Facing criticism on the issue of killing of some political activists by terrorists following the withdrawal of their security cover, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday decided to invite leaders of different political parties to discuss their security concerns and hammer out a viable solution to the issue.

Malik announced this after a high-level meeting of police and security agencies.

The BJP had on Tuesday organised protests on the killing of their party activist Gul Muhammad Mir in South Kashmir last week. An RSS and two BJP leaders were shot dead last month by terrorists in the Kishtwar town of Jammu division.

The Governor had come under severe criticism when a few months ago he withdrew the security cover of several activists of different political parties. National Conference and the PDP had also criticised him for withdrawing security of some top separatists, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.

The Governor said that he would be inviting the leaders of different political parties to discuss their security concerns and how to address them so as to create a secure political and governance environment for one and all.

The Governor undertook a detailed review of the security management related issues in a high-level meeting at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar and was given a sector-wise assessment of the prevailing security situation in the State.

The meeting was attended by K Vijay Kumar, Advisor to Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Dilbag Singh, J&K DGP; Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor, Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, Home Department; Muneer Ahmed Khan, ADGP, Security and SP Pani, IGP, Kashmir.

Expressing concern over the killings of political functionaries belonging to various political parties in the State in last few months, Governor stressed the need for ensuring the safety of protected persons and advised security agencies to give due consideration to the genuine apprehensions of political activists working at the grass root level. The Governor reiterated the need to constantly maintain a close watch on the ground situation and underlined the importance of sustained efforts to bring peace and harmony in the society for the overall benefit of people.

On the directions of the Governor, the Home Department has ordered that Muneer Ahmad Khan, ADGP, Security shall conduct an enquiry into all such attacks that have taken place since October last year. This is with a view to ensuring that all possible measures, general as well as specific, are taken for the security of political workers to enable them to continue their political activities, particularly in view of the terrorist attacks on political workers in recent past. He shall submit his report, covering all the relevant aspects, along with appropriate recommendations within 15 days.

Keeping in view the threats issued by terrorist organisations during the elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Panchayats and the heightened risk faced by elected Sarpanches, Municipal Councillors and Mayors, it was decided that in case any of them requires safe accommodation, they will be provided with a secure room for their stay either at the State or District level. This will come into effect immediately and the Divisional Commissioners and IGs will operationalise this after contacting the Sarpanches and ULB members.

Further, the Governor stated that leaders of different political parties and other organizations may raise their security concerns with the Security headquarters of J&K Police and the due diligence of threat perception will be carried out by the Intelligence agencies before arriving at a decision on the provision of personal security to persons with a perceived threat.