Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin's third son and JKLF top terrorist Bitta Karate's wife are among four Jammu and Kashmir government employees dismissed from service in the latest crackdown against the terror ecosystem. Their appointments, said J&K sources, were done during PDP, Congress, and National Congress regimes overlooking their tainted past.

Ahead of 75th Independence Day, Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha invoked Article 311 of the Constitution to dismiss Assabah Arzoomand Khan, wife of top JKLF terrorist Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate from the JK Administrative Service. She is a 2011 batch officer, Union Territory (UT) officials privy to the decision stated.

Similarly, Pakistan-based Salahuddin's third son, Syed Abdul Mueed, a Manager IT of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI ) was removed from service. The two others sacked — Muheet Ahmad Bhat, a Scientist-D, and Majid Hussain Qadri, Senior Assistant Professor — were with the Kashmir University, said J&K sources.

Around 35 personnel dismissed

So far, the J&K administration has dismissed around 35 personnel for having established terror links. LG Sinha has officially stated that terrorism cannot be stemmed without sniffing out the enabling ecosystem.

The J&K administration sources alleged Assabah first got a job in the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology-Kashmir in 2003 at a time when Abdul Aziz Zargar was the State's Agriculture Minister in the PDP Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government.

The J&K sources suspect Zargar might have appointed her. Sargar himself had terrorist links as he had offered his resignation in September 2003 following revelations that the Akshardham temple attack's initial planning had taken at his residence. But former CM Sayeed did not accept his resignation, the then media reports point out.

The UT officials accused her of being "a diehard secessionist having deep ties with terrorist outfits and Pakistan's ISI" and she came into the spotlight during Karate’s trial.

The J&K sources stated that a scrutiny of Assabah's service records revealed that between 2003 and 2007 she was absent from work for months together but no action was taken against her for the serious offence.

Dirty money and road route

Sources also claimed that during her absence from work, Assabah travelled to Germany, the UK, Helsinki, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. She flew to Frankfurt from Delhi in October of 2004 but there are no details of her return with the immigration authorities.

Two months later, she took a flight to London from Delhi but again returned via land route. The investigation has revealed that she was working as a cash mule for the JKLF, said UT sources. While she would fly out from airports, her arrival in India was mostly through the road route between Nepal and Bangladesh which has raised suspicion of the government.

The dirty money Assabah was couriering to India was pumped into terror activities, sources alleged. Finally, she was sacked in 2007. In 2011, however, she cleared the JKAS exam and married Bitta Karate within a few months.

Muheet Ahmad Bhat, was a scientist D in the department of computer sciences of Kashmir University, and an executive member of the Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) from 2017 to 2019. He subsequently became its president from 2017 to 2019. He is alleged to have played a key role in organising student protests and street protests in 2016 in which hundreds had died and thousands were injured.

J&K sources accuse Muheet that he distributed KUTA funds to stone pelters and some families of terrorists including to those killed by security forces. KUTA, the internal inquiry has thrown up, had carefully avoided registration as a society to avoid audit scanners yet continued to use banking channels for the distribution of dirty cash. The J&K officials consider Muheet as a key man who radicalised students and carried out Pakistani propaganda in Kashmir.

Majid Husaain Qadri was a hardcore terrorist of LeT. But before that, he was a student of MBA at Kashmir University in 2001. Government sources said Majid came in contact with two Pakistani LeT terrorists in August 2001 and became LeT points-person for Kashmir University for radicalisation and recruitment.

Later, he became LeT spokesperson in 2003 and remained in that position till his arrest a year later. He was let off terror charges due to investigation failure and in March 2007, he was appointed as a contractual lecturer at in Kashmir University when Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was the chief minister, said JK sources.

No CID scanner

It is learned learnt that to avoid security clearance, Qadri's recruitment case was never sent to the CID for character verification. He was appointed as Assistant Professor at in Kashmir university in 2010 and was working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management of studies before his dismissal.

Banned Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahudin's son Syed Abdul Mueed was suspiciously appointed in 2012 as an IT consultant in JKEDI on a contractual basis during National Conference Chief Minister Omar Abdullah regime.

Sources said rules were circumvented to appoint appointed Mueed since at least three members of the selection panel were known to be terrorist sympathisers. In his case too, no CID verification was done to get security clearance and his contractual appointment was subsequently converted into a permanent one.

Since the time of his appointment, at least three terror attacks were executed in and around the JKEDI complex in Pampore from 2013 to 2019 which took several security forces' lives. "Mueed played a crucial role in these attacks by giving targets and logistics,” sources alleged.

Salahudin’s other two sons, Ahmad Shakeel and Shahid Yousuf were also provided government jobs in brazen violation of norms while circumventing the vetting process. Both were sacked and are now in jail facing trial.

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