NIA raids across Kashmir to trace cop-militant links
The police also arrested Irfan Shafi Mir, a lawyer by profession, who has been accused as an overground worker of militants.
Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), as part of a probe into tainted Jammu and Kashmir police officer Davinder Singh's alleged links with militants, on Sunday conducted raids at multiple locations in the Union territory's southern Shopian district.
Official sources here said NIA sleuths fanned out in the militancy-infested district at dawn to raid several places, including private houses and offices. They reportedly seized incriminating material including some documents which may help its investigation into the sensational case, the sources said.
The raids took place a day after 20-member NIA team arrived in Kashmir to collect more evidence against Singh, who was arrested along with Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu, one of the most wanted Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants, and his accomplice Asif Ahmed Rather in Kulgam district on January 11.
Singh, who was posted as deputy superintendent of police at the Anti-Hijacking Squad at the Srinagar Airport, has since been placed under suspension. The police authorities have also recommended that he be dismissed from service. The militant duo were travelling in a Hyundai i20 along the highway linking Srinagar and Jammu and were reportedly on their way to Chandigarh.
The police also arrested Irfan Shafi Mir, a lawyer by profession, who has been accused as an overground worker of militants. Subsequently, Naveed Babu's brother Syed Irfan Ahmed was arrested from Punjab.
The investigations by the J&K police had reportedly revealed that Singh had accompanied militants or helped them in relocating to various parts of country on different occasions in lieu of money and other considerations. However, the Centre later asked the NIA to probe the case.
The sources said a NIA team led by a DIG-rank officer went to Anantnag on Saturday and held a meeting with senior police officials there. This was followed by the NIA's raids in Shopian. The places raided by the NIA sleuths included the homes of Naveed Babu, Asif and Irfan Mir and also those of a Hizb militant, Adil Pala, and Khursheed Sheikh, a local resident who allegedly helped Naveed Babu, a former special police officer, in stealing four service rifles from a security picket at a Food Corporation of India store in central district of Budgam in 2017.
The sources said Khursheed Sheikh was not present at home. However, the NIA detained his brother Tariq Sheikh. