Mehbooba vehicle
social media

Although Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti escaped unhurt in Thursday's road accident, this mishap snowballed into a big controversy as the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) tried to politicize the whole episode. Hours after former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti escaped unhurt in a road accident, her party termed this mishap a "serious security" lapse.

It was only after Omar Abdullah called Mehbooba Mufti's accident a "security lapse" that PDP leaders started issuing statements to toe-line the line of the National Conference vice president.
While leaders and workers protested in Jammu against the alleged "security lapse", the party general secretary issued a statement from Srinagar demanding an inquiry.

The recent road accident involving former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has cast a spotlight on significant security lapses, raising concerns about the safety of prominent leaders in the region.

Expressing deep concern, PDP General Secretary and senior leader Mehboob Beg criticized the inadequate management of the Z Plus protected (ex-CM) convoy during the incident. "The absence of detailed security protocols for a Z+protected individual travelling on a busy highway with a history of targeted attacks. Against the backdrop of Kashmir's turbulent history and the vulnerability of mainstream leaders, any compromise in security measures is a matter of grave concern," Beg said.

Beg also drew attention to the delayed arrangement of an alternative car from Srinagar, which took an hour to materialize.

Mehbooba Mufti
PDP media cell

Accident was a big security lapse

Another PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said, "In the recent incident where Mehbooba Mufti narrowly escaped a road accident, serious security lapses were evident". "The management of Local Road Clearances for X Plus protected vehicles during the incident was inadequate, posing a significant security concern", he said.

He alleged that the withdrawal of Mehbooba Mufti's spear car, a standard part of escort duty, is deeply troubling and raises questions about the security protocols in place.

"The fact that it took an hour to arrange an alternative car from Srinagar for the security department is unacceptable. Z+ security typically includes an optional car in the escort, highlighting a serious lapse in preparedness", he said.

"These lapses demand immediate attention and clarification from the authorities to ensure the safety and security of public leaders", he said.

J&K Police
social media

J&K Police refutes PDP's allegations

Refuting allegations of the PDP, Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday said, "She is a Z+ category protectee and has an extensive and sophisticated security arrangement designed to ensure her safety at all times'.

"Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, a Z+ category protectee has an extensive and sophisticated security arrangement designed to ensure her safety at all times", reads a statement issued by police.

"Her security detail includes a team of 34 personnel, led by a Chief Security Officer of the rank of an Inspector. The security posse includes Personal Security Officers (PSOs) and a Close Proximity Team of specially trained personnel in close combat. It also includes protection on the move to ensure her security on road journeys. She is provided a double escort of eight personnel from the paramilitary. Her residence at Khimber is guarded by a strong contingent of paramilitary guard personnel. Her security convoy comprises multiple vehicles, including a vehicle-mounted jammer to neutralize electronic threats", the statement reads.

"There was a swift response post-accident by Jammu and Kashmir Police. An alternative vehicle was deployed within an hour. It is noteworthy that the accident happened at Bijbehara which is at a distance of approximately 50 km from Srinagar from where the Special BP vehicle was despatched."

"Some of the claims made by the party in the open media about what is part of Z+ security are not factually correct. Ideally, security arrangements of senior protected persons are not discussed in the public domain. However, it has become necessary to reassure our protectees, including party functionaries of PDP, that the security arrangements for Ms. Mufti were and continue to be very much in place", reads the statement.

"Accidents, unfortunately, are many times due to unforeseen factors and road behaviour of other users", the statement reads further.