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Davinder Singh helped Hizb militant for money: official

Davinder Singh. File photo: PTI

Davinder Singh. File photo: PTI  

‘Naveed’s brother booked air ticket for J&K police officer’

Jammu and Kashmir police officer Davinder Singh provided a safe haven to Hizbul Mujahideen militant Naveed Mushtaq Shah for a “monetary consideration” as the latter wanted to “live longer and escape the police net”, a senior government official told The Hindu.

It was not the first time, however, that Singh had helped Naveed bypass security checks.

In January 2019, Singh drove Naveed in his own vehicle, an SUV, to Jammu. On reaching Jammu, he stayed overnight with the militant.

 

“Singh did not want to drive back to Srinagar, so he asked Naveed’s brother to book him an air ticket. His brother (arrested later) booked the ticket online and paid from his own account. This is one of the clinching evidence we have against Singh,” the official said. Later, one of Naveed’s associates drove Singh’s SUV back to Srinagar.

Singh was arrested with Naveed, Rafi Ahmed Rather, another Hizbul terrorist, and Irfan Shafi, a lawyer, on January 11 in South Kashmir's Kulgam. The accused were on their way to Jammu where Naveed's younger brother Syed Irfan Ahmad waited for them. A Ph.D. scholar, Irfan was arrested on January 24 by the J&K police. The case was subsequently transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week. The five suspects are in the NIA’s custody and are being interrogated in Jammu.

 

Singh's arrest created a sensation as he was found in the company of Naveed, a former police constable and one of the ‘most wanted terrorists’ in J&K. The police say that Naveed was behind the killing of 11 truck drivers, non-local labourers and apple traders in south Kashmir post the August 5 dilution of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories.

Security cover

“Naveed recruited many young men into Hizbul’s ranks in the past two years. He wanted to replace Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin but he also knew that security forces were on his trail and he could be killed any day in a police encounter. He wanted to survive and this is where Singh helped him in exchange for money,” the official said.

The official said it was Shafi, the lawyer. who was the link between Singh and Naveed. A resident of Shopian, Shafi acted as an “informer” for multiple security agencies in J&K. It was Shafi’s brand new car in which the four suspects were travelling when they were caught.

“Shafi doubled as an agent for both security forces and the terrorists. In the particular case, he was helping Naveed,” said the official.

Singh, who had earlier worked with the Special Operations Group (SOG). was recently transferred to the airport unit where the avenues for corruption were less, the official said.

“To compensate for the lost opportunities at the airport, he agreed to help Naveed. He helped him cover short distances on multiple occasions earlier. He was used to corruption,” said the official.

Naveed, a resident of Shopian’s Nazneenpora deserted the J&K police in 2017. He fled with four rifles from the guard room at a Food Corporation of India facility in Budgam before joining the terrorist rank.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:57:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/davinder-singh-helped-hizbul-militant-for-money-official/article30659810.ece

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