Kashmiri separatist leaders receive about Rs. 100 crore from Pakistan annually to create unrest in Kashmir, chant anti-India slogans and keep the Valley boiling. As if to reward them for these activities, the Indian government rewards them with perks and protection that costs crores of rupees to the Indian taxpayer every year. In fact, just over the last five years, India has spent Rs. 356 crore on these separatists' security, travel and hotel stays!
But given their role in the latest bout of unrest and violence in the Valley, the separatists maybe about to lose these privileges.
OneIndia was the first to report, on September 3, that the Centre had decided to stop five-star treatment for the separatists.
Most ironically, while the separatists speak for, even instigate, militancy and Pakistan's terrorist proxies such as the Hizbul Mujahideen who are responsible for the killing of thousands of people, both security forces and civilians, since 1990, India goes out of its way to protect their lives.
India has spent Rs. 309 crore to provide security to the separatists over the last five years, with some 950 security men guarding them round-the-clock, according to data provided by the J&K government in 2015.
Travel and hotel bills
The government has also spent Rs 21 crore on putting up these separatists in luxury hotels and Rs. 26.43 crore on fuel for them to travel around -- and spread their anti-India venom!
Ajat Shatru, a BJP legislator in Kashmir, says that the state and Centre have together spent Rs. 560 crore over the past five years on the separatists. Flanked and well-protected by 950 security personnel, the separatists have been instigating young Kashmiri boys to indulge in the stone-pelting protests that have kept Kashmir on the boil for two months now.
Security was provided to the separatists after Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, the father of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and the chairman of the All-Jammu and Kashmir Awami Action Committee, was gunned down in 1990.
No more going soft on separatists
When Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Jammu and Kashmir with an all-party delegation on Sunday, he advised Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to give up her soft stance on separatism and act tough on the separatists.
The Centre made it clear that the separatists are the "ring masters" of the stone-pelting protests.
On Tuesday, Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the visit to J&K and told him how the separatists had snubbed members of the delegation.
Further, during a meeting with the the chiefs of the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau, it was decided that the separatists' wings must be clipped, sources said.
Actions may include withdrawing government-provided security to the separatists. Restrictions may also be placed on their travel and their passports may not be renewed.
The Prime Minister is said to have given his approval for these actions.