A Jammu & Kashmir police party arrested a Jammu & Kashmir DSP, Davinder Singh along with two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists yesterday. The trio was arrested near Mir Bazar in Qazigund area of Kulgam district of the Union Territory. The arrested police officer won the prestigious President’s Police Medal on August 15 last year.
The Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, who were arrested by a police party led by South Kashmir Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Atul Goel, have been identified as Naveed Babu and Asif Rather. Both the terrorists are from Shopian. While Babu is a top Hizbul commander, Rather is a listed terrorist, and had joined the terror outfit three years ago. Two AK-47 rifles and some hand grenades were also recovered from the White Maruti car that the trio was travelling in.
The Jammu & Kashmir DSP, who got arrested yesterday, was currently posted at the Srinagar International Airport (SIA). Earlier, he was also a part of the Special Operations Group (SOG), an elite force in Jammu & Kashmir which was established in the year 1994, as an Inspector. During his tenure with the elite unit, Singh got an out of turn promotion to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) because of his successful anti-terror operations.
DSP Davinder Singh was however removed from the SOG following complaints about extortions and was also suspended for some time. Later on the DSP was reinstated and posted at the Police Control Room (PCR). Thereafter, he was posted at the anti-hijacking squad. Finally, he was posted to the Srinagar International Airport last year.
Intelligence sources say that his house at Srinagar too was raided by the police party. One AK-47, two pistols and three hand grenades were recovered from his Srinagar house, which is situated in the high security Shivpora locality that is situated near the Srinagar Army Headquarters at Badamibagh. According to sources, the police also raided his ancestral house situated in Tral in Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
The recoveries from Singh’s house were made on the basis of Naveed Babu’s confession. In fact, the multiple police raids were carried out only after the arrest and interrogation of Naveed Babu and Davinder Singh. The arrested police officer had taken a four day leave from Saturday on the pretext of visiting Jammu.
Naveed Babu too is a former police constable. He had however deserted Jammu & Kashmir police to join the Hizbul Mujahideen. He was on guard duty at the ration store of the Food and Civil Supplies department in central Kashmir’s Budgam district till the year 2017, when he fled with two AK-47s and joined the terror outfit.
Naveed Babu, an expert in making IEDs, was the second-in-command in South Kashmir next only to the Hizbul Divisional Commander Riyaz Naikoo. Babu is also believed to have been involved in the killing of 11 non-local workers including truck drivers and labourers in South Kashmir in the months of October and November last year. These killings were carried out with the object of driving non-locals out of Kashmir and ruining the Union Territory’s apple industry after Article 370 abrogation.
It is relevant to mention here that DSP Singh had earlier hogged limelight in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case. The prime accused, Afzal Guru had written a letter to his Supreme Court lawyer, Sushil Kumar in the year 2004. In this letter, Afzal Guru had said that he had been forced by Singh to take one of the attackers, named Mohammad to New Delhi, rent a flat for him and also to purchase a car for him.
Guru had claimed that Atlaf Hussain, brother in law of Budgam SSP Ashaq Hussain, had brokered a deal between family and DSP Davinder Singh for his release, in exchange for which Singh asked him to transport Mohammed to the National Capital.