Days after a local BJP leader was killed by suspected terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the party has launched a protest against the state administration, currently controlled by the BJP government at the centre. The party's local unit has blamed the administration for Gul Mohammad Mir's death, saying despite him being on the radar of the terrorists, his security was withdrawn.
Jammu and Kashmir is under the President's rule after the BJP withdrew support from the Mehbooba Mufti government last year. The administration is supervised by Governor Satya Pal Malik on the behalf of the central government. The decision to withdraw the security was taken by a committee headed by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subramanium in March this year.
The protest was led by Ashok Koul, a senior party leader. The workers were shouting slogans against Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary, the state's police chief and other officials for withdrawing security accorded to political workers. Mr Koul has announced that he would surrender his security until political workers get security cover.
The Home Ministry (MHA) had announced that security to 900 undeserving persons would be withdrawn, thereby freeing 2768 police personnel and 389 vehicles.
On Saturday evening, suspected terrorists shot dead Gul Mohammad Mir at his home at Verinag. The BJP leader, who was also known "Atal Gul Mohammad", had contested 2008 and 2014 assembly elections on BJP ticket from the Dooru constituency of Anantnag. Mr Koul said said Mr Mir's security was withdrawn despite the fact his house was attacked by terrorists last year.
"I have written a letter to SSP Anantnag, ADG Security and DGP J&K requesting them to restore his security. But they didn't restore his security," Mr Koul said.
"I told the DGP why did they send security to his home after his assassination. Are you deploying the security at his grave now. I asked him to take it back," he added.
Senior political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have strongly condemned the killing. Official sources say two gunmen barged into his home late Saturday evening and snatched his car keys before firing at him. The killers later fled and the car was found the next day.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also took to Twitter to condemn the administration's decision to withdraw security cover to politicians.
"Not long ago, senior BJP leaders were bragging about how undeserving people had their security withdrawn in J&K. I'd warned against the decision then & yesterday's assassination of Gul Mohd Mir only confirms what I'd feared - it was a foolish decision, disconnected from reality," he tweeted.
Omar Abdullah also posted a letter written by the National Conference to the Election Commission on April 2, cautioning against withdrawing or downgrading security given to politicians during the polling period. It also said that the decision was taken at a meeting presided by the Chief Secretary despite having no mandate or locus standi to take a decision.
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