for Amarnath yatra and law and order, a top police official said on Thursday.
Once the yatra gets over, the security situation and the threat perception of Mirwaiz would be reviewed and, if need be, his security would be increased again, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan told reporters in Srinagar.
He was responding when asked whether the security of Farooq, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference, had been downgraded because of last month’s incident of lynching of Deputy Superintendent of Police Ayub Pandith outside the Jamia Masjid in old Srinagar where Mirwaiz is the head priest.
“As you know Amarnath yatra is underway. Our maximum manpower is committed to the yatra. And after this, we have some special days ahead in the run up to this (slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander) Burhan Wani anniversary (on July 8). We again require manpower. Then there are other commitments with regard to law and order. So, we have to pool in our resources. So how do we pool our resources? We pool in our resources by way of thinning various guards,” Khan said.
He added that some police personnel had been withdrawn “whether they are my guards or of Mirwaiz sahab’s or they may be of some other police officer or of a civil officer.” “We have thinned various guards. There were 20-22 guards (for Mirwaiz) and 3-4 have been thinned. Some 4-5 guards of my office have been thinned and also of other officers. We have pooled in another force of say 200-300 people which will be deployed for various duties,” he said.
Asked whether the decision would be reconsidered, the IGP said, “Once these duties are over, we will review the security situation and we will review the threat perception. If required, we will send back these personnel (for Mirwaiz’s security).”