(This was originally posted in Hindustan Times)
Jammu and Kashmir government has terminated the services of two more senior officers — a deputy superintendent in J&K prisons department and the principal of Government Girls Higher Secondary School — for their alleged links with terrorist organisations. In the past one year, the government has sacked more than a dozen employees and officers for their links with militancy. Feroz Ahmad Lone, deputy superintendent of jails, J&K prison department, and Javid Ahmad Shah, principal, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Bijbehara, have been terminated from services on the orders of J&K Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha.
Sources in the government said that after a high-level meeting, the government decided to sack both employees for their links with militant groups. The termination orders have been issued by the government in terms of Article 311. “The Lieutenant Governor is satisfied after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and on the basis of the information available that the activities of Mr Feroz Ahmad Lone, deputy superintendent jail S/o Abdul Gaffar Lone R/o Futlipora, Chari Sharef, are such as to warrant his dismissal from service,” the order said.
“The Lieutenant Governor is satisfied under sub-clause (c) of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 311 of the Constitution of India that in the interest of the security of the state, it is not expedient to hold an enquiry in the case of Mr. Feroz Ahmad Lone, Deputy Superintendent Jail S/o Abdul Gaffar Lone R/o Futlipora , Chrari Sharief , Budgam,” the order added. Similar termination orders were issued in the name of Javid Ahmad Shah of Eidgah Bijbehara Anantnag by the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.
Sources said that Lone, who was appointed in government service in 2012, had links with former Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief, Riyaz Naikoo, who was killed in an operation in Pulwama last year. Sources said he had hatched criminal conspiracy with militant commanders to send youths illegally into Pakistan/PoK, for weapons’ training and later to get them back into Kashmir for the acts of terrorism. Javid Ahmad Shah was appointed as lecturer in 1989 and had rose to become the principal Bijbehara school. Sources said he was sympathiser of Hurriyat and Jamat-e-Islami (JeI).
Last month, J&K government had terminated the services of the grandson of separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani. Anees ul Islam was working as a research officer in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC). More than a dozen government employees have been already terminated for anti-national activities on the instructions of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in J&K. Among them were the two sons of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahudin. They were sacked along with 11 government employees in July.
The LG had set up a special task force for this purpose in April this year, to scrutinise and recommend cases under Article 311(2)(c) of the Constitution of India and recommended removal of officials from government service over militants links. The earlier dismissal of employees had attracted sharp reaction from mainstream political parties and employees unions, who said the employees have been terminated on flimsy grounds.