Sixteen years back Syed Imtiyaz Hussain, a police constable, was shown the door for carrying subversive activities. He challenged his expulsion in the court and won. But what he did later surprised everyone. He rejected his job and Rs 35 lakh pending salary that court has granted him. Shah Abbas reports.
Unbelievable in the present materialistic world but true that a political activist from the separatist camp of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani has preferred to continue his political activities over a huge amount of about Rs 35 lakh and a permanent government job.
Despite the fact that he remains under police’s watchful eye most of the time and even faces detention.
Syed Imtiyaz Hussain son of Syed Hyder Shah Resident of Gojra village in district Budgam, was a police constable bearing belt No 78/BD when he was arrested and discharged from service on charges of being involved in “subversive activities” sixteen years back.
Then Superintendent of Police (SP) had issued an order No 370 of 1999 in this regard on May 12, 1999 and dismissed the services of Imtiyaz from June 27, 1997.
It was Dy SP HQ who had conducted the enquiry against Imtiyaz and recommended his discharge from the rolls of the police department.
Imtiyaz challenged the order passed by the then SP against him in the State High Court by filing a petition SWP No 1206/1999 through his counsel advocate Syed Tassaduq Hussain.
Hussain argued that the dismissal order of Imtiyaz was a gross violation of Rule 359 of Jammu and Kashmir Police Manual, which police could not challenge paving the way for the state high court to quash the discharge order of Imtiyaz by then SP Budgam.
Police however, did not lose heart by the verdict and challenged it before a double bench in 2006.
The bench comprised of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Hasnain Massodi, however, in February, 2013 did not oppose the single bench verdict on the basis that police could not produce the enquiry record of the case.
By virtue of the verdicts from single and double bench of the State’s highest judicial institution, Imtiyaz was sure to get a large amount in cash and his job with a promotion but he decided otherwise at the eleventh hour.
“How could I accept the amount and job when everybody knows that thousands of people offered their lives for the resistance movement,” said Imtiyaz.
When asked why he went to court when he did not want to rejoin or accept his pending salary, Imtiyaz was quick to respond, “It was in 1999, when my brother and other close relatives prepared me to fight a case against the government, honestly speaking I had never been to any court till then, but now lot of water has flown from the Jehlum, and Kashmiris have come to know about the illegal, unconstitutional and unprincipled occupation of India, its atrocities, oppression and suppression on Kashmiris so it does not suit a follower of the resistance icon, Syed Ali Geelani, to accept government compensations.”
A fan of octogenarian, Syed Ali Geelani, Syed Imtiyaz Hussain, was arrested under case FIR No 201/1995 under sections ¾ by Pulwama police in 1997 and later booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).
When he was released and came to know about his discharge order, Imtiyaz, joined separatist camp and never looked back.
He was a part of Agha Syed Hassan led Unjaman-e-Shar-e-Shian, when Geelani parted from the united Hurriyat.
“When Geelani Sahab “purified” Hurriyat Conference, we were part of the “purification” process, but later Agah Sahab, for unknown reasons parted himself from Geelani Sahab, I felt it against the moral ethos to leave, so I decided to remain with Geelani Sahab,” Imtayaz said.
If he accepts the court’s verdict, Imtiyaz could get around Rs 35 lakh, comprised of the salary of last 16 years with all incentives like promotion as a Hawaldar.
But he has decided to continue with his separatist activities on political front and that too under Syed Ali Geelani. “Geelani Sahab is the lone credible voice representing the freedom movement in its true spirit and perspective,” Imtiyaz said.
Forty-two-years old Imtiyaz, is known for his activities as a member of Geelani led Tehreeke-e-Hurriyat. “I can just guess that I have been arrested almost 250 times from 1999 onwards during different protests,” Imtiyaz said.
But all the time he was not released as is a norm with political activists. Imtiyaz has faced Public Safety Act (PSA), six times and he has spent more than eight years in different jails during his life.
The father of two sons and a daughter, is all praise for his wife who according to him “never lost her heart” whenever he was in jail.
He also has a great regard for his brother for the economic support he provides whenever he needs.
According to the former police man, “Police was meant for the public service but now it’s 80 percent men are troubling their own brethren and they have become the symbols of oppression.”
“It is another reason that I decided against re-joining the police despite the court orders,” Imtiyaz concludes.
Eighty-four-years old Geelani himself might be silent over the issue of his successor, Imtiyaz, however, has already chosen one. “Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai Sahab, has definitely every quality to serve the cause after Geelani Sahab,” answered Imtayaz, when asked “what about after Geelani?” Adding, “Geelani and Sehrai are the two persons who are ideologically strong and they know the real perspective of freedom.”
Dozens of Policemen joined militant ranks in 1990, when armed struggle started in Jammu and Kashmir. Even some of them became very famous by their militant activities and are still remembered.
“Ali Mohammad Dar, alias Burhan-ul-din Hijazi, then Hizbul Mujahidin chief commander, is one of them,” said Zafar Akbar Bhat, himself a former Hizb commander who is now active on political front. “Another name I remember who was a police man when he joined the armed movement is of Mohammad Afzal, alias Mamoon Rashid, another former Hizb commander,” Bhat added.