Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday said that the decorated counter-insurgency police officer Davinder Singh, who was apprehended along with two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants on Saturday afternoon, was involved in “a heinous crime” and would be treated like a militant.
Inspector General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told journalists in Srinagar that the arrested officer “would be treated and investigated the way militants are treated.”
Police has booked DSP Singh under Unlawful Activities Act and Arms Act. A First Information Report (FIR) to this effect has been lodged.
IGP Kumar confirmed that Deputy Superintendent of J&K Police, Davinder Singh, was detained along with two armed militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen when the trio was travelling in a private car on Srinagar-Jammu highway near south Kashmir’s Wanpoh area.
“Yesterday during an (anti-militancy) operation one Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) was arrested along with two wanted Hizbul Mujahedeen militants, while they were travelling together in a vehicle on the highway,” he said, adding, “Interrogation is underway.”
IGP Kumar also said that the police were looking into all angles of the case.
On being asked by a reporter that Davinder Singh had confessed his role in “asking the 13 December, 2001, Parliament Attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru to ferry a man named Mohammad to New Delhi” during an interview, the police chief said that all aspects would be looked into.
Informed sources told The Federal that an assault rifle (AK-47) was recovered from his house in Srinagar’s Indira Nagar, which is a stone’s throw away from Indian Army’s sensitive 15 Corps at Badami Bagh Cantonement.
Singh was also seen in a picture released by Jammu and Kashmir government receiving over a dozen foreign envoys on January 9 at the Srinagar airport.
Besides this, Singh boasted a robust record in anti-militancy operations and had been granted gallantry award in 2017. Recently, he also received the President’s bravery award.
Singh’s arrest assumes significance as he, according to sources, was ferrying the militants out of Kashmir Valley to New Delhi.
According to well-informed sources, Deputy Inspector General of South Kashmir Atul Goyal was supervising the entire operation.
The top Hizb militant commander who was apprehended along with Singh was identified as Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu alias Babar Azam. Babu, a fomer Special Police Officer (SPO) with J&K Police, had deserted his organisation to join the ranks of militants.
In 2017, he had decamped with four assault rifles to join Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and shot into limelight following the killing of 11 non-Kashmiri truck drivers, civilians labourers and of setting ablaze an apple-laden truck in Shopian district of south Kashmir last October, in which he was accused.
Police had put up his posters following attacks on truckers, labourers and orchards in different areas of Shopian, requesting information on him.
The other two militants have been identified as Rafi Ahmad and Irfan.