NIA arrests former Shopian sarpanch

Gram panchayat elections are not fought on party symbols but candidates do get support from political parties. Mir was elected in 2011.

Panchayat elections could not be held in the district in 2018 due to prevailing law and order situation. Around 20,000 panchayat seats are vacant mostly in South Kashmir.

“Mir is an arms conduit, he was arrested and produced in court which granted six-day custody. Further interrogation is on,” a senior NIA official said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Singh was arrested with Naveed, Rafi Ahmed Rather, another Hizbul militant and Irfan Shafi, a lawyer, on January 11 in South Kashmir’s Kulgam. The accused were enroute to the residence of Naveed’s younger brother Syed Irfan Ahmad in Jammu. A PhD scholar, Irfan was arrested on January 24 by the J&K police. The case was subsequently transferred to the NIA.

Another official said though Mir was not directly involved in Davinder Singh’s case, he played an important role in providing weapons to several terrorist groups active in Kashmir Valley including the Hizbul.

Singh’s arrest created a sensation as he was found in the company of Naveed Shah, a former police constable and one of the ‘most wanted terrorists’ in J&K. Police say that Shah was behind the killing of 11 truck drivers, non-local labourers and apple traders in south Kashmir after the August 5 clampdown in the former State after Parliament abrogated Article 370.

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