In a massive crackdown on the terror ecosystem, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha dismissed the services of four government employees including terror accused Bitta Karate’s wife and Syed Salahuddin’s son for having terror links.
Assbah Arzoomand Khan, the wife of top Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front terrorist Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, is a 2011 batch Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officer. Muheet Ahmad Bhat, Scientist-D is working with Kashmir University; Majid Hussain Qadri, Senior Assistant Professor, Kashmir University, and Syed Abdul Mueed, Manager IT, Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI), were all removed by invoking Article 311 of the Constitution of India.
According to the government, Assbah Arzoomand Khan was dismissed as during investigations done by the Union Territory administration, it came to light that she was a secessionist having deep ties with terrorist outfits and the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.
“She came in the spotlight during Karate’s trial. Assabah first got a job at Sher e Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology, Kashmir in 2003. Her appointment was allegedly backdoor and appeared to have been managed by someone in the administration,” a senior officer part of the JK administration disclosed.
According to him, it has also come to light that between 2003 and 2007 she was absent from work for months together but no action was taken against her. Finally, she was sacked in August 2007.
“While she was absent from work, she travelled to Germany, the UK, Helsinki, Sri Lanka and Thailand,” he added.
The investigation also revealed that she was working as a courier for the JKLF. “During most of her trips, she used to depart taking flights through various airports but used to come back to India via road routes either from Nepal or Bangladesh,” explained an official privy to the ongoing probe against her.
As per the dossier maintained by the UT administration, Assbah Arzoomand Khan cleared her JKAS exam in 2011 and married Bitta Karate within a few months.
As per the list of JK administration, Muheet Ahmad Bhat — a scientist D in the department of computer sciences of Kashmir University — has also been dismissed for terror links.
“Muheet was an executive member of the Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) from 2017 to 2019 and its President from 2017 to 2019. He played a key role in organising student protests and street protests in 2016 in which many youngsters died,” explained an official who is part of the probe.
According to him, a member of KUTA, Muheet Ahmad Bhat distributed KUTA funds to stone pelters and some families of terrorists. As per the dossier of the JK administration, in January 2018, he provided financial assistance to families of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.
“He also arranged funds to pay to the families of terrorists killed by security forces. KUTA had carefully avoided its registration as a society to avoid audit scanners yet continued to use banking channels. He is considered as a key man who radicalised students and carried out Pakistani propaganda in Kashmir,” states the dossier.
The dossier further states that Majid Hussain Qadri is a hardcore terrorist of LeT. “When Qadri was a student of MBA in Kashmir University in 2001, he came in contact with two Pakistani LeT terrorists in August 2001 and became LeT point-person for Kashmir University for radicalisation, recruitment,” the dossier states, adding that in 2002 he was tasked to act as arms courier for terrorists. In 2003, he was assigned the position of spokesperson of LeT and continued till his arrest in June 2004. A sniper rifle was also recovered from him. He was detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act for two years and subsequently acquitted by the court.
In March 2007, he was appointed as a contractual Lecturer at Kashmir University. “His recruitment case was never sent to the CID for character verification. He was appointed as Assistant Professor at Kashmir university in 2010. He is presently working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Studies,” a senior ranking official in the JK administration said.
Syed Abdul Mueed, son of self-styled Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, has also been dismissed. He was working as Manager IT in JKEDI.
In 2012, Syed Abdul Mueed was appointed as an IT consultant on a contractual basis. Sources said rules were circumvented to appoint him. At least three members of the selection panel were also comprised of officers known to be terrorist sympathisers. His contractual position was subsequently converted into a permanent one.