After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander and son of a headmaster Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces on 8th July 2016, there was a lot of unrest in the Kashmir valley. Anti-India protests erupted in ten districts in the valley and protestors defied curfew and attacked the security forces and public properties. During this period, pellet guns were used by the Indian security forces to counter the stone pelting by the pro-azaadi protestors and sympathizers of the terrorist Burhan Wani. The result was the death of around hundred civilians, injury to around fifteen thousand plus civilians, death and injury of four thousand plus policemen. Instead of throwing their weight behind the Indian Army, the opposition parties and the media houses started aligning with the pro-separatists and criticized the Indian army for the so-called ‘atrocities’ by them against protestors. But the broader question to be asked here is, who were the primary people inciting the protestors to indulge in stone pelting and taking on the Indian army for the sake of a dreaded terrorist? This violence was incited by a few separatist leaders like Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik, Asiya Andrabi and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Eight months after the unrest began in Kashmir that resulted in many people getting killed and daily life coming to a standstill, we get the news of Geelani’s grandson Anees-ul-Islam managing to get an out-of-turn job with the Jammu and Kashmir government run by the PDP-BJP coalition. Anees-us-Islam was appointed research officer in the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convection Complex (SKICC), a subsidiary wing of the J&K tourism department, allegedly flouting all the rules of recruitment policy of the state government. This job would fetch Anees a salary of Rs 12 lakh per annum in addition to a pension post retirement.
The state tourism department comes under the direct control of CM Mehbooba Mufti . The PDP has clarified that everything was done without flouting any rule and along with the 196 candidates who had applied for this job, Anees qualified for the post as he possessed the required qualification and experience. However, the tourism department had not referred the post to recruitment agencies like the J&K State Subordinate Services Recruitment Board or the Public Service Commission, which is mandatory for the selection process. As per an official at the SKICC, Anees was offered the job much earlier during the protests and it is only for a want of a CID verification that Anees has not taken any salary yet.
This is the same Geelani, who had once mentioned that he has declared himself as an Indian in his passport only out of sheer compulsion to meet his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia and otherwise, he did not consider himself an Indian by birth. While the BJP was opposed to him being granted an Indian passport, Geelani found support from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying he must be allowed to meet his ailing daughter.
Now, why does Geelani not have a problem with his grandson working for the J&K government that comes under the Republic of India, while inciting thousands of youth to indulge in violence and go against their own country?
His principle is simple. As long as someone is not related to him, he or she can be used as a pawn to fight his azaadi cause, but people related to him must be in white collared jobs, even if it is with the government. One of Geelani’s granddaughters works as a crew member in one of the airlines and his son Naeem is a doctor, who was earlier employed in the government’s health services department.
Coming to the two parties, what explanation do they have for the fact that the post was not referred to any of the recruitment agencies, which is a must? The PDP has always been a sympathizer of terrorists and pro-Pakistani elements and has even gone to the extent of compensating four lakh rupees to Burhan Wani’s family after his death. Why are the pro separatist leaders been given so much of perks and privileges? Over the last five years, over 350 crore rupees of the Indian taxpayers’ money has been spent on the separatists’ security, travel and hotel stays. What does the BJP, which claims to be a nationalist party, have to say about this? They should stop giving the excuse that money spent on separatists is now far less than the Congress-National Conference combine. They have not been voted to power to do the same things that the Congress-NC coalition did. Have they checked and ensured that Anees does not share the same views as his grandfather before recruiting him?
To conclude, it is high time people of the country, the Kashmiri youth in particular, see through the events that have happened so far. Separatist leaders incite them to take on the Indian army and get injured and killed in the process, but when it comes to their sons or daughters, they are all in white collared jobs, working for the same government against whom they are incited. While this sympathy towards the separatists can be expected from the PDP, the BJP has once again disappointed its core supporters by not taking a firm stand against the PDP. The alliance was unholy to begin with and in this case, the BJP must look through the entire recruitment process and take any corrective measure, if required.