Prime Example Of How Separatism Was Incentivized
Duplicity Of Kashmiri Separatists – They Happily Benefitted From The Largesse Of The State They Claimed To Hate
In mid-October, the J&K Administration terminated the services of Anees ul Islam, the grandson of late Syed Ali Geelani and son of jailed separatist leader Altaf Shah alias Fantoosh. Anees was dismissed from service “in the interests of the state’s security.” Anees ul Islam had been appointed as Research Officer in Kashmir International Convention Center (KICC) of J&K Tourism Department in 2016. His appointment had remained mired in debate and controversy. The reason: his secessionist family background and their role in the violent protests and agitations in Kashmir.
The 2016 agitation, for example, was the brainchild of Jamaat-e-Islami and The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a notorious amalgamation of secessionists. This was also called as the Burhan Wani agitation, which had claimed over 100 lives besides destruction of public property worth crores. The stated objective of these organizations has been the secession of J&K from the Union of India and its merger with Pakistan. Anees ul Islam’s father Altaf Ahmad Shah and maternal grandfather Syed Ali Shah Geelani were the chief proponents of this anti-India cartel. It is common knowledge in Kashmir that Anees ul Islam and his family have always been at the forefront of anti-India activities in Kashmir valley. Being staunch supporters of terrorism and separatism, the family members of Anees ul Islam have proven culpability in abetting and facilitating terror-related activities on multiple occasions. Many of the violent protests in Kashmir that have led to hundreds of killings have been carried out at the behest of the family of Anees ul Islam.
Close Family Involvement in Secessionism and Terrorism
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the maternal grandfather of Anees ul Islam and head of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (G) was a hardcore secessionist who openly advocated the use of violence as means to secede J&K from Union of India and its merger with Pakistan. Geelani is involved in over 100 FIRs across J&K for hate speeches, advocating violence and protests, delivering provocative speeches against the Indian establishment and security forces, calling for boycott of elections to the democratic institutions of India and J&K, besides glamourizing terrorism. Geelani remained the face of violent Kashmiri separatism till ISI sidelined him after abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
At least two other close family members of Anees ul Islam have been found actively involved in secessionism and terrorism. Altaf Ahmad Shah was among the first founder members of Islami Jamat-e-Tulba (IJT) J&K, the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami, and remained its Nazim-e-Zilla (District President) Srinagar. Jamat-e-Tulba tried to catch students and youth early and embed secessionist thinking among them. Over a period of time, with his deep-rooted connections in Jamaat e Islami, Altaf Ahmad Shah became one of the executive members of Tehreek-i-Hurriyat led by his father-in-law Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Altaf Ahmed Shah is presently lodged in the Tihar Jail in a terror funding case charge-sheeted by NIA.
Jamaat e Islami’s armed wing is terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), a globally designated terror group. Jamaat e Islami is also responsible for fomenting and sustaining terrorism in the valley through multiple terror groups. It advocates and practices the use of violence for seceding J&K from Union of India. The group responsible for the recent spike in violence in the valley is The Resistance Front, TRF. This is believed to be an off shoot of Lashkar e Toiba. But all the valley-based groups largely depend on the JeI and the HM for their local logistics. The JeI and HM use coercion and fear as means to gain local support.
How The State Allowed Itself To Be Arm-Twisted By Geelani
It is difficult to believe that a family with such strong secessionist antecedents and proven culpability in incidents of violence could so easily place themselves in government positions without the active support from within the system. Why were there no red flags from the intelligence agencies? Why did the state allow itself to be arm-twisted by Geelani?
According to sources, the appointment of Anees ul Islam as a Research Officer in SKICC in 2016 was a highly suspicious move. It is alleged that Anees ul Islam’s appointment straightaway to a Gazette grade equivalent position in the government-funded and controlled SKICC was a deal to bring down violence during Burhan Wani agitation. It can be investigated whether this was a deal between the then politico-administrative framework and the Tehrik-e-Hurriyat leadership, which was responsible for orchestrating and leading the violence. Geelani, being the head of the Tehrik, was believed to have entered into a quid pro quo with the state government.
Credible technical evidence against Anees ul Islam remains a matter of confidentiality. The people of the country have a right to know the details of his transactions with the ISI. It is not a matter of coincidence that within weeks of his return from Pakistan, Anees ul Islam was appointed to a permanent public position fully funded by the government in a manner that has now been found out to be highly irregular and flouted established norms.
Why Giving A Govt Job To Anees ul Islam Was A Premeditated Decision
That, it was a premeditated decision to bestow government-funded public employment to Anees ul Islam is evident from a number of facts:
(a) There was no urgency of filling in the post which was lying vacant since 2005.
(c) No merit list, an absolute must in any selection proceeding whatsoever, was prepared.
(d) In fact, right from the start, that is, at the time of advertising the post, the process was rigged by avoiding to notify the scheme of examination or criteria of deciding merit. This is another basic minimum norm which is invariably followed by any selection committee or body.
