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Jammu and Kashmir authorities remove security of five separatist leaders



Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi, Shabir Ahmad Shah Five separatist leaders, Pulwama attack, National news

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir authorities today evening withdrew the security cover provided to five separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

“The security cover of five separatist leaders — Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, professor Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Ahmad Shah — has been withdrawn,” confirmed state government sources.

In line with the decision taken earlier in the day, armed guards, vehicles and other facilities to the separatists were withdrawn towards the evening, added the sources.

Sunday’s move comes after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to the Kashmir valley on Friday, said that security provided to those who received money from Pakistan would be reviewed.

Shah is currently in custody in Delhi after being arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Srinagar on July 26, 2017, in connection with a terror funding case.

Security personnel were, however, deployed outside his residence in Srinagar where his family resides.

JK authorities withdrew security cover of five separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq:

Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik were not provided any security cover by the state government.

Reacting to the Jammu and Kashmir authorities’ move, the Hurriyat Conference on Sunday said they had never sought security cover.

“The government had decided on its own to provide security to separatist leaders which was never demanded in the first place,” the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said in a statement.

“Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in fact said many times during his Friday sermons that he wanted withdrawal of the security cover.

“The decision to withdraw security will neither change the stand of separatist leaders nor affect the situation on the ground,” the statement added.



Why Wayanad could be a safe seat for Rahul Gandhi



Wayanad, which could soon become a VVIP constituency if Congress President Rahul Gandhi decides to contest the Lok Sabha election from there, has been a Congress safe seat.

In the last two Lok Sabha elections, in 2014 and 2009, M.I. Shanavas of the Congress won the seat, defeating the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala’s predominantly bipolar electoral politics.
Image result for Why Wayanad could be a safe seat for Rahul Gandhi
In that sense, picking Wayanad as Gandhi’s constituency is a careful choice as is the calibrated demand to have him contest from a southern Indian seat apart from Amethi where he faces Union Minister Smriti Irani.

The Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency is newly formed and was created following fresh delimitation of seats in 2008.

The seat has been vacant since last year following the MP’s death.

For the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the total number of electors in Wayanad was 11,02,097. Shanavas got 410,703 votes, which was 49.86 per cent of votes polled. He defeated Advocate M. Rahmatullam of the CPI, who got 257,264 (31.23 per cent).
Image result for Why Wayanad could be a safe seat for Rahul Gandhi
In that election, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s C. Vasudevan Master got 31,687 votes which was a mere 3.85 per cent of the votes polled. He came a distant fourth in the contest.

K. Muraleedharan of the Nationalist Congress Party did better than the BJP candidate, coming third with 99,663 votes (12.10 per cent).

Compared to 2009, Shanavas had a tough time winning the seat in 2014, scraping through with a little more than 20,000 votes over the second placed CPI candidate to become one of the 44 Congress MPs in the last Lok Sabha.

In 2014, Shanavas got 377,035 votes or 30.18 per cent of the votes polled compared to CPI’s Sathyan Mokeri who got 356,165 votes or 28.51 per cent. However, that election saw the BJP placed third with its candidate P.R. Rasmilnath bagging 80,752 votes (6.46 per cent).

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The others in the race, all bit players, fared as follows. Independent candidate P.V. Anvar got 37,123 votes (2.97 per cent), SDPI’s Jaleel Neelambra got 14,327 votes (1.146 per cent) and WPOI’s Ramla Mampad got 12,645 votes (1.01 per cent).

NOTA votes figured seventh on the tally — 10,735 or 0.85 per cent.

PPA Sageer of AAP got 10,684 votes, which was 0.85 of votes polled, Sathyan Thazemangad, an independent candidate, got 5,476 votes or 0.43 of votes polled.

The Wayanad Lok Sabha seat comprises seven Assembly segments. Three of these are from Wayanad district — Mananthavady (ST), Sulthanbathery (ST) and Kalpetta. One is from Kozikode district (Thiruvambadi) and three are from Malappuram district — Ernad, Nilambur and Wandoor (SC).

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