Why has ex-J&K DSP Davinder Singh, booked for waging a 'war against India', been let off the hook?

Using discretionary powers under Article 311 of Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor has ordered summary dismissal of Davinder Singh from service without an inquiry trial

 Former J&K DSP Davinder Singh
Former J&K DSP Davinder Singh
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Faraz Ahmad

The cat is out of the bag. The infamous DSP level police officer of Jammu and Kashmir Police Davinder Singh, intercepted on Delhi Srinagar highway on January 11, 2020 while allegedly ‘escorting’ two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists to Delhi in his personal car, has been let off by the J&K government without any inquiry or trial. The Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, using his discretionary powers under sub clause 2C of Article 311 of the Constitution, has ordered summary dismissal of Davinder Singh without an inquiry trial.

A news item on a digital portal reported that the J&K order mentioned that under provisions of Article 311 of the Constitution, the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor was “satisfied” that it was “not expedient to hold an enquiry” against Singh in the interest of the security of the State.”

When the J&K Police had caught Davinder Singh, it had caused a huge sensation in media, political and security circles since he was touted as the most reliable and trustworthy anti-terror cop of J&K police, participating in innumerable anti-terror operations including the last notable one in Pulwama in 2019.

Two days after Davinder’s arrest, Inspector General (IGP) of J&K Police Vijay Kumar held a press conference in Jammu and termed Davinder Singh’s arrest “an exceptional case where a police officer was involved in such a crime.”

“He (Davinder) has been arrested, has been brought under remand and his interrogation is on. The investigation is at an initial stage and I cannot share anything further,” he had said, adding “The police officer has worked on several anti-militancy operations. But the circumstances under which he was arrested is a heinous crime. That is why he is being treated at par with the terrorists.”

The J&K Police had registered cases against Davinder Singh under Unlawful Activities Act and the Arms Act.

Later, Davinder Singh was brought to Delhi on the apparent pretext that some case was pending against him in Delhi. But within a few months, a Delhi court granted him bail when the Delhi Police pleaded in the court that it found no reason to detain him in that case any further.

Meanwhile, his case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), specially tasked with probing terror cases. The NIA filed a 3064 page chargesheet against Davinder Singh in Jammu in the first week of July, 2020 wherein it accused him and his associates of waging a “war against India” with the help of Pakistan-based terrorists and Pakistan High Commission officials in Delhi.

Apart from Davinder Singh, the NIA named some others in the charge sheet, including an alleged commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu, his brother Syed Irfan Ahmad as well as the group’s alleged overground worker Irfan Shafi Mir, Rafi Ahmad Rather and businessman Tanveer Ahmad Wani, former president of the Line of Control Traders Association, described by the NIA as Davinder’s accomplices.

And yet, it is evident that there is an attempt to bury this case under the carpet.

Soon after his arrest in January, 2020, I had written that eventually, Davinder Singh was unlikely to come to any grief because of his close association with the powers that be. And Davinder Singh himself, on being caught with terrorists in his car on January 11, in a routine security exercise, had reportedly told the cops that they have “spoilt the game.”

What was the game he was playing and at whose instance, neither IGP Vijay Kumar was willing to state, nor has the NIA cared to disclose so far.

But a game there surely was being played and the players were not small time. That is why even though the J&K Lt Governor let him off the hook in early May through a formal notification, it was a closely guarded secret and none of the “patriotic” media uttered a word. but for former J&K chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti who made the notification public, questioning why such a notorious cop aiding and abetting terrorists was being let off while innocent Kashmiri youth are languishing without trial in jails.

But for it, this cagey act of the NDA government may have never have come to light and we would be happily awaiting his trial.

Though it is not yet known if the NIA has withdrawn the chargesheet against Davinder Singh, going by the development, this may just be a matter of time and procedure.

It is obvious now that Davinder Singh was on a secret mission when he was driving down with two terrorists presumably to Delhi in his personal car, not handcuffed or shackled but one of them at the steering wheel, according to the first reports emerging of this shocking event.

It is also clear that Davinder Singh continues to enjoy the trust of this government, despite all the reports about his suspect activities emerging from time to time, starting with the letter of Afzal Guru, hanged for his alleged involvement in Parliament attack of December 13, 2001 to the escorting of Hizbul Mujahideen to Delhi. And not to forget his inexplicable presence around the site of Pulwama attack when he was neither on duty nor posted there.

Afzal had alleged that he was sent to Delhi with one of the Pakistani attackers named Mohammad by none other than Davinder Singh to help him out in buying a car and getting him a house to live in. That white Ambassador car with a green Home Ministry sticker followed the motorcade of the then Deputy Prime Minister and Union Home Minister L K Advani into the secure precincts of Parliament House.

All this was brushed under the carpet and now this open aiding of Hizbul men too is being given a quite burial. The question then emerges on whose directions Davinder Singh is actually working and who is saving Davinder Singh and why? What precious secrets are buried in Davinder Singh’s heart, whose disclosure or revelations this government fears?

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