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Posted at: May 26, 2018, 12:11 AM; last updated: May 26, 2018, 12:11 AM (IST)

Youth Cong leader given security as per entitlement, J&K tells SC

New Delhi, May 25

The J&K Police on Friday told the Supreme Court that a youth Congress leader, who has claimed that the security provided to him was withdrawn by the authorities without notice, was an ‘X-2 category protectee’ and was being provided with security as per his entitlement.

Denying the claims of Abid Imitaz Bhat, national secretary of the Indian Youth Congress, the state police told a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra that his security was not withdrawn and the February 19 recommendation of the Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) was implemented in his case.

In an affidavit filed by Munir Ahmad Khan, Additional Director General of Police (security), Jammu and Kashmir, the police has said that Bhat’s case was placed before the SRCC and after assessment of threat, he was categorised as a ‘X-2 protectee’ by the panel at its meeting on February 19 this year.

“It is humbly submitted that the present petitioner has requisite security as per his entitlement on the date of filing of the contempt petition and even as on date. The security provided to the present petitioner has not been reduced below his entitlement as X-2 category protectee,” said the affidavit, filed through advocate Shoeb Alam, who represents the J&K Government.

“The entitlement of an X-2 protectee is that of 2 PSOs (personal security officers) in the Kashmir region or one PSO in the Jammu region,” it said, adding that “it is false and denied that after March 12, 2018, the security of the present petitioner was ever reduced below his due entitlement as X-2 category protectee.” The X-2 level is one of the sub-categories of the X level security.

The affidavit said Bhat was stationed in Delhi and as per the procedure, he was provided with security as and when he visits Jammu and Kashmir pursuant to his intimation to the security control room.

“The state is duty-bound to follow all directions passed by this court and it is most respectfully submitted that there is neither any violation of any undertaking nor wilful disobedience or otherwise of any orders or directions of this court,” it said, adding that it has been decided that Bhat shall henceforth be provided with PSO, as per his entitlement, who can accompany him on his visits throughout the state of J&K.

During the brief hearing, Bhat’s counsel said they would file a rejoinder to the affidavit, after which the bench posted the matter for hearing after summer vacation. When Bhat’s counsel said the affidavit should have been filed by the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, advocate Shoeb Alam said, “The Chief Secretary has nothing to do with it. The affidavit has been filed by the ADGP (security)”.

On May 22, the apex court had asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to file an affidavit on the plea by Bhat who has sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the authorities for withdrawing his security without giving him any notice.

In March, the state government had informed the top court that it had provided X-2 category security cover to Bhat, who has complained of threat to his life.

The apex court had then directed the state to continue to provide security cover to him unless there was a change in threat perception and said the state government should give due notice to Bhat before his security cover is withdrawn. 

X-2 protectee category 

In an affidavit filed by Munir Ahmad Khan, Additional Director General of Police (security), the police has said that Abid Imitaz Bhat’s case was placed before the Security Review Coordination Committee and after assessment of the threat, he was categorised as a ‘X-2 protectee’ by the panel at its meeting on February 19 this year. “It is humbly submitted that the present petitioner has requisite security as per his entitlement on the date of filing of the contempt petition and even as on date,” said the affidavit.  — PTI

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