On July 15, the Jammu and Kashmir government appointed Farooq Khan, an ex IPS officer, as the fifth advisor to the Governor, Satya Pal Malik. Khan, who hails from Jammu, retired from service in 2013 and later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014 at a massive rally in Hiranagar, Jammu.

Khan’s appointment is seen as an extra ordinary political development and is deemed as a tough message for the people who fall on the other side of the divide.

Prior to his retirement, he played a major role in anti-militancy operations in the state. Thus, his appointment as Chief Advisor is seen as an attempt to speed up the process of getting tough against the militancy. In some of the media reports, he has been compared with the KPS Gill of Punjab. Gill was a counter-insurgent top cop who had fought the militancy in Punjab.

The reports further reveal that the home minister Amit Shah is believed to be instrumental in Khan’s transfer from Lakshadweep to his home state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Khan was the 23rd administrator of Lakshadweep. “His order of appointment was approved and issued on a holiday, as nobody in New Delhi listened to the reservations of a section of the bureaucracy. On the evening of Tuesday, July 16, Khan joined as Advisor to the Governor,” reported Quint.

In the report, Khan’s lineage with the party has been reported at length. “Khan is not new to the folds of politics, but his grandfather, Col Peer Mohammad, was the first President of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in Jammu and Kashmir, after retiring from the Maharaja’s Army. The family’s links to the BJP’s ideological fountainhead earned Farooq Khan remarkable respect within the party’s top brass. He was appointed as a national secretary with special responsibilities in the Northeast, besides being the national in-charge of BJP’s Minority Morcha.

On 13 July 2016, the President of India appointed him as the Administrator for Lakshadweep.

It is also said that Khan had volunteered to launch J&K Police’s first counter-terrorism wing, Special Task Force.

– Umar Mukhtar


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