The National Investigation Agency on Saturday said it has registered a case to probe arrested Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh and three Hizbul Mujahideen militants, PTI reported. The announcement came after reports that the Home Ministry had asked the agency to initiate the process of investigating the case.
A spokesperson of the central agency confirmed the registration of the case.
Last week, Singh was caught with Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a car in Kulgam district. He was posted as the deputy superintendent of police at the Srinagar airport. He had allegedly escorted the militants from Shopian in South Kashmir to his home and allowed them to stay overnight.
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 January 11 morning, and planned to go to New Delhi from there. Singh was seen along with the foreign delegation that visited Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier this week, a team of NIA officials, including an official at the rank of inspector general, had reportedly reached the Union Territory to gather information from police in Jammu and Srinagar.
A case has been registered under Sections 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 19 (punishment for harbouring), 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation), 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation, and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of the The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, reported India Today, citing sources. Singh may be brought to Delhi for interrogation.
On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh had recommended an NIA investigation in the case “as things of wider magnitude may come out”. “We do not believe in sheltering anyone…we show no leniency towards anybody involved in such crimes, irrespective of one’s rank or the organisation,” he had said, according to The Indian Express.
Singh and the arrested militants have reportedly confessed that they were hiding at the police officer’s residence in Srinagar’s Indira Nagar, a locality in Badamibagh Cantonment area where many top Army, police, and civil administration officials reside, the newspaper reported, citing police sources.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday “forfeited” the Sher-e-Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry awarded to Singh. The administration’s order said that his acts amounted to disloyalty and brought the police force into disrepute.
Singh’s 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.