(e) This is further evidenced by the fact that the appointment of Anees ul Islam was in complete contravention of several judicial pronouncements that have crystallized the settled legal norm on how much weightage should be given to interview marks while deciding merit. Weightage given to interview marks were deliberately increased against laid out judicial norms 25% (20% to interview and 5% to personality).
It is also relevant to note that the position of Research Officer in KICC which was handed over to Anees ul Islam is a very sensitive position. KICC is the most prestigious convention and conferencing facility of the J&K Government which is used for very high level meetings and conferences. It is sensitive from the view point of the topics and subjects dealt during seminars, symposia and workshops. It is also sensitive from the view point of the VIPs under high level of threat who attend the events. Very recently the President of India presided over the convocation ceremony of the University of Kashmir. Can the responsibility of such an important establishment be handed over to a person who has been deeply embedded in anti-India activities?
The services of one Farooq Ahmad Bhat of Pahgsoo, Doda, have been terminated under national security reasons. Farooq was appointed as Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) in the Education Department in 2005. After completion of five years of service, he was regularized as a Teacher (RReT) in 2010.
Farooq was involved in building a terror network in Doda district with the ultimate objective of waging war against the Union of India. Farooq’s family members supported him in his act and were staunch supporters of terrorism. The family members were not only aware of the intentions and activities of Farooq but were equally liable for abetting and facilitating terror-related activities. Farooq associated himself in providing logistic support and shelter to the terrorists and thus facilitated planning and launching of terror attacks.
Farooq’s brother Mohd Amin Butt aka Haroon Khubaib has been found to have been actively involved in terrorism. Amin is an active Pak trained Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist. He is presently operating from POK. He was once a dreaded terrorist and operated in the erstwhile Doda district from 1997 to 2007. Butt was involved in ten terror-related cases including three murder cases. He exfiltrated to Pakistan in 2007 to take up an important position in LeT.
How separatism was incentivized, rewarded by the state
It is a matter of concern that these anti state entities had survived the scrutiny of the intelligence community and the mandatory background checks. The grandson of the most notorious anti India entity in Kashmir bestowed with a government position – this is both an irony and a tragedy. It speaks volumes about how Kashmir separatism was earlier addressed by the state. It was incentivized and rewarded by the state. At the same time, another fact must also be considered. Syed Ali Geelani and his family consistently berated and belittled the Constitution of India. Geelani’s grandson chose to depend on India for a government job with a plush, regular salary. This speaks volumes about the duplicitous nature of Kashmiri separatism.
Anees ul Islam Was Engaged in Anti-India Activities
Mehbooba Govt Offered Him Job Through Waheed Para To Lure Geelani To End 2016 Agitation
Credible sources confirm that prior to his appointment in government service, Anees ul Islam used to facilitate the operations of drones in and around Srinagar city with a team of his anti-India friends. The drones were used to shoot live footage of law and order incidents and other events that could be used as content for anti-India propaganda by ISI. Such activities of clearly indicate the hidden agenda of Anees ul Islam being carried out on the behest of his close family members who were at the forefront of fomenting terrorism in the UT of J&K. Anees ul Islam managed to get an out-of-turn job as research officer in SK International Convention Center (SKICC), a subsidiary wing of the J&K tourism department, during Mehbooba Mufti government in 2016. The Mufti government through Waheed-ud-din Para, Mehbooba’s key aide, offered the job to Geelani’s grandson in lieu of calling off the protests across Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter.
Notably, the government issued an advertisement calling for application from aspirants with MBA degree for the post of research officer in SKICC. However, no candidate was called for interview except Geelani’s grandson Anees-ul-islam. He was thereafter selected for the post. Records reveal that he was already working on the said post as ad havoc staff member.
The clouds of suspicion on the security concern of Anees ul Islam also can be weighed from the fact that the issuance of his passport was stamped as ‘not recommended’ by the state intelligence apparatus (CID) in 2008. However, taking advantage of the gaps and weaknesses in the system, Anees ul Islam succeeded in his maneuvers and secured a passport on the orders of Hon’ble High Court of J&K to visit foreign countries.
Ruwa Shah is Geelani’s granddaughter and the real sister of Anees ul Islam. Ruwa is a journalist by profession, and the multimedia heir of the separatist family. Ruwa writes for various international journals and also hosts the Ruwa Shah Show broadcasted by South Africa based Salaam Media. Through her show, Ruwa propagates false narratives against the Indian government based on factually incorrect data. Brought up in Kashmir under the largesse of the Indian government and the protection of state forces, Ruwa Shah has shifted base to Turkey from where she spearheads the anti-India narrative.
It may be pertinent to mention that a large number of anti-India Kashmiri activists have found shelter in Turkey since 2015. Turkey has become the new epicenter of the narrative war against India. Ruwa Shah played the victim card all this while, and continues to do so daily. Ruwa Shah uses her media and social media skills through the gullible platforms to spread the ideologies of her father and grandfather. Happily, her brother continued to enjoy state patronage with full benefits of a government job in India.