Six J&K govt employees axed for separatist links, many under scanner

‘Two dozen scribes working for international news organisations are being probed secretly by the intelligence wing of JKP’.

Around 50 professionals associated with different trades are under the scanner of the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s intelligence wing for their alleged sympathy with the secessionist movement and links with separatist or militant organizations. These people are associated with journalism; some of them are lawyers, while others come from different fields.

Well-placed sources have told The Daily Guardian that around two dozen journalists working for international news organizations are being probed secretly by the intelligence wing of JKP. Some of them are working with news organizations based in Turkey and other Muslim countries sympathetic to the separatist movement in Kashmir. Sources said that while some of the journalists are working from Kashmir, some have left the Valley and are operating from outside the country. According to sources, some lawyers, too, are under the scanner for their separatist leanings. “These people are being probed for not only for the separatist links, but also the kind of cases they are taking up in the courts,” sources said.

The administration is going very harsh on its employees who have allegedly been found involved in separatist activities or their links with the terror groups have been established. Only yesterday, six employees of the Jammu and Kashmir government, including two police constables, were sacked for alleged links with militants, officials said. These sackings were cleared by a designated committee of the Jammu and Kashmir administration constituted for recommending cases under Article 311(2)(c) of the Constitution.

The six employees were dismissed from government service for having alleged terror links and working as Over Ground Workers (OGW), officials said. They included Abdul Hamid Wani, a resident of Bijbehara in Anantnag, who was working as a teacher. The officials alleged that before being in government service, he was a district commander of the now-defunct terrorist outfit, Allah Tigers. It is alleged that he secured the employment by using tacit methods and without following any selection process; by leveraging influence of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and that he was among the key speakers and organisers during the 2016 agitations following the death of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of banned terror group Hizbul Mujahideen. It is also alleged that he propagated secessionist ideology.

Police constable Jaffer Hussain Butt, a resident of Kishtwar in Jammu region, was arrested by the police and charge sheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a case on gun-running, the officials said. At present on bail, Butt is alleged to have provided his car to Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists and facilitated their safe movement, a fact which is explained in the NIA charge-sheet.

Junior assistant Mohd Rafi Butt, also a resident of Kishtwar and posted in the Road and Building Department, was sacked for providing logistical support to Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in Kishtwar and for providing them a safe environment to execute terror plans, they said. His name also figures in an FIR registered by the NIA. He was arrested and is at present on bail.

Liyaqat Ali Kakroo, a resident of Baramulla in North Kashmir and a teacher by profession since 1983, was arrested in 2001 which “revealed that he was a locally trained terrorist,” they said. An explosive substance was recovered from his possession and he was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for two years in 2002. He was subsequently acquitted by the court in both cases. Tariq Mehmood Kohli, a resident of Poonch and posted as a range officer in the Forest Department, was also sacked for allegedly being involved in smuggling of illegal arms, ammunition, explosives, including hard drugs and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) from Pakistan, the officials said. He is alleged to have remained in touch with active militants and is recorded as an OGW in police records.

Another police constable, Showkat Ahmad Khan, a resident of Budgam in Central Kashmir, is alleged to have been involved in looting of weapons from an MLC’s house. He was posted as a PSO with the member of the Legislative Council. He was detained under the PSA in 2019, they said.