J&K: Separatist Geelani’s Grandson Among Two Sacked from Govt Service for ‘Aiding Terror Activities’

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Jammu and Kashmir administration sacked Anees-ul-Islam, the grandson of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, from government service on Saturday for allegedly aiding terrorist activities in the union territory. The UT administration terminated Anees from government service using special provisions under Article 311 of the Constitution, officials said.

He was appointed as a research officer in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), which is one of the most prestigious conventions and conference facilities of the J&K government and is used for high-level meetings and VVIP conferences. It is sensitive with regard to topics discussed and subjects dealt with during seminars, symposia and workshops.

According to government sources, Geelani had bartered violence for his grandson’s government job, as the 2016 Kashmir unrest subsided soon after his appointment in SKICC. Geelani, who died on September 1, was the maternal grandfather of Anees. Separatist leader Altaf Ahmad Shah is the father of Anees.

Sources said when Mehbooba Mufti was the chief minister of the erstwhile state of J&K in 2016, SKICC was under the tourism department. Just a few months before his appointment as a government servant, Anees had travelled to Pakistan from July 31 and August 7, 2016, and met Colonel Yasir of the Inter-Services Intelligence at his grandfather’s behest, they added.

The hardcore secessionist Geelani was reportedly central to the unrest in 2016 after militant and local hero Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces. At this time, there was immense pressure from top to appoint Anees while the whole recruitment process was manipulated for his benefit, sources said.

Sources further said before to his appointment as a government servant, Anees would facilitate flying drones in and around Srinagar to shoot videos of law and order incidents and other events, and would pass on the footage to the ISI.

His appointment was found to be highly irregular and, under those circumstances, flouting established norms. It is suspected that the appointment of Anees straight to a position equivalent to that of a gazetted officer’s was funded and controlled by SKICC to bring down violence in the aftermath of the Burhan Wani agitation. A deal, sources said, was struck between Mufti and Geelani. The post of a research officer was lying vacant since 2015, they added.

According to sources, technical inputs also suggest Anees continues to be in touch with three suspects based in United Arad Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Another government servant was also terminated under similar circumstances, but less high-profile nevertheless. Farooq Ahmad Butt was sacked from government service as a school teacher. He was appointed on a contract basis in 2005 and regularised in 2010. His brother, Mohd Amin Butt, is known to be an active Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, operating from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. According to government sources, Farooq was intending to carry out an attack at his brother’s behest. The two have another sibling, Safdar Ali, who is also in jail for terror activities.

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