The police had been on the trail of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) DSP Davinder Singh for at least two days before his arrest on Saturday, a senior government official said on Monday.
Singh was arrested while travelling in a vehicle with two wanted Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants and a lawyer.
Preliminary questioning of the DSP has suggested that he had been sheltering militants in lieu of money and wanted top Hizb-ul Mujahideen commander Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Babu and his accomplices did stay in his house located next to the 15 Corps’ headquarters in Srinagar’s high security Badamibagh area on Friday.
Officers of the country’s top intelligence gathering agencies — the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — also questioned Singh in Kashmir. Official sources said the agencies were looking into his connections within Kashmir and outside, especially across the border in Pakistan.
“So far, the investigations could not establish his links with any other police officer or colleague within the police department or him being in touch directly with people in Pakistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). However, investigations are still on and the operation is being widened,” an official said.
The police officer came under the security agencies’ radar after two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including cop-turned-militant commander Babu and Rafi Ahmad, and lawyer Irfan Shafi left south Kashmir on Friday and headed towards Srinagar. They also made several phone calls on the way.
According to police sources, the police officer arranged for the trio to move from Shopian to Srinagar. The three militants headed straight for Singh’s Srinagar house.
An AK-47 rifle and two pistols were recovered in a raid conducted there later.
“A police party in civvies stayed put outside Singh’s house the whole of Friday night,” a police officer said.
All four, including DSP Singh, were followed the next day on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in an operation directly spearheaded by Deputy Inspector General, south Kashmir, Atul Goel. They were detained at Wanpoh in Kulgam in the afternoon.
The vehicle is registered in the name of Shafi, an official said. “We have information that in the past he has helped the militants with safe passage. A team was on his trail for two days but he kept dodging them, he finally landed in police net in Kulgam,” an official said.
Investigations suggested that the police officer had helped Babu, who has a reward of ₹20 lakh on his head, flee outside the Valley to Jammu last year too.
“The officer was likely to have helped the militants stay at a safe place in Jammu this time and help them avoid any questioning on the highway,” another police officer said. Mr. Singh is currently posted with the anti-hijacking wing at the Srinagar International Airport. His role in the August 26, 2017 terror attack at the District Police Lines in Shopian is also being investigated, the official said.