Security cover of 18 separatist leaders and 155 J&K politicians have been withdrawn after the deadly Pulwama attack on February 14, in which 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives.

An order issued by the J&K administration late on Wednesday said security cover of separatists and some mainstream politicians was also being withdrawn apart from those that were initially withdrawn on February 18.

As per the new order, the new list includes names from the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. Some of them are Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, former IAS officer Shah Faesal and PDP leader Waheed Para.

“Over 1000 personal security guards and 100 vehicles provided to the secured persons are being withdrawn,” officials said here. The security covers of four senior separatist leaders- Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday.

Pulwama terror attack: Govt withdraws security cover of five Kashmir separatist leaders

The decision to cut down heavily on separatist leaders’ cover was taken in the aftermath of Pulwama attack when an explosive-packed SUV rammed into a bus of CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway killing 40 paramilitary troopers on the spot in the worst-ever terror attack in the state since militancy struck there in 1989.

(With IANS Inputs)