Three J&K govt employees dismissed for 'anti-national' activities

The J&K administration ordered the dismissal of school teacher Arif Sheikh of Reasi, Junior Engineer (PWD) Manzoor Ahmad Itoo of Bandipora, and Syed Saleem Andrabi of Kupwara, an orderly

Representational image
Representational image


Three Jammu & Kashmir government employees, including a schoolteacher were dismissed from service for their alleged involvement in anti-national activities, an official said.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered the dismissal of a government middle school teacher Arif Sheikh of Reasi, Junior Engineer (Public Works department) Manzoor Ahmad Itoo of Bandipora and Syed Saleem Andrabi of Kupwara, an orderly in the Social Welfare department, under Article 311 of the Constitution for their involvement in anti-national activities, an administration spokesperson said.

Article 311 of the Constitution provides for dismissal of a person employed in civil capacities under the Union or a State.

"The activities of these employees had come to the adverse notice of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. They found them involved in activities prejudicial to the interests of the state, such as terror-related activities and drug trafficking," the spokesperson said.

Itoo had allegedly played an important role in mobilising people in support of terrorists and also motivated youth to join their ranks, posing a serious threat to the security of the Indian state, he said.

According to the spokesperson, Andrabi was found involved in drug trafficking while Sheikh was found involved in planting IEDs on the instructions of terrorists operating from Pakistan.

The administration has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-national elements taking advantage of being in the government, he said.

Prior to these dismissals, 44 government officials were dismissed from service under the same provision.

Sheikh was arrested earlier this month for his alleged involvement in carrying out multiple blasts, including one in a bus carrying Vaishno Devi pilgrims that killed four people and injured 24 last May.

His arrest came during investigations in the twin blast case at Jammu's Narwal on January 21 in which nine people were injured.

"Arif (Sheikh) is a government employee who had joined as a 'Rehbar-e-Taleem' teacher in 2010 and got regularised in 2016. He came in contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Qasim, also a resident of Reasi and currently operating from Pakistan, through his maternal uncle Qammerdin in 2019. Qammerdin fled to Pakistan a long time ago and is settled in Karachi.

"He had received money after successfully carrying out the blasts. It is shameful that he was involved in terror activities despite being on the government's payroll. He will lose his job and face the law for his actions," Jammu and Kashmir Director-General of Police Dilbag Singh had said earlier.

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