Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police Saturday apprehended two militants and a gallantry award winning deputy superintendent of police (DSP) who was with them, in South Kashmir’s Kulgam region.
Police sources identified the apprehended DSP as Davinder Singh, who is also believed to have been part of the group of police officials who received the foreign envoys in the union territory this week. Singh was recently transferred from the security division of J&K police (Kashmir division) to the Police Transport Workshop in Jammu.
One of the militants has been identified as Syed Naveed Mustaq, an ex-J&K policeman who became a military commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen in 2017.
At least two police sources confirmed the apprehension of Singh. Senior J&K police officials, however, refused to comment on the development.
A source confirmed that the police are yet to file an FIR in the matter as they are attempting to ascertain whether Singh was ferrying the militants or was actually part of a covert operation to arrest them.
“The apprehended policeman could have been part of an operation to arrest the militants. We are trying to ascertain the same,” a police source said. “If that is not the case, then his role in ferrying the militants around will be probed.”
Singh’s name had earlier cropped up during the 2001 Parliament attack for allegedly being in touch with Afzal Guru, who was later hanged for his involvement in the attacks in 2013. Singh was, however, given a clean chit later.
Trio apprehended by DIG South Kashmir
According to one source, the three men were apprehended when they were crossing a police checkpoint in Kulgam late Saturday afternoon. The source confirmed that the men were apprehended by Deputy Inspector General of police (South Kashmir), Atul Goel.
Officials said DIG South Kashmir personally undertook the operation after a tip-off about militant Syed Naveed traveling in the Kulgam area.
At the time of publishing, the DIG did not revert to the calls made by ThePrint. IGP Kashmir when called said he won’t be able to comment as he was busy in a meeting. The IGP, however, did not deny the apprehension.
Naveed Syed alias Naveed Babu
One of the militants, Syed Naveed Mustaq, was being sought out by police for his heightened activities in the Valley including killing non-local residents and for enforcing a shutdown in south Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370 in August last year.
Naveed, better known by his alias Naveed Babu, was posted in Budgam before he decamped with police rifles and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen in 2017. Naveed, who is originally from Shopian, soon became a commander and was operating in the southern part of the Valley.
More recently, Naveed was accused of being instrumental in enforcing a shutdown in south Kashmir following the central government’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status and divide the erstwhile state into two union territories.