The Jammu and Kashmir government has spent Rs 11 crore in the last 10 years on the transportation and security of 14 Hurriyat leaders. This gives credence to allegations that the successive governments of the state have been treating the separatists with kids glove.
These numbers were conveyed to independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta by the state government in the J&K Assembly earlier this week. While replying to Gupta, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that Rs 10.86 crore had been spent on the separatists’ security and transportation fuel during the period 2008-2017. Gupta, however, said that the CM had not given a complete answer. While speaking to The Sunday Guardian, he said that Mufti had hidden more than she had revealed.
“This figure does not contain the amount that the state government has spent on their airfare, their travel outside the state, their lodging and the money that the government spends on other things, including medical expenses. Most importantly they have not given data for the biggest separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on whose upkeep the maximum amount is spent. These numbers indicate that the state government has not stopped spending money on these people who openly say that they are pro-Pakistan and anti-India. What is the reason for spending public money on them?” he asked.
Gupta said that the expenses that were shown to have been incurred on the salaries of the constables were computed on the basis of the 2007 salary. “It is obvious that the salary has increased many times in the last 10 years. Secondly, how much was spent on their accommodation and travel to other places? Why is the government hiding this?” Gupta further asked.
As per the replies shared by Mufti, which was accessed by The Sunday Guardian, many of these separatist leaders have been given security cover of at least five armed security guards who move around with them. “It is a matter of prestige for these leaders and, hence, they prevail upon the government to provide them security guards and in order to keep them quiet, successive state governments have had no qualms in giving them what they want. However, the question remains that whom are these leaders afraid of? The terrorists will not touch them since these people too are anti-India,” an official in the Intelligence establishment stated.
The Hurriyat leaders who had been provided the security cover are Aga Syed Hassan Molvi, Molvi Umar Farooq, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Molvi Abbas Ansari, Bilal Gani Lone, Fazal Haq Qureshi, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Saleem Geelani, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Shahid-ul-Islam, Abdul Gani Shah, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Farooq Ahmad Kichloo and Masroor Abbas Ansari.
After the BJP government came to power at the Centre, the year-wise amount spent on the security and transportation fuel of Molvi Umar Farooq was Rs 34,49,058 in 2015, Rs 36,18,247 in 2016 and Rs 37,93,254 in 2017. An amount of Rs 2.15 crore was spent on the security cover and transportation fuel of Prof Abdul Gani Bhat and it was Rs 27.80 lakh in 2015, Rs 30.20 in 2016 and Rs 32.50 lakh in 2017. The government also splurged over Rs 1 crore each on the security cover and transportation fuel of Aga Syed Hassan Molvi, Molvi Abbas Ansari, and Bilal Gani Lone.