Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh sheltered the Hizbul Mujahideen militants he was caught with last Saturday, PTI reported on Tuesday. Singh and the militants were apprehended from a car on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The senior policeman, who was suspended on Monday, lived right next to the Army’s XV Corps headquarters at Badami Bagh cantonment, the news agency quoted security officers as saying.
Singh, who has received gallantry awards, escorted the militants from Shopian in South Kashmir to his home on Friday and allowed them to stay overnight, NDTV quoted unidentified officials as saying. The militants were identified as top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Babu, and his accomplices Irfan and Rafi. The four reportedly set out for Jammu on Saturday morning, and planned to go to New Delhi from there.
Singh was absent from duty on Saturday, and had applied for leave till Thursday, police officials said. At present, he is being interrogated by police and intelligence officials. His office at Srinagar airport, where he was posted in the anti-hijacking squad, has been sealed. Two AK-47 rifles from the car, and a rifle and two pistols were recovered from his home.
In 2013, Afzal Guru, the prime accused in the 2001 Parliament attack case, had claimed that Singh had asked him to accompany one of the attackers to Delhi and arrange his stay there.
Former Director General of Police Kuldeep Khosa praised state police for not hesitating to arrest Singh. “They laid the trap as they do for other terrorists and managed to arrest the deputy superintendent,” he added. “No one can cast any doubt on the police force, which has been rendering service to the nation especially during the last 30 years of militancy in the Valley.”
Congress leader in Lok Sabha takes a dig at RSS
Meanwhile, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed if Davinder Singh’s name had been Davinder Khan, the reaction of the “troll regiment of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh” would have been different. “Enemies of our country ought to be condemned irrespective of colour, creed, and religion,” he tweeted.
Chowdhury said India cannot afford to be “penny wise and pound foolish”, especially after the “chink in the armour” – a reference to Singh – was exposed. He also raised questions about last February’s Pulwama terror attack in which at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed. The Jaish-e-Mohammad extremist group orchestrated the attack. “Now question will certainly be arisen as to who were the real culprits behind the gruesome Pulwama incident, need a fresh look on it,” Chowdhury said.