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Police start reviewing security of Kashmir-based political leaders

The move comes after the killing of former BJP district president along with his father and brother in Bandipora last week.

Updated: Jul 14, 2020 21:06 IST

By Mir Ehsan, Hindustan Times Srinagar

A CRPF jawan keeps a watch on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway ahead of the Amarnath Yatra on Tuesday. (PTI)

After the killing of former BJP district president along with his father and brother in Bandipora last week, the police have started reviewing the security of leaders of different political parties based in Kashmir.

Police said BJP leader Waseem Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Suhail Bashir were killed by two Lashkar militants in a pre-planned attack, despite them having a posse of ten security personnel, who have been arrested and dismissed from their services for being absent when the militants targeted the trio from a close range.

Politicians from various mainstream parties have expressed concern over their security arrangements, especially in Kashmir. Two BJP leaders, including Yuwa Morcha’s Baramulla president Maroof Bhat and party vice-president from Kupwara Asif Ahmad, recently resigned from their posts, owing to the issue.

A senior police officer confirmed that the security of politicians is being reviewed and could also be upgraded on the risk assessment of different leaders. “After the political killings in Bandipora, the security of party leaders is being again reviewed,” the officer said.

Top BJP leaders like general secretary Ram Madhav and state president Ravinder Raina had also flagged the issue of security of their leaders before police officials.

Confirming that two BJP leaders resigned from the party in Kashmir after the killing of Waseem Bari and his family members, BJP state spokesperson Altaf Thakur said, “Most of our workers have security, but leaders are still without security. The party leadership has taken up the issue with the government.”

Thakur said they have been assured that within a week’s time the security of politicians will be reviewed. “The security of not only BJP leaders, but those affiliated with other political parties would also be reviewed or upgraded,” he said.

Last month, Congress sarpanch from Anantnag Ajay Pandita was also killed by militants. The Congress had said that despite threat and requests he wasn’t provided any security cover.

After the revocation of Article 370 last year, the security of many politicians affiliated with different parties was downsized or withdrawn.

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