Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir inaugurating the Ayurveda college in Akhnoor (Pic: Courtesy dailyexcelsior.com)
The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha asserted on Wednesday that all employees of anti-national credentials would be purged out of the State institutions and systems and there would be no more any place in the government for the incumbents posing a threat to the unity and sovereignty of the country.
Addressing a function after inauguration of Ayurvedic College at Akhnoor in Jammu, followed by an interview with CNN News 18 network, Sinha said that recruitment of the people of doubtful integrity and undesirable credentials had been “a deliberate and intentional” process in the past which the successive governments should not have overlooked.
With an obvious reference to the termination of eleven government employees, including two sons of the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Salahuddin, who has been designated as a global terrorist by the US government as well as the United Nations, Sinha said that their appointment into the government services was a ‘favour’ and it was not based on merit.
“One was even afraid of hearing the name of persons who were in Government jobs,” he said in an apparent reference to Salahuddin two sons who were among the eleven government employees dismissed from the services last week.
“There will be no place in the Government jobs for those who are a threat to the unity and sovereignty of the country,” Sinha asserted in a stern warning to the Government officials indulging in anti-national activities.
Sinha said that the previous (political) Government had intentionally overlooked such cases, implicitly communicating that a section of the mainstream politicians had been hand-in-glove with the separatists and the militants in Jammu and Kashmir.
“All such cases are under scrutiny and the law enforcement agencies will launch a crackdown to remove such elements from the Government jobs,” he said and pointed out that both the sons of the Hizbul Mujahideen chief were involved in terror funding from abroad.
He disclosed that as per Article 126 of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, an investigation is conducted against the Government employees involved in terrorism who are threat to the State. He clarified that their individual conduct rather than their familial association was pertinent in termination of their services.
“It’s my responsibility to encourage the employees who are hard workers and work with devotion and punish the wrongdoers. There was a provision under Article 126 in the Constitution to take action against the employees involved in terror and secessionism and who are an insider threat to the State. Such an action against the employees was also taken in 2016. We invoked the provisions of the Constitution of India as all the dismissed officials displayed conduct and character of an internal threat,” he said, adding the action was based on proof and there was no prejudice against anyone.
All those dismissed were involved in terror funding and promoting separatism, LG maintained. He said that 20,000 Government jobs have been identified and a process had been initiated for recruitment of the unemployed youths in the most transparent and fair manner. “No clout or money would fetch any jobs. Only merit will matter,” he added.
Official sources, meanwhile, maintained that both of the Hizbul Mujahideen chief’s sons, dismissed last week, had met hawala operators in Saudi Arabia and London for funding terror activities in India. According to these sources, both Shakeel and Shahid, who worked with Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and the UT Government’s Department of Agriculture respectively, had remained in direct contact with one Nazir Ahmed Qureshi of Baramulla.
Qureshi had been allegedly running a hawala syndicate from Saudi Arabia and London to finance terror activities in India.
Sources said that Shahid Yusuf had also received funds from Aijaz Ahmad Bhat alias Aijaz Maqbool Bhat, a close aide of Salahuddin. “Aijaz used various addresses from Saudi Arabia to transfer these funds to Shahid through Western Union Money Transfer. Shahid covertly received funds to launch a terror conspiracy against India.
“Shahid and Shakeel’s modus operandi was quite similar and both used multiple identities to receive terror funds from multiple addresses in Saudi Arabia. Charges were framed against both of Salahuddin’s sons last year”, said an official. According to sources, all the evidence was in files but courtesy a favourable regime, facts were suppressed and evidence buried, against.
“Evidence revealed that Shakeel, who was a backdoor appointee in SKIMS in 1990s, facilitated terror funding on at least six occasions. Shahid , who was appointed in Agriculture Department through backdoor in 2007, has been involved in terror financing on nine occasions”, said an official, justifying the dismissals.
“Shahid even visited Dubai on a passport where his father’s name was mentioned as Yousuf Mir instead of Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah. This was in 1999-2000. He was accompanied by Nasir Mir, the Hizbul Mujahideen operative who lives in Dubai. During his visit Shahid met his father Salahuddin. He also met Nazir Ahmad Qureshi of Baramulla who operates a hawala syndicate from Saudi Arabia and London and finances terror activities in India”, said the official.
“Shakeel was appointed as Lab technician in SKIMS in 1990. Although his activities were known, it was unravelled only after the NIA took over a terror funding case originally pursued by the Special Cell of Delhi Police. The NIA investigation revealed that in 2009-10 Shakeel received money on six occasions from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, the same Hizbul terrorist, who was financing his brother Shahid’s activities”, the official added.
Both, Shakeel and Shahid, have been in jail over the last two years. However, sources close to their family insist that the agencies had actually intercepted one money transfer through a bank from Saudi Arabia which is believed to be an amount of Rs 3.25 lakh which Salahuddin had possibly sent for the treatment of his first wife when she was under treatment at a hospital in Srinagar before her death.
“Nobody knows much about this family. All five of Salahuddin’s sons have been in government service. But apparently none of them is living a luxurious lifestyle and few in the area are convinced that any of the five brothers was involved in subversive activities or terror funding”, said one of their neighbours in Soibug Budgam.