Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday alleged that former Jammu and Kashmir police officer Davinder Singh was “let off the hook” despite being caught with militants, but “Kashmiris are considered guilty until proven innocent”.

Singh, a former deputy superintendent of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, was caught with Hizbul Mujahideen militants in January 2020. He had allegedly escorted the militants from Shopian in south Kashmir to his home and allowed them to stay overnight.

In July 2020, the National Investigation Agency named him in a chargesheet along with five others under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Singh was dismissed from service in May.

However, the dismissal order mentioned that under provisions of Article 311 of the Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was “satisfied” that it was “not expedient to hold an enquiry” against Singh “in the interest of the security of the State”.

Sub-clause 2(c) of the Article 311 enables the government to dismiss civil service employees without an inquiry if the president or governor deems it necessary for security of the State. The decision can only be contested in a High Court.

Mufti’s comment came after a photo of the dismissal order went viral on social media. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister accused the Centre of having double standards for Kashmir residents.

“Innocent Kashmiris arrested under anti-terror laws rot in jails for years,” Mufti tweeted. “But GOI [Government of India] does not want an enquiry against a cop caught red-handed with militants. Is it because he colluded with the system to orchestrate certain dodgy incidents?”

The Congress also demanded answers on the matter from the Union government. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Sunday tweeted that the country had the right to know the details of the case against Singh.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson in Jammu and Kashmir Altaf Thakur dismissed Mufti’s claims, suggesting that his party had a policy of not sparing anyone involved in terrorism, the Hindustan Times reported.

“The case of Davinder Singh is already being investigated by the NIA so everything about the case will come out,” Thakur said.