Davinder Singh Row: NIA Raids Homes of BJP Sarpanch & IPS Officer
The suspects & Hizbul’s over-ground workers, whose houses were raided, included a BJP-linked sarpanch in Shopian.
Investigating the Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh’s links to the outlawed Hizbul Mujahideen, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has carried out raids on the residences of a BJP sarpanch and an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer whose militant brother was killed by security forces in South Kashmir’s Shopian district in January last year. The investigators are understood to have learned that the Hizbul Mujahideen group, linked to the detained police officer, had simultaneously maintained liaison with the former independent MLA, Engineer Rashid, who has already been arrested by NIA in a terror-funding case, and is lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail.
NIA Raid on Assam-Meghalaya Cadre IPS Officer’s House
Davinder Singh was apprehended by Jammu and Kashmir Police on Srinagar-Jammu highway on 11 January while escorting three militant operatives, including Hizbul’s ‘Divisional Commander’ Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu from Srinagar to Jammu. Subsequently, arms and ammunitions were recovered from his Srinagar house and the case was referred to the NIA for thorough investigation. The NIA has already picked up several suspects including Naveed’s brother for sustained questioning.
Official sources said that the NIA sleuths, under the protection of Jammu and Kashmir Police, and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), conducted a raid on the house of Dr Inam-ul-Haq Mengnoo, the batch-2012 IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, whose younger brother Shams-ul-Haq Mengnoo had been killed in an encounter with security forces at Shirmal village in Shopian on 22 January 2019.
Shams-ul-Haq had left his bachelors course in Unani Medical Science at a medical college in Srinagar half way and become a militant months after seven militants had died in an encounter with security forces at a house close to his home in April 2018.
Inam-ul-Haq: ‘Very Upright Officer’ Despite Militant Brother
Shams-ul-Haq had gone underground on 22 May 2018. On the second death anniversary of the top militant Burhan Wani on 9 July 2018, Hizbul Mujahideen had announced his admission into the organisation while putting out his photograph on social media. He was shown armed with an AK-47 rifle. A doctor by profession, his elder brother Inam-ul-Haq was selected in the IPS in 2012. He was allotted the Assam-Meghalaya cadre. He is currently posted as Commanding Officer CDO Battalion Mandakata, Guwahati.
Sources said that raids were conducted on the IPS officer’s houses at his village Draggad in Shopian as well as in Hyderpora, Srinagar where his family lived.
It was not immediately clear if the NIA had seized any documents, smartphones or computers. “The house actually belongs to his father,” said an official, seeking to make it clear that none of the IPS officer’s involvement in any unlawful activity had surfaced.
Despite the IPS officer’s brother emerging as a militant, Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch), Pallab Bhattacharya, described Inam-ul-Haq as a “very upright officer”. Officials in J&K Police maintained that in their records, the IPS officer had attended his militant brother’s funeral and maintained a distance from him right through his tryst with militancy
BJP Sarpanch’s Link
Interestingly, the suspects and Hizbul’s over-ground workers, whose houses were raided by NIA, included a sarpanch, Mir Tariq, related to the BJP in Shopian.
The agency also searched the residences of some active militants of the organisation and the detained Dy SP’s ancestral house in Tral. These came a week after the NIA Director General YC Modi visited Jammu and Kashmir to review different investigation being handled by the agency.
Sources said that during his interrogation, Naveed revealed that his group had also remained closely linked to the former MLA from Langate, Engineer Sheikh Abdul Rashid, who wanted the militants to set up a base in his area of northern Kashmir. After a series of raids in South Kashmir on Sunday, the NIA conducted raids at about 6 places in North Kashmir. At least two government employees' houses were raided in the ex-MLA's Kupwara district.
(The writer is a Srinagar-based journalist. He can be reached @ahmedalifayyaz. )
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