Chandigarh, January 14, 2020: How could a decorated police officer who has always been at the forefront of battling terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir lead a double life for such a long time without anyone getting a whiff of it?
It is more the surprising that 57-year-old Davinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who was awarded J&K government’s gallantry medal in 2019 for countering a suicide attack by militants on police line in Pulwama in August 2017, managed to pull off the double game he was playing in a place like Jammu and Kashmir where the situation is so dynamic that it is hard to hide your actions, more so if you are a cop who is carrying out active operations against militants.
On Saturday, Davinder Singh was arrested along with with two top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists. Davinder was taking them to Jammu in his car. One of the terrorists, Naveed Babu, is responsible for killing cops, truck drivers and fruit farmers. Police say Babu was on his way out of the country and on way to Pakistan.
Did none of the intelligence agencies active in the state, including RAW, IB and army intelligence, even once get information that a senior police officer was helping terrorists?
Davinder outwitted the best of them and how did he do it will only be revealed once his interrogation gets over. Was he alone or did he get support from within the police force or elsewhere in the establishment will also come out.
But what is more shocking is that the Jammu and Kashmir Police couldn’t sniff out people in its force who were helping militants. Heads should role and there has to be a thorough internal inquiry as to how the DSP could so overtly ferry around wanted militants in broad daylight without any fear.
According to J&K Police, Davinder was paid Rs 12 lakh to transport the two terrorists out of the Kashmir Valley. Three AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons were recovered from residence.
How long was he doing it? There are no answers at the moment but he has always been in limelight.
Belonging to Ovarigund Tral in south Kashmir's Pulwama, Davinder joined Jammu and Kashmir Police in 1990 as a Sub-Inspector right after graduating from college.
He isn’t new to controversies though and has been involved in several in his career but somehow was able to dodge them until now. Probably, as the police was focussing on fighting militancy, which was at its peak in the 90s, his indiscretions were knowingly ignored. Another factor which worked in his favour was his track record in operations against militants.
He spent 10 years in the Special Operations Group of the J&K police, which spearheads the battle against militants. His performance there earned him out-of-turn promotion to Inspector. He was even injured during one of the many operations he participated in.
One of the first controversies he was involved in was when he sold drugs confiscated from a peddler. It was also alleged that he was involved in extortions but the incident got prominence in media was when he hijacked a truck full of timber, which was owned by former J&K CM Ghulam Mohideen Shah’s relative.
However, the first time Davinder was accused of aiding terrorists was when Afzal Guru, the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist, who was hanged for role in the 2001 Parliament attack, during interrogation disclosed that Davinder had asked him to transport a terrorist, who was one of the Parliament attackers, to Delhi and make arrangements for his stay. But no action was taken on the information provided by Guru, who was hanged in 2013.
Davinder also served in the UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo for a year.
Jammu and Kashmir Police has denied that Davinder Singh was awarded President’s medal for meritorious services or any other Central government gallantry award.
On Tuesday, J&K Police clarified that last year, he was awarded the state government’s gallantry medal for countering a suicide attack by militants on police line in Pulwama in August 2017.
The police also reiterated that the disgraced DSP would be dealt with as a terrorist.
On personal front, Davinder has two properties in Srinagar and one in Jammu. His family owns an orchard and his parents live with his brother in Delhi.
His wife is a teacher and the couple has three children, two daughters, who are doing MBBS in Bangladesh, and a son who is in school.