Space For Terror Tolerance Shrinks: Observe The Shift
Over the last few days, an innocuous circular did the rounds in the administrative circles of JK Bank. Circular Number 274 was addressed to all Sectional Heads of the bank. Subject: Regarding Voluntary Retirement of Mr Younis Ahmad Tak, Senior Executive, Code No. 009330, presently posted as S&C (Supervision and Control), Kashmir.
The circular read: Mr Younis Ahmad Tak has sought voluntary retirement from the services of the bank with effect from 1.11.2021. All Business Units/Offices of the Bank are therefore advised to intimate Terminal Benefits Department, Corporate Headquarters, Srinagar at firstname.lastname@example.org , the details of liabilities including contingent liabilities and suspense entries, if any, outstanding against Mr Younis Ahmad Tak. The information must be furnished within 10 days from the date of this circular, failure whereof shall be the sole responsibility of the Incharge/Concerned Officer of the Business Unit/Office, wherefrom subsequently any outstanding is reported.
The circular was signed by Vice President HR of the Bank.
Indicative Of The Change
Within the first ten words of the circular lies the story of the shift in Kashmir. Examine these words carefully. Mr Younis Ahmad Tak has sought voluntary retirement… These words are the new wind vane of Kashmir. Take a good, hard look at them to know which way the wind is blowing.
Edition 5 of KZINE, published in early July, carried a report with the headline, From Jihadis To Government Employees. The report stated: Many Former Militants Who Went To Pakistan For Arms Training Entered the Government System Unchecked. The report referred to the special task force constituted by the UT Administration of Jammu and Kashmir in April 2021. This task force was empowered to identify and dismiss the government employees who had indulged or were indulging in anti-national activities, and were found guilty of endangering the security of the state. “More erring officials have not been identified. This is because the investigating agency lacks the human and technical resources to identify all government officials who have indulged in activities detrimental to the interests of the state,” said the report.
Terror Normalized, Militants Became Government Employees
The KZINE report revealed that during the 1990s, terrorism became normalized in Kashmir. At first, terrorists got their relatives appointed in government departments in the hundreds, dictating terms to department heads over the barrel of the gun. Soon, the terrorists decided that they did not have to live on the fringes of the systems of power. A large number of active terrorists also secured government jobs for themselves. Some instances were mentioned in the KZINE report to provide an insight into how the system is nurturing evil within.
The first incident mentioned in the report was of Mohammad Younis Tak, once a close confidant of separatist Shabir Shah. Tak’s history as a jihadi was mentioned in the news-report under the sub-head: The Man Who Went to Pakistan For Arms Training Works In JK Bank. The Bank Paid Him Salary For The Seven Months He Was In Jihadi Camps.
The report revealed that Tak was very active in the proscribed People’s League headed by shah. He got a job in JK Bank in 1988. In early 1990, Tak crossed over to Pakistan for arms training. He returned seven months later. Tak owned an AK 47 when he returned. The report revealed that after returning from the jihadi camp, Tak resumed duty at the bank. Said the report: “Witness how ludicrous the situation in Kashmir is: Tak even received salary for the seven months for which he was in Pakistan. In this way, the Indian state gifted Tak with salary and associated perks for receiving arms training in jihadi camps to target the Indian state and terrorize the local population. This happened because nobody in the system wanted to bring truth to light. They had neither the spine for it, nor the will.”
What Led To Tak’s Voluntary Retirement?
For the report that appeared in the July edition, KZINE had spoken to Mr Pal Jora, President Human Resource (HR) of JK Bank in this regard. Mr Jora had informed KZINE that there is nothing adverse against Mohd Younis Tak.
What transpired within a month that led to Mr Tak seeking voluntary retirement from the bank? What prompted this action when even after seeking training in jihadi camps in Pakistan, Mr Tak had been working in JK Bank for decades? Is it guilt? Is it shame? Or is it the new red lines in Kashmir?
The report carried by KZINE Edition 5 had also mentioned other instances. Tariq Ahmad Bhat, a militant who had received arms training in Pakistan, was appointed as a teacher in the J&K Education Department. He is currently working at the office of the Zonal Education Officer (ZEO), Bijbehara. Tariq was an active militant. How did he get the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the CID Department, which is mandatory in such cases for securing a job? The third instance mentioned by KZINE was of Bashir Ahmad Mir, an active militant of Tehreek-e-Islami Jamaati. He even had an AK 47 in his possession. Mir was an active militant when he was appointed in Door Darshan Kendra, Srinagar, in 1993-94. No verification was conducted for his appointment.
Time to differentiate between friends and foes
Time has come to strengthen the red lines. Order has to be restored. Intervention by the adversaries of the state has to be minimized. The state is duty-bound to protect its citizens from the saboteurs. The state must remove the filth from within the system, the society, and also from the thought processes.
The state must differentiate between the friends and the foes. Do’s and Don’ts have to be clear and categorical. Voices oscillating between the two should not be tolerated. The so-called mainstream regional political forces, government officials, media persons, trade bodies keep ranting against the state. They dare to do so because of their conviction that response to their acts will be lackadaisical and timid. Their belief is that even if they are booked under relevant laws, it will take years for the case to reach closure in the courts. Time has come for the state to assert its authority. When the situation is so critical, the state should not be content with a reactionary approach. The state must adopt the strategy of OFFENSIVE DEFENSE. The state must not wait for the events to occur and then respond. The state must launch an offensive to weed out unscrupulous elements before they engage in a heinous act.
How to achieve this goal
- The UT Administration must initiate a massive profiling of all the unscrupulous elements in politics, administration, police, media and other fields.Track record of individuals should be ascertained with reference to observation of law and order, information about assets both movable and immovable, sources of income and all other relevant information to monitor and assess each individual case.
- It should be ascertained whether the person or persons under the scanner are honestly paying taxes and filing IT returns.
- Previous cases – registered or pending – should be part of the individual’s profile.
- All the persons under scanner who have criminal cases against them in any court of law should be indexed under various categories based on their profession.
- Pending cases should be expeditiously pursued and fresh cases registered if warranted under law.