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The Jammu and Kashmir police has reduced the security cover provided to the legislators of Jammu region, while the security cover of Kashmir-based legislators will be reviewed soon. The new move came after the change of ministerial status of 25 legislators after the breakdown of alliance between PDP/BJP.

According to a formal communiqué issued by the inspector general of police Jammu zone, to all the senior superintendents of police (SSPs) of the region, after the imposition of Governor’s rule in J&K, all the members of legislative assembly falls under the status of MLA and MLCs, except for the speaker of the Assembly, Nirmal Singh, whose security cover would remain intact.

As per the orders issued by IGP Jammu zone on July 11, 2018, MLAs and MLCs are entitled to security as per the categorisation fixed by the security headquarters of Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, the guards, escorts and personal security officers (PSOs) deployed over and above with MLAs, and MLCs from respective districts will be withdrawn immediately and a compliance report will be furnished at the police headquarters in Jammu within two days. Since the State Assembly is yet to be dissolved by the Governor, the security cover of the speaker would remain unchanged.

As per police sources. the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) who has the largest number of legislators in the Jammu region will be the most affected. The party has about 25 MLAs and 11 MLCs. In addition to withdrawing security cover provided to MLA’s and MLC’s, the new move is also looking to withdraw security cover provided to people who are neither MLA nor MLC but had still received death threats earlier.

The police however, said that the legislators putting up in Kashmir will continue to have their existing cover till the review is done. “Kashmir is totally different from Jammu. For the time being, legislators of various political parties will have their security cover intact as there is more threats against them than those staying in Jammu,” says Additional director general of police (ADGP) Security, Law and Order, Muneer Khan. “We shall see who would require more guards and whose cover needs to be slimmed. But this is all subject to a thorough security review that will take place soon,” he added.

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