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June 14, 2018

KU officer’s bid to ‘defame’ estranged Pakistani wife backfires


June 14, 2018

HELD SRINAGAR: A high-level Kashmir University probe that was initiated following allegations by its liaison officer Abdullah Danish Sherwani against his estranged Pakistani wife that she was indulging in “secessionist activities” on the campus has gone against him.

The KU had constituted a six-member inquiry committee headed by Prof Muhammad Ayub of the law department after Sherwani wrote to the National Investigation Agency and the higher authorities of the university, stating that his estranged wife Mehnaz Siddiqui, who lives in the university staff quarters allotted to him, was involved in “secessionist activities” on the campus.

The committee has submitted a report to the university authorities a fortnight ago and it has gone against him, which has been approved by the vice chancellor for further action. Sherwani landed himself in trouble following his recent tweets to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, wherein he had tried to seek audience by labelling his wife an “anti-national”.

Danish had also requested the university authorities to evict his wife and children from the staff quarters, but as the scope of the inquiry committee was limited so it did not “deal with the charges of torture” as levelled by the wife, who has also now gone public with her story.

However, the final inquiry report has found the allegation of his wife being involved in the secessionist activities in the university as “preposterous”. The report has also found substance in the torture allegations of the wife.

Taking a “very serious view” of the activities of Danish Sherwani, the inquiry report, says that he had “tried to malign the image” of the university, an independent and apolitical institution of repute, official sources who have seen the contents of the report disclosed. The report further found that Danish had been levelling allegations against his wife and other university staff “just to garner support for his version of the things”. The probe report has taken a “very serious view against Danish Sherwani” for his activities and conduct both in his professional as well as social life, sources said. The report, however, also notes the “pain and suffering” inflicted by Sherwani upon his estranged wife Mahnaz, who has got a stay order from the high court against the eviction from the Kashmir University staff quarters.

Stating that he has already forwarded the inquiry report to the vice chancellor, KU Registrar Prof Khurshid Ahmad Butt said as per his knowledge the report had already been approved by the VC for further action. “Though I don’t exactly remember the full contents, the report has recommended action against the said person for his conduct and called for a departmental inquiry against Danish for maligning the institution by his actions,” Butt said. The report has also recommended the status quo and not going for eviction as the matter is sub judice.

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