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Decorated Indian officer arrested for Kashmir rebel ties

SRINAGAR

Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir have arrested a long-serving counterinsurgency officer for allegedly having ties with rebels fighting against Indian rule in the disputed r officials said Sunday.

Police intercepted a fast-moving car in southern Kashmir on Saturday night and arrested police deputy superintendent Davinder Singh along with two militants and their civilian aide, Inspector General Vijay Kumar told reporters in Srinagar, the region’s main city.

The case has rattled the Indian security apparatus that administers the tense region, where rebels have waged an armed campaign for decades demanding independence or a merger with neighbouring Pakistan, which administers a part of Kashmir.

Kumar called the arrests a “big operation” and said one of the arrested militants is a top commander of Kashmir’s largest rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, who had deserted police ranks in 2017 with four weapons. He said the militant commander, Naveed Baba, was “second in command” in Hizbul Mujahideen.

Some weapons and ammunition were recovered from the arrested men, Kumar said.

“The issue is very sensitive, and all intelligence agencies and police are jointly interrogating the officer,” he said. “Given the circumstances, this is a heinous crime.”

It was not immediately clear whether Singh had an attorney.

Singh has long served in the police’s Special Operations Group, a dreaded counterinsurgency unit that has been widely accused by Kashmiris and human rights groups of some of the worst violations reported during the last three decades of conflict, from summary executions, torture and rape to holding suspects as well as civilians for ransom.

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