J-K government to reduce SSG security cover of former CMs

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The Jammu and Kashmir government will reduce the strength of the Special Security Group (SSG) protecting former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Officials said the decision was taken by the Security Review Coordination Committee, a group that oversees the threat perception of important leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, India Today reported.

The officials said the SSG would be “right-sized” by reducing the number of the elite force to the “bare minimum”. It will be headed by an officer below the rank of Superintendent of Police.

The SSG will now be entrusted with the security of serving chief ministers and their immediate family members.

The decision will entail the withdrawal of the security cover of Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and two other former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, at a time when a number of terror incidents have taken place in Srinagar

The leaders will be provided security by the district police as well as the security wing based on the threat assessment, the officials said.

Some of the SSG personnel would be posted to the security wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police for “close protection team”, they said.

The officials said the remaining SSG personnel are likely to be posted to other wings so that the police force can make the best use of their training and knowledge.

Vehicles and other gadgets will be transferred to the security wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Meanwhile, the SSG will continue functioning till a CM in sworn in after a new assembly is elected.

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