The Union Territory government of Jammu and Kashmir has scaled down the security of former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state, sources in the know of things said on Sunday.
Under the new arrangement, the former chief ministers will not be provided with jammers and ambulances in their cavalcade while travelling in Srinagar district, Jammu and Kashmir officials said.
These facilities were provided to former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
However, during inter-district movement of former chief ministers jammers and ambulances would continue to be deployed, the officials in the security set up of the Jammu and Kashmir administration said.
The Union Territory government’s move came in the wake of the recent decision to downsize the specialised security wing Special Security Group (SSG), which had been created under a law enacted by the Assembly of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir for protection of Chief Ministers and former Chief Ministers in the year 2000.
In January this year, the SSG security cover was withdrawn from the security of these former Chief Ministers.
Now, the former chief minister get the security cover of the Jammu and Kashmir Police supported by the central para-military forces.
The elite force SSG has now been given the responsibility of serving Chief Ministers and their immediate family members.
The Union Territory government decision came amid the continuous threats from across the border when a number of terror incidents have taken place in Srinagar where all of the three chief ministers except Azad reside in Srinagar.
The intelligence agencies have also sent a report to the government apprehending attacks on the political workers, the officials in the security grid said on condition of anonymity.
However, Azad and Abdullah will continue to get the ‘Z’ category security provided by the National Security Guard as usual.
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti will continue to have Z-plus security cover in Jammu and Kashmir but they will likely have a reduced security outside the Union Territory.
The security to the leaders would be provided by the district police as well as the security wing based on threat assessment, the officials said.
The vehicles and other gadgets have been transferred to the police’s security wing, they added.