The government of India-administered Jammu and Kashmir has sacked two academics and two officials, accusing them of involvement in "secessionist" activities.
A government statement said on Saturday activities of the sacked persons "had come to the adverse notice of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as they have been found involved in activities prejudicial to the security interests of the state".
Their dismissal raises the number of Kashmiri Muslim employees who have been sacked to 16 since August 5, 2019, when the Hindu nationalist Indian government scrapped the autonomous status of the Muslim-majority region.
Majid Hussain Qadri, an assistant professor of management studies at Kashmir University in Srinagar, was sacked because, according to the government, "Qadri has a long association with terror organizations including Lashkar-eTaiba.”
Qadri had been jailed in June 2004 under the Public Safety Act, a controversial preventive detention law.
Muheet Ahmad Bhat, a scientist in the computer sciences department at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, was fired for, what the statement said, "propagating secessionist-terrorist agenda in the University of Kashmir by radicalizing the students for advancing the program and agenda of Pakistan and its proxies.”
Security concerns cited
Two others sacked were Asabah ul Arjumand Khan and Syed Abdul Mueed.
Khan, an administrative officer, is the wife of Farooq Ahmad, who is currently jailed in a New Delhi prison.
The government alleged that she had provided false information while applying for a passport and was in touch with "foreign persons indexed by Indian intelligence agencies for being on the payrolls of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.”
Mueed is the son of Syed Salahuddin, the supreme commander of the United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-based grouping of militant organisations. The statement said Mueed, an IT manager at an entrepreneurship institute, "was found having (a) role in three terror attacks" on the institute.
"His presence in the institution had increased sympathy with secessionist forces," the statement reads.
Kashmir is currently ruled directly by New Delhi through a Lieutenant Governor.
Pro-India Kashmiri politicians, such as former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah, have said that since the scrapping of autonomy, repressive measures have increased, while the Indian government maintains that level of violence has gone down.