New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing a “Pakistan connection” in the Davinder Singh case and have found clues to suggest that he was getting money from across the border, ThePrint has learnt.
According to a source in the NIA, the J&K deputy superintendent of police made more than four visits to Bangladesh — Dhaka and other cities — in 2019, which could be because of his connections with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI.
Two of Singh’s daughters are studying medicine in Bangladesh.
Singh was arrested on 11 January for ferrying two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists to Jammu. He is being kept in an undisclosed location in Jammu, and a NIA team from Delhi has gone there to question Singh.
Sources in the NIA said that Singh had been in touch with the terror operatives for more than two years.
“It was not the first time that Singh was ferrying terrorists to a safe house. He had done the same for money last year as well,” a source said.
Links with more terror outfits
The NIA is also investigating if Singh was in touch with other terror outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
“The amount of money he made and the number of operations he was a part of while being in the Special Operation Group, we suspect that he was also in touch with handlers of more terror outfits. We are going through his mobile records, chats to ascertain that,” the source said.
Although the NIA has still not been able to account for Rs 7.5 lakh, found at his residence, sources in the agency said it could be part of a hawala consignment that came from Pakistan via Delhi.
It is suspected that apart from providing logistical support to terror operatives, Singh also transported hawala money, coming from Pakistan to Delhi, to Kashmir.
“We are going through his bank accounts, transactions made by him in the last few years to trace the source of money that came into his account. His passbooks, bank details are being looked into,” the source said.
Singh had a reputation in the J&K police for being “corrupt and unscrupulous” but was yet given an out-of-turn promotion and a Police Medal on 15 August 2019.
Singh served in the J&K Police as an inspector and then DSP for over 25 years, and was posted with the anti-hijacking squad at the Srinagar airport at the time of his arrest. He was earlier the DSP of Pulwama district, and was transferred to the new, important posting last year.
More policemen on radar
The source in the NIA said they are looking at possible aides of Singh within the J&K Police who may have helped him arrange for logistics for the terror operatives.
“This is something that cannot be done alone. There is a strong possibility that there are more J&K policemen who were involved in this. We are trying to zero down on the suspects. We also have some policemen on our radar. Further probe will bring more clarity in this,” the source said.
The arrest of Singh also triggered an internal audit within the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to look for “possible moles”.
Newly-appointed Director General of the CRPF, A.P. Maheshwari, told reporters that an internal audit was carried out.
“The CRPF has revisited/audited our internal systems and we regularly do that to check if there were/are any attempts of subversion within the force,” Maheshwari said.
Will also probe Afzal angle
The NIA will also probe Singh’s alleged link with 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Singh was named by Afzal Guru, who was hanged on 9 February 2013, in a letter that he wrote to his lawyer Sushil Kumar from Tihar jail.
In the letter, Afzal alleged that Singh and other officers from the J&K police not only tortured him and extorted money, but also introduced him to one of the men who later attacked Parliament. Afzal also claimed that it was Singh who asked him to arrange for a car and a place to stay for the attacker.
Singh’s role, however, was not investigated by authorities.
“Since we now have Singh in custody, we will be looking into this alleged link as well,” the NIA source said.