DSP Davinder Singh was on Hizb-ul-Mujahideen payroll: Investigators

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The DSP of Jammu and Kashmir police Davinder Singh, who was arrested along with two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists earlier this month, was on the payroll of the Islamic terror organisation, according to investigators. On January 11, the police officer was arrested along with HM terrorists Naveed Babu and Asif Rather when they were travelling together in a car.

Davinder Singh had been taking money not only for transporting and sheltering Naveed, but was also receiving money on a regular basis from the terrorist for extending assistance throughout the year, police sources said.

“When he was caught, he was transporting Naveed to Jammu, where he was to stay for the winter. After that, they (Naveed and 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 said.

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“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.

Singh was arrested on January 11 in Kulgam while ferrying Naveed, Asif, and lawyer Irfan Mir to Jammu in his car. A team led by DIG Atul Goel had flagged the car (Hyundai i10) based on intelligence inputs. Sources said agencies learned about Naveed’s movement through Irfan’s phone, which had been put on 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.

According to a source, Singh is not cooperating with NIA in his interrogation. “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. The technical investigation will throw more leads on his contacts and finances,” the officer said.

He was involved in multiple operations of trapping and killing militants or forcing their arrest or surrender. “He was very well-connected in Shopian. Tral 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.

Due to his successful anti-terror operations in the Special Operations Group, he had got an out-of-turn promotion as DSP, and later was awarded a President’s Police Medal.

But his stint in Jammu and Kashmir was not clean. Singh was removed from SOG after there were allegations of extortions against him, and he was suspended from services for some time.

A former top cop of J&K said: “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.”

Davinder Singh was currently posted at the Srinagar International Airport. Earlier he was in the anti-hijacking squad of J&K police and before that a part of the special operations group when the elite force was established. His case has been handed over to NIA.

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