Srinagar: The arrested J&K deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Davinder Singh, has told investigators that he was part of a covert operation that required him to ferry militants to Jammu.
In his interrogation, DSP Singh has claimed that after ferrying Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Syed Naveed to Jammu, he intended to bring another of the organisation’s commanders, Riyaz Naikoo, there as well.
Sources told ThePrint that the arrested officer wanted his investigators to believe that he was part of a covert mission whose goal was the arrest or killing of the Hizbul militants.
The DSP is said to have told his interrogators that he was “building faith” with the militant group’s leadership, eventually prompting them to travel all the way to Jammu, which he wanted them to believe was safe for meetings.
Given his reputation as a counter-insurgent operative, investigators might have given the DSP the benefit of the doubt had it not been for the testimony of Naveed, whom the officer was ferrying, and the intelligence gathered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on the morning of his arrest.
Investigators are said to have indulged Singh during interrogation and even tried to find out if he indeed was part of an operation by finding out if the arrested officer had kept any of his superiors updated about the so-called operation.
His call records revealed that Singh was in touch with his superiors but even as information was being collected to find out if Singh’s superiors knew what the officer had been up to, a revelation by Naveed, who was being interrogated separately, undermined the officer’s narrative.
Militant’s interrogation undermines officer’s narrative
Naveed is said to have told the investigators that Singh had ferried him multiple times in the past and even taken him to Jammu where the Hizbul militant met with his family.
Sources said Naveed also told the interrogators that he had stayed at Singh’s Srinagar residence in the past.
“The circumstances, the preliminary findings and the intelligence gathered by police at that moment were going against Singh but police wanted to record what he intended to say,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity.
According to one source, on the morning of Singh’s arrest, security forces had received an input about a hideout in Shopian being used by militants.
Upon raiding the hideout, security forces found that the militants had left but were in close contact with a police officer. The militant was identified by police informers but the police personnel wasn’t.
“Subsequently, phones of Naveed’s relatives were put on trace and it was found that he would be traveling to Jammu on Saturday. Multiple checkpoints were set up on routes that police believed could be used by Singh and other militants to go to Jammu,” said a source privy to the case.
“Singh even managed to cross several checkpoints by showing his police credentials. He was finally caught.”
The source further said that Singh had made a call to a security official posted along the Srinagar-Jammu highway to call in a favour. Singh had allegedly asked the official to facilitate his travel if the road gets blocked due to bad weather. Singh’s interrogation suggest the official was not aware about the DSP’s misadventures or who he would be traveling with.