The government on Wednesday removed many police personnel who were deployed for security of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. This is for the first time since the death of Mirwaiz's father, late Moulvi Muhammad Farooq on May 21, 1990 that the security cover of Mirwaiz Umar has been reduced.
Recently, deputy superintendent of police, Faheem Ahmed, who was deployed with Mirwaiz as his security in-charge for the past 15 years, was transferred to Shopian district. A new DySP was posted in his place. However, he didn't join, a source in Hurriyat (M) said.
"Earlier 16 policemen were protecting Mirwaiz and the number has now been reduced to eight only," the source said.
He said the move comes in the wake of lynching of DySP Muhammad Ayub Pandit on June 23 in Nowhatta area of Downtown. "Since that day, extremists have been screaming that Mirwaiz's security should be curtailed," the source said.
Mirwaiz had been provided with Z-security cover by the state government on the basis of "threat perception" and every year his security would be reviewed, said an official.
When contacted, Mirwaiz confirmed that his security cover has been reduced. "When my father was martyred under a deep conspiracy, the family shifted to Mirwaiz Manzil at Rajouri Kadal for some time. On our return to Nigeen residence, policemen had been deployed there. When the family resisted this move, we were informed that the police personnel will not be removed as it is not a matter of our (family's) choice but based on government's decision as per their assessment of threat perception to me," he said.
Mirwaiz said neither did he seek security in the past nor does he seek it today. "The concerned authorities can take a call on it anytime and put an end to the politics being played over it," he said.
Kashmir range inspector general of police, Muneer Khan said: "Mirwaiz continues to enjoy Z-security cover and there is no major change in it. Changing a couple of people is a routine process. He continues to be under Z-security cover."