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Why was Davinder Singh case transferred to NIA? The story that just doesn’t add up

Davinder Singh was one case where J&K Police could have made a new beginning, but it has squandered the opportunity by transferring the case to NIA.

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Going by the way the National Investigation Agency has conducted its investigations and prosecutions in the last five years, one can say with sadness that the truth would be the first casualty in the case registered by it against Davinder Singh, now suspended Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The decision to transfer the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was inevitable after reports quoting sources in J&K police started making the headlines in national and international media. The most damning was from the BBC, which reported that Davinder Singh pleaded with the Deputy Inspector General of Police at the time of his arrest saying, “Sir, ye game hai, aap game kharab mat karo. (Sir, this is a game, don’t spoil it).”

What “game” he was referring to and with whom he was playing it may or may never come out, which is normal in the murky world of intelligence operations. And the many pronouncements or media leaks on him prove that this case has many holes.

Given the controversial past of Davinder Singh, more so due to his alleged involvement in the 2001 Parliament attack case, circumstances of his arrest and the initial “sourced” narrative from J&K police, it is obvious that people would be suspicious of the whole matter.


Also read: How J&K cop Davinder’s ‘covert mission lie’ was exposed by militant he was ferrying


The case

Davinder Singh was escorting Naveed Mushtaq (alias Babu), a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen and resident of Nazneenpora in Shopian district, and his associate Asif Ahmad, when he was arrested on 11 January at Anantnag. According to the police, Naveed Mushtaq was wanted in the killings of apple traders, drivers and labourers (a total of 11 people) in October last year.

Nothing surprising or new, because militants have been involved in targeted killing of innocent civilians both within and outside Kashmir in the past as well. But what makes these killings look sinister is that they took place right around the time of the ‘conducted tour’ of ‘Right-wing’ members of European Parliament (MEPs) to J&K, which began 29 October.

In fact, five migrant labourers, all from Murshidabad in West Bengal, were killed the same evening the MEPs arrived in Srinagar. Later, the media reported that the visit of these MEPs was organised by a non-government organisation, with a dubious background.


Also read: Not a lone black sheep: Why J&K Police, Army and CAPF will have more like DSP Davinder Singh


Things don’t add up

There are many things that don’t add up about the Davinder Singh case. And it has a lot to do with how the J&K Police initially handled the case.

The initial narrative in the media was that the militants were being ferried to Delhi, which was subsequently changed to Jammu.

So, the question is why was such a dangerous militant, already accused of murder, being escorted for a “game” by an officer, who was about to be promoted to Superintendent of J&K Police. The J&K Police allegation that Davinder Singh did it for a paltry sum of Rs 12 lakh is difficult to believe in a corruption-riven state like Kashmir. He would have certainly got much more legally had he retired as an SP, even if we leave aside other corrupt avenues of making money. If he was such an ace operator and playing double games, he wouldn’t have given up his post-retirement benefits for just 12 lakhs.

Through ‘source-based’ stories in the media, it is now being insinuated that Singh may have connections with Pakistan’s ISI. If it is true, J&K police would have said it when Davinder Singh was first arrested, when it would have been easier to explain his involvement in ferrying militants. One can accept someone being corrupt, but a police officer of such seniority escorting militants for money is unheard of in J&K Police.

While J&K Police needs to be appreciated for arresting one of its officers, it would have been better for it to have investigated the matter and placed the facts before the country to rest speculations. The opposition now is even questioning the Pulwama attack in February last year after Davinder’s arrest.


Also read: I must have lost my mind: Davinder Singh tells interrogators on his links to militants


Finally, the case only had local ramifications that could have been easily investigated by the police and there was no need to transfer it to the NIA. India would also like to know who was the mastermind behind the murders of poor innocent traders, drivers and migrant labourers in Kashmir.

There are several unexplained and un-probed cases of killings and ‘disappearances’ since 1990 in the Valley that have caused anguish and undermined the credibility of the J&K Police. Davinder Singh was one case where it could have made a new beginning, but it has squandered the opportunity by transferring the case to the NIA rather than cleaning its stables of murky intelligence operatives and their masters. Davinder Singh is just the tip of a huge iceberg, which India doesn’t know about.

