Suspended Jammu and Kashmir cop Davinder Singh, who was taken into custody along with Hizbul-Mujahideen terrorist Naveed Mushtaq on 11th January, was on the terror group’s payroll, as claimed by investigators.
He had not only taken money for transporting and sheltering Naveed but had been constantly accepting money from the terrorist for holding out help throughout the year, sources said.
“When he was caught, he was transporting Naveed to Jammu, where he (Naveed) was to stay for the winter. After that, they (Naveed and arrested accomplice Asif) were supposed to leave for Pakistan. We are probing the route they were to take to reach Pakistan. Davinder was negotiating between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh for the job — he had not been paid the full amount,” a security establishment officer told The Indian Express.
According to a source, Davinder Singh had similarly transported Naveed to Jammu last year and had given him refuge during the winter. “He was in touch with Naveed for years and was on his payroll. He has been regularly receiving money from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen,” an officer said.
Davinder Singh was taken into custody on 11th January while transporting Naveed, Asif, and lawyer Irfan Mir to Jammu in his vehicle. A team led by DIG Atul Goel identified the vehicle based on intelligence inputs. As per sources, the agencies came to know about Naveed’s movement through Irfan’s phone, which had been under surveillance.
“Conversations revealed Naveed’s plan to leave for Jammu in an i10 car on January 11. Davinder was a chance arrest, albeit not shocking,” the officer said.
As maintained by a source, Singh is not working for hand in gloves with NIA in his investigation. “He is refusing to even recognize numbers stored in his phone. He says he was posted at (Srinagar) airport and would save numbers of anyone who met him. He is also maintaining his innocence. A technical investigation will throw more leads on his contacts and finances,” the officer said.
Devender Singh joined J&K Police as a sub-inspector in 1990. A brave policeman, Singh’s colleagues said he soon joined the Special Operations Group, which was at the time the crack anti-militancy unit.
He was associated with many operations of trapping and killing terrorists or forcing their arrest or surrender. “He was very well-connected in Shopian. The trail has a sizable population of Sikhs and he had a good network among them, apart from other locals. He could not only generate information but also lure militants and execute operations,” a J&K Police officer said.
Singh also got an out-of-turn promotion and even a gallantry medal from the state in 2018 for a 2017 operation in Pulwama. However, another officer stated, Singh’s course of action was not always clean.
A former cop of J&K stated: “I did think he was useful initially, but soon realized that he was probably playing a double game and could rather damage the police force. By then, he had attained such notoriety that I used his name to get work done by my SPs. If ever I found an SP not delivering the goods despite repeated reminders, I would threaten to post Davinder under him. The work would get done within a fortnight.”