Grandson of late Separatist veteran SAS Geelani, Anees ul Islam (AUI), was appointed as Research Officer in Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Center (SKICC) of J&K Tourism Department in the year 2016. His appointment was a matter of debate and controversy owing to his secessionist family background and their role in the 2016 violent protests and agitation in Kashmir (also called as Burhan Wani agitation) which had claimed over 100 lives besides destruction of public property worth crores.
The 2016 agitation was the brainchild of Jamaat-e-Islami and The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a notorious amalgamation of secessionists. The stated objective of these organizations have been the secession of J&K from Union of India and its merger with Pakistan. AUI’s father Altaf Ahmad Shah (a.k.a Fantosh) and maternal grandfather Syed Ali Shah Geelani are the chief proponents of this anti India cartel.
Being staunch supporters of terrorism and separatism, the family members of AUI have proven culpability in abetting and facilitating terror-related activities on multiple occasions. Simply put, AUI and his family have always been at the forefront of anti-India activities in Kashmir valley. 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 AUI.
At least three close family members of AUI have been found actively involved in secessionism and terrorism. The father of AUI Altaf Ahmad Shah a.k.a Fantosh 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.
Over a period of time with his deep-rooted connections in JeI, he became one of the executive members of Tehreek-i-Hurriyat led by his father-in-law Syed Ali Shah Geelani. AUI’s father Altaf Ahmed Shah is presently lodged in the Tihar Jail in a terror funding case charge-sheeted by NIA.
JeI not only patronizes terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), a globally designated terror group, but is also responsible for fomenting and sustaining terrorism in the valley through multiple cut outs. Through its armed wing HM, JeI advocates and practices the use of violence for seceding J&K from Union of India. Although, the group responsible for the recent spike in violence in the valley is The Resistance Front, TRF (believed to be an off shot of the 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.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the maternal grandfather of AUI 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. 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 glamorizing terrorism. Geelani remained the face of violent Kashmiri separatism till the ISI, sidelined him after abrogation of Art. 370 in Aug 2019.
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?
Credible sources also confirm that AUI prior to his appointment in the government service with a team of his anti-India friends, used to facilitate the operations of drones in and around Srinagar city to shoot law and order incidents and other events that could be used as content for anti-India propaganda by ISI. Such activities of AUI clearly indicate the hidden agenda of AUI 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.
The clouds of suspicion on the security concern of AUI also can be weighed from the fact that AUI’s case of issuance of passport was ‘not recommended’ by the state intelligence apparatus (CID) 2008. However, taking advantage of the gaps and weaknesses in the system AUI succeeded in his maneuvers and secured a passport on the orders of Hon’ble High Court of J&K to visit foreign countries.
According to sources, the appointment of AUI as a Research Officer in SKICC in 2016 was a matter of suspicion. It could be ascertained that AUI’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 between the then politico-administrative framework and the Tehrik-e-Hurriyat leadership 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 then dispensation.
As credible technical evidence against AUI remains a mater 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 soon after his return from Pakistan, within weeks, AUI was appointed to a permanent public position fully funded by government in a manner that has now been found out to be highly irregular and flouted established norms.
That, it was a premeditated decision to give the Government funded public employment to AUI is evident from a number 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 in complete contravention of several judicial pronouncements that has crystallized the settled legal norm on how much weight age should be given to interview marks while deciding merit. Weight age 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 SKICC which was handed over to AUI, is a very sensitive position. SKICC 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?
Another individual named, FAROOQ BHAT, of Pahgsoo of Doda terminated under national security reasons. Farooq Ahmad Bhat came to be appointed as Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) in education department in the year 2005 and after completion of 05 years of service, was regularized as a Teacher (RReT) in the year 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 also supported him in his act and were staunch supporter 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 too has been found to have been actively involved in terrorism. His brother, Mohd Amin Butt a.ka Haroon Khubaib is an active Pak trained Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist.
Mohd Amin Butt presently operating from Pak/PoK was once a dreaded terrorist to have operated in erstwhile Doda district during the period 1997 to 2007. Involved in 10 terror related cases including three (03) murder cases, Butt exfiltrated to Pakistan in the year 2007 to take a important positions in the outfit.
It is a matter of concern that these anti state entities had survived the scrutiny of the intelligence community and mandatory background checks. Having the grandson of the most notorious anti India entity in Kashmir, in a government position is the biggest irony of the state. The fact that a family that berates and belittles the constitution of the same country that it chooses to depend on for a livelihood, speaks volumes about the duplicitous nature of Kashmiri separatism.