The author a former Director General of Police in Sikkim and a former Intelligence Bureau official. Views are personal.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. EVERYONE APPEARS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THIS GREAT MAN, INCLUDING NIA!
    IMDIA NEEDS TO BE A MORE CREDIBLE COUNTRY TO BE TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY NOT ONLY BY THE REST OF WORLD, BUT EVEN BY INDIANS! THE GREAT INDIAN MEDIA ALSO APPEARS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN HIM COMPLETELY

  2. I am sorry to hear that the author is ex DGP….he doesn’t sound like one, the entire narrative of him indicates a political mind not that of police. He must know, J & K is under President’s rule or to say under central government rule, why will they allow J&K police to arrest a prized asset like him….if he was a central government agent…..all arguments are weak and very poor comprehension of the event

  3. what is there to “not understand here” , i dont get….doval and his masters ranga and billa hatched it all and davinder was a mere pawn….invite the right wing international politicians, have one of ur moles murder innocents in the vicinity and claim that what ever evil they are hatching in kashmir for the rigth cause…thats the modus operandi….anyone who cannot see that is clearly living ina fools paradise…..same modus operadi was followed for pulwama as well….its very simple…..THE SIMPLEST OF EXPLANATION IS ALWAYS AND ALWAYS THE RIGHT EXPLANATION IN MATTERS LIKE THIS

  4. Davinder Singh was the blue eyed boy of BJP. He was caught by J&K officers who were not in on his mission. He told his arresting officer, “This is a game. Don’t spoil it”.The truth will be buried by NIA

  5. The games our security establishment plays in the name of National security! We will never know what actually happened. The situation will be taken care of by planting sanitized, palatable stilted versions in the media. Nothing will ever change in this country.

    Our intelligence agencies are not ratified by an act of Parliament. There is no parliamentary oversight either. So nobody knows what is going on except the Executive which uses them to settle political scores. God knows how they are misused or the amount of corruption. Even if they have a Parliamentary briefing there will be members like Praghya Thakur on the panel. The less said about their investigative skills, the better.

    We, the citizens, in the meantime will constantly be asked to prove our patriotism. Questioning authority is anti national now. Life goes on… in circles.

  6. You must be billionaire.!”Davinder Singh did it for a paltry sum of Rs 12 lakh” As usual Modi haters – The Print, The Telegraph. India Today, The Wire, Indian Express all those Left wingers, Communists and P. Chidambaram’s, Didi and Yadav’s. Everyday full time job is to create new ‘Conspiracy’.

  7. author is an ex DGP and ex IB chief? But doesn’t sound smart enough.
    Firstly davinder singh wasn’t expecting to be caught ,so you can’t say he took a huge risk for only 12 lakhs. He seems to have done this many times.
    Actually the questions should be asked of JK police. What made the IGP suddenly arrest davinder although he had done the “game” many times?
    Another question is why the author is making inferences based on inferences. So the ground is shaky. Although there are definitely plenty of questions around davinder, the biggest of them is pulwama, did he know or have an inkling? I suspect not, because pulwama was too big and dozens of crpf died, which sounds excessive for a “game”

    • Pulwama was heartbreaking and the entire emotion of people was used during 2019 election campaign. Unemployment, economy, all the false promises were went back seat and the terror attack carried by Pakistan based militant group was “used” to get emotional vote. My heart goes out to all 40 CRPF jawans, all those who lost lives in the dirty games of terrorism and politics in Uri, Pathankot, Mumbai, Delhi and so on. I know this will never come out, the cover up is way to powerful but I hope people will now start asking questions and not blindly blame some XYZ neighbouring country.

      • it’s funny to say pulwama was a b ig inc by loss of liefe? what was 40 lives compared to a stable government india got and the number of state governments falling after that. some are yet to fall.

  8. The future of Davindar Singh might give some clue even if truth doesn’t come out.

    If some big people are involved, then he might “die” in near future…

    • it is june 2020 now! everyone has forgotten dacinder singh, the great man.is this not equal to death? this is a test case for the truth and honesty behind so many stories we have been exposed to in inida. let us see how this case dies. i do not think the poor man himself will die! he could disappear after he gets bail with NIA strong oppostion!

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