Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police seems to be in a fix after the arrest of Davinder Singh, a deputy superintendent of police who has now been booked for allegedly ferrying two militants, including a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, in south Kashmir Saturday.
Weapons such as AK 47s and grenades were recovered not only from the vehicles Singh was traveling in but also from his Srinagar residence. He has now been booked under provisions of unlawful activities act and various sections of the Arms Act.
Singh was apprehended Saturday along with two local active militants and a suspected associate of theirs, all of whom have been taken into custody and are being interrogated.
One of the militants arrested was Syed Naveed, also known as Naveed Babu, former J&K cop turned militant commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, who was being sought by the police for his heightened activities in the Valley that included killing of non-local residents as well as enforcing a strict people’s curfew in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
Senior officials Sunday maintained that the J&K police continues to be a professional force and described Singh’s case as an aberration. However, in the coming days, the police will have to answer serious questions regarding Singh’s conduct who until earlier this week was among the most trusted officers of the force.
Singh, a decorated officer of the J&K police, was among the first government officials to meet the visiting foreign dignitaries, including the United States Ambassador to India, after they touched base at Srinagar airport Thursday. A picture of Singh along with foreign envoys had also been published.
The police played down Singh being in the reception team that met the foreign envoys, owing to his posting in the J&K police’s anti-hijacking unit, but officials said his alleged association with militants will usher in stringent screening measures for officials chosen for sensitive postings such as the airport.
The arrest of DSP Davinder Singh is also likely to lead the J&K police to not only investigate the nature of his association with militant groups but also explore his past.
Singh’s name had controversially cropped up during the 2001 Parliament attack case when Afzal Guru, who was hanged in 2013, had accused the officer of forcibly sending him to Delhi along with one of the fidayeen attackers.
“The police officer has worked in many anti-militancy operations but the way he was captured yesterday, in which he was driving militants in a vehicle to Jammu, is a heinous crime,” Inspector General of Police (IG) Vijay Kumar said. “This is why we have treated him like other militants, arrested him properly… The interrogation is going on and action will be based on that.”
Cops had input of car movement
According to IG Vijay Kumar, the SP Shopian district had received an input about a vehicle moving from Shopian towards Jammu through the National Highway.
“I asked DIG South Kashmir (Atul Goel) to set up a checkpoint in order to intercept the vehicle. When the vehicle was stopped it was found that it was carrying two active militants including a top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen,” Kumar said. “The third person to have been arrested is listed as an overground worker. The fourth individual turned out to be our DSP. He was taken into custody. A joint interrogation by all investigating agencies is being conducted.”
At a press conference Sunday, the officer said the four men were moving towards Jammu but did not reveal the purpose of their journey. Police did not deny the possibility of the militants traveling outside Kashmir for an attack.