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Police, IB, RAW joint interrogation, searches underway in Kashmir


Police Sunday said the presence of Deputy Superintendent of Police and a recipient of President’s Police Medal for Gallantry, Davinder Singh with two militants including a Deputy Commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen was a heinous crime and they were being jointly interrogated by all security agencies.

Singh was arrested by Police along with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Syed Naveed of Nazneenpora Shopian, “lawyer cum OGW” Irfan Shafi Mir of Diaroo Shopian and Rafi Ahmad Rather of Batpora Shopian at a check point on the highway at Wanpoh area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district at around 3:20 pm on Saturday.

Addressing a news conference here, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the operation launched post their arrest was underway and searches were being conducted at various places in Kashmir.

“Two hideouts have been busted. More inputs have been received based on which operations will be launched,” Kumar said.
He said the Superintendent of Police, Shopian, Sandeep Chowdhary, received intelligence about the militants who had left in an i20 Hyundai car from Shopian toward the highway.

“They had planned to go to Jammu,” the IGP said. As the vehicle drove fast, Kumar said he directed the Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, Atul Goel, to lay a seize in his jurisdiction.

“After searching the vehicle two wanted militants, DySP Davinder Singh, and an advocate listed as OGW in Police records, from Shopian, were arrested,” the IGP said.

After their initial interrogation, the IGP called officers of Police, Army, CRPF, Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and their joint interrogation was conducted.

“The interrogation is still underway,” said Kumar without divulging details about the outcome of the interrogation of the accused.

Keeping in view the sensitivity of the case, “No one wants to leave any loophole.” Singh, a recipient of the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry, was posted with anti-hijacking wing of Police at the highly-secured Srinagar airport.

He attended a 16-member foreign ambassadors’ delegation at the airport when they visited Kashmir to assess the situation this week.

“There was no information with Police about Singh’s activities when he was on duty at the airport,” the IGP said when asked whether Singh’s presence with envoys was a security breach.

Naveed, a policeman turned militant, had escaped with four rifles from Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown in Budgam district where he was posted as a guard and joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 2017.

He rose to the ranks in the militant group to become its district commander in the volatile and militant-hotbed Shopian district.

The IGP said Naveed, the deputy of Hizb top commander Riyaz Naikoo, was involved in the killing of civilians, non-local truckers and attacks on the forces.

“The operation is underway and we are getting a lot of leads which we can’t share as the operation is still on,” he said.

In the raids that followed after their arrest, the IGP said a militant managed to escape from the trap of the forces from an 8-foot deep underground hideout in Shopian district.

“Singh had done a lot of work in anti-militancy operations in the Valley. However, the circumstance under which he was caught on Saturday is a heinous crime,” Kumar said. “This is why he was treated the way a militant is treated. He has been properly arrested and brought under remand.”

Kumar said the action against the arrested DySP would be taken based on what comes out from the investigation.
“The investigation is at initial stage,” he said.

A case under FIR No 5/ 2020 under sections 7/25 Arms Act, 3/4 Explosives Act and Sections 18, 19, 20, 38, 29 of Unlawful Activities Act, has been registered against the accused in Police Station Kulgam.

The recoveries have been made from them and it has been made part of the case, the IGP said.
However, the IGP denied there was any involvement of Police with the militants.

“This can’t be generalised. Naveed had fled more than 2 years ago. And there are cases against him,” he said.
Reports said grenades were recovered from the car while several rifles were recovered in raids carried out in Srinagar and south Kashmir after their arrest.

Singh’s residence was also searched, reports said. When asked that the DySP’s name had cropped up during the 2001 Parliament attack for allegedly being in touch with Afzal Guru, the IGP said there was nothing as such noted in Police records.

“I don’t have any knowledge about this,” Kumar said. Guru was hanged secretly in New Delhi’s Tihar jail in 2013 for his alleged involvement in the Parliament attack.
“But, we will interrogate the DySP about this (Guru links),” Kumar said in reply to a separate question on Singh’s links with Guru.

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