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Jammu and Kashmir: Over 400 politicians get back security cover after complaint to Election Commission

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 8 April 2019, 8:54 IST

The security cover of over 400 politicians in Jammu and Kashmir, which were withdrawn after Pulwama suicide bomber attack in February, has been restored. The development came after all the major political parties in the state complained to the Election Commission of India about the withdrawal of security. Governor Satya Pal Malik restored the security of the politicians.

The decision to withdraw the security cover was taken by Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had irked widespread protests from parties who highlighted the risk to mainstream politicians in the state. The parties accused that the withdrawal of security was a conspiracy to sabotage the election process and jeopardise the safety of political workers in the terrorism-hit state.

According to the sources, Governor Malik has expressed his displeasure over the chief secretary presiding over the security review meeting in which the decision to withdraw security to political workers was taken.

"Never in the past, this meeting was presided over by any civilian officer and it was for the first time chief secretary presided over it and took the decision of withdrawing security of hundreds of political workers," sources said.

"A chain of command (of security officials) will review the security of political workers from time to time. In all circumstances, the decision should go through a governor (sic)," he said.

"It's a not a prestige issue for us. It only needs to be rationalised. We will never jeopardise anybody's security," the governor said.

Jammu and Kashmir are under governor’s rule since last year after BJP ended alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP. The voting for the Lok Sabha elections in J&K will be held in five phases from April 11 to May 6 and results will be declared on May 23.

Also read: India planning another attack between April 16-20: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Qureshi

First published: 8 April 2019, 8:55 IST