“Sajad, originally from Batmaloo, Srinagar, was planted in J&K Bank in 1990 by Pakistan’s ISI through Fayaz Kaloo, owner and editor of Greater Kashmir. He was appointed initially as a cashier-cum-clerk in 1990 and later promoted as chief manager, internal communication of J&K Bank, a public sector entity owned by J&K government, after creating the gazette officer-equivalent post of Editor especially to accommodate him,” said sources in J&K CID.
Sajad, while being a full-time employee of J&K Bank, illegally worked for Greater Kashmir as a correspondent-cum-columnist.
“Almost all of his news stories and columns are centered around justifying and glorifying the secessionist-terrorist campaign in J&K. While some are subtle others are thinly veiled. Sajad through his ground reporting and opinion pieces published in his weekly columns titled ‘Off The Record’ and ‘What’s Up’ in Greater Kashmir, toed the Pakistani line of UN intervention in Kashmir, tripartite talks and human rights violations,” a source told TOI.
Evidence collected by the agencies suggests that Sajad tried to mask his real identity by using different pen names for his write ups in the newspaper. Initially he signed as ‘Sajjad Ahmad’ but then cleverly added one additional ‘j’ and also dropped his surname ‘Bazaz’. Later Sajad added his surname and wrote under the byline ‘Sajjad Bazaz’.
On the circumstances behind Sajjad’s mysterious rise from a clerk to a gazetted equivalent post of Editor in J&K Bank, sources said “Sajad Ahmad Bazaz, in gross violation of the statutory provision is the only officer in the entire history of J&K Bank who was absorbed in the general officers cadre and given three promotions despite not having passed the CAIIB examination till date”.
Sources said that the J&K Bank interview board comprising then Chairman M Y Khan, director Haseeb Drabu etc, had selected Sajjad for Editor’s post from among a very small group of four employees, ignoring that he was rabidly against the Indian state and an open secessionist.
Even the subsequent conduct of Sajad after becoming ‘Editor’ shows conspiracy and subversion, alleged an officer. He enriched select local newspapers and news magazines through payment of advertisement money drawn from the coffers of J&K Bank, he told TOI.
“The data pertaining to advertisement money paid from financial year 2015 to 2023 shows that Greater Kashmir has got disproportionately a higher and favourable allotment than all others including newspapers at par with it in terms of reach and circulation. It is very relevant to bring on record that in and around 2010-12 there was a sudden spurt of rabidly pro-Pakistan news magazines and newspapers other than Greater Kashmir. The fact is that Sajad was instructed from across the border to help in setting up additional media platforms that would amplify and echo the jehadi and Pak narrative already being propagated by Greater Kashmir in a far more vicious and vitriolic manner,” sources said.
It is interesting to note that Sajad owns and operates as many as 68 accounts within the J&K Bank alone. He was in frequent communication with another ISI terror asset Shabir Bukhari and also a lynchpin of the terror ecosystem in J&K, Shabir Hussain Buch, who is a known aide of Mushtaq Latram, chief of Al-Umar terror outfit and a close associate of Jaish e Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.