Geelani Grandson Gifted Plum Job in KICC in 2017: The Complete Story
In early 2017, the appointment of Anees ul Islam as Research Officer in Kashmir International Convention Centre (KICC, formerly SKICC), a subsidiary wing of the J&K Tourism Department, caused a furore in Kashmir.
The debate raged because the appointment happened when the agitation over terrorist Burhan Wani’s killing was rocking Kashmir. Separatist Nayeem Khan had revealed in a sting that funds from Pakistan were fueling the agitation. Protests were being engineered so that the youth would clash with the security forces daily.
In the midst of this mayhem, hawkish separatist Syed Ali Geelani’s grandson got a plum job in KICC with an annual salary of Rs 12 lakh plus perks, and assured post-retirement pension. For decades, Pakistan stooge Geelani has played a key role in instigating Kashmiri youth for violence against the state. Geelani’s family has a long history of involvement in ugly activities opposed to public good. Anees’s father Altaf Shah alias Fantoosh was arrested in 2018 in a terror funding case and has been in Tihar jail since.
Anees and Waheed Para
Anees was a very close friend of Waheed Para, who was on the radar of the investigative agencies for his anti-state activities. Para was president of PDP Youth Wing, the PDP spokesperson and Secretary Jammu & Kashmir State Sports Council while the party was in power in a coalition government with BJP.
Sources revealed that the close-knit friendship between Para and Anees has been under the scanner. Their close association revealed the happy links between Kashmiri politicians and separatists. These links have vitiated the political dynamics of Kashmir, since politicians have also become conflict entrepreneurs. They have developed huge vested interest in nourishing the conflict.
Mehbooba’s Blessings for Anees
Being a prime convention centre, KICC is the venue for many government activities. The KZINE investigation has revealed that whenever Mehbooba Mufti visited KICC as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, she would especially seek out Geelani’s grandson and interact with him.
It was not just Mehbooba. The ministers and top officers of the administration and the police who visited KICC would ask for Anees and spend time with him. This sent a clear message in the establishment that Geelani’s grandson was in the big league with the government. Given how Kashmir had kowtowed to the separatists and the terrorists, nobody was surprised by this deference towards Anees. Geelani’s grandson had a direct connect with the top functionaries of the state government.
The investigation carried out by KZINE further revealed that the post of Research Officer was specifically created to provide government employment to Geelani’s grandson. After the controversy over his appointment rocked Kashmir, Mehbooba’s government came out with an elaborate response in an attempt to justify that nothing was wrong with the appointment procedure for Anees.
Anees was employed by the J&K Tourism Department, directly controlled by CM Mehbooba Mufti. Tourism Secretary Farooq Shah was the chairman of the Senior Selection Committee set up for the purpose. Farooq Shah had stated that the selection of Geelani’s grandson was made after following proper rules.”We invited applications from candidates; he was found fit for the post,” Farooq had stated.
Farooq Shah’s claim was a farce. Top sources reveal that the entire appointment procedure for Anees was a sham, since the post had specifically been created for him. Farooq Shah appointed those individuals to the so-called Senior Selection Committee who would not question the appointment of Geelani’s grandson. Whoever within the government who expressed any doubt regarding the appointment was told by Farooq Shah that this work had to be done, and he would not brook any difference of opnion.
It is learnt that some persons within the administration of KICC were not in support of Anees’s appointment. They were silenced with the words: “Jo hota hai honai do. Ye high level ka aadmi hai. Tum kyon bol rahe ho? Ab tumhe hi nikalna hai goli khane? Kya tumhe apni jaan pyari nahin hai?”
Tussle Over Anees Passport
Anees was refused a passport by the State Regional Passport Office on adverse reports from the J&K CID in 2009. He was finally granted his passport following a state high court order. The fact that the CID report later cleared Anees did not surprise anyone at KICC. “These are powerful people. They can manage anything” is the common refrain regarding the positive CID feedback for Anees.
Sources reveal that even now, KICC is facing problems relating to Anees because the post had not been sanctioned by the government but was created locally. Hence there are salary issues within KICC related to the post.
Geelani was holding the Indian state to ransom. He was instigating the youth of Kashmir to resort to violence against the state. Geelani never gave up on the hartal calendar for Kashmir. On his order, militants ensured that all educational institutions in Kashmir remained closed for months together. On the other hand, children from his own family were availing the best education possible. Anees did MBA from Jalandhar, Punjab. Later he went to the UK for another masters in business administration.
Anees Appointment In Contravention Of State Rules
Mehbooba Mufti’s government bent rules to appoint Geelani’s grandson in to a plum post in the government. He was appointed in contravention of the recruitment policy of the state government.
The advertisement titled 01-SKICC of 2016 was published on October 3, 2016 for the post of Research Officer by the Department of Information. According to government record, 196 candidates had applied for the post, out of which 35 were shortlisted. The interview was held on November 5, 2016. A total of 32 candidates were interviewed, out of which Anees was supposedly the top choice.
Sources reveal that the hotelier Mushtaq Chaya played a pivotal role in the appointment of Geelani’s grandson in KICC. He was Geelani’s middleman for the task.
Protest Call Given by Geelani on Interview Date
A bandh call was given by Syed Ali Geelani on the date his grandson was to appear for the interview for KICC. On one side Geelani was provoking the common masses to fight against the government. On the other side, he was making sure that other candidates found it difficult to reach for the interview so that his grandson could get the comfortable government job at KICC.
“In terms of the set criteria, the merit list was drawn by the Selection Committee and submitted to the competent authority for approval for appointment of the suitable candidate, who secured 1st position in order of merit,” the government spokesman said regarding the appointment. He added that the select list was issued on November 30, 2016. Anees ul Islam was appointed in KICC because he secured the top position in the merit list.
Anees is still under scanner of NIA in cases of alleged terror funding. He was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in July 2019 in connection with a terror financing case that related to 2017.
When contacted regarding the bestowing of a government job to Geelani’s grandson, Director KICC Bakshi Javid Humayun said, “You may have seen the pride of the nation, our national flag waving outside the entrance of the convention centre. The flag is a symbol that this institute will not tolerate any kind of activity or somebody’s intention that intends to do harm against the state,” Humayun said.
He added that when he joined KICC in 2018, Anees ul Islam was already working here. “I have never gone to check the parentage of any of my employees. He is a regular employee of KICC, like the other employees here. In fact I didn’t know what his relation to Geelani or Altaf Fantoosh Shah is. I have not investigated any employee regarding his family background including Anees ul Islam. Now you have told me about his relation with Geelanis, so I will speak to the KICC management to know about him. I only know that he is the Research Officer and he has done MBA. I don’t know how and when he was appointed.”
Regarding the CID verification report of Anees Ul Islam, Bakshi replied, “All the employees of KICC have got their clearance from the CID because this is highly sensitive location.”