The police have begun a head count of personal security officers guarding resistance leaders in Kashmir, day after home minister Rajnath Singh hinted at reviewing the security cover provided to "certain elements" in the Valley.
Many leaders from Hurriyat Conference (M) including its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulana Abbas Ansari and Bilal Gani Lone happen to be under police protection, while from the Hurriyat Conference (G), only Aga Syed Al Mousvi Al-Safavi has a security cover.
On Friday, the union home minister told journalists in Srinagar that there were some people in Kashmir who were "taking money from Pakistan and ISI" and that he has directed the state administration to "review the security of such people".
Singh, however, didn't clarify as to whether the security cover of any resistance leader would be withdrawn or trimmed.
A source disclosed to Greater Kashmir that the security in-charge of the Hurriyat (M) chairman has been asked to submit details on total PSOs deployed for the security of Mirwaiz and submit the same to the security wing of Kashmir.
"The list (of PSOs deployed with Mirwaiz) is being prepared along with other relevant details as sought by the security wing of the police," the source said.
The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman had eight to 10 security guards for his protection until the lynching of a deputy superintendent of police Muhammad Ayoub at Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta, Srinagar, in 2017.
"After the lynching incident, the security cover of Mirwaiz was trimmed to six PSOs," a source said.
Another source said the security details of Hurriyat (M) leaders Bilal Lone and Abdul GaniBhat were also "being reviewed".
"Yes, in-charge of Lone's security has submitted the details of the number of PSOs deployed for his protection. The same exercise was carried out at the residence of Prof Bhat," the source said.
The security review of other leaders including Moulana Ansari and Aga Syed Al-Mousvi will be carried out on Monday.
A police officer, wishing not to be named, said the exercise was carried out on the directions of union home minister.
"We don't know whether the security cover of separatists would be trimmed or withdrawn. We will complete the review and forward our report to the union ministry of home affairs for further action," he said.
Meanwhile, a source said the once the security detailing of the resistance leaders would be completed, union home secretary Rajiv Guaba would take a final call on whether to withdraw the security of these leaders or to trim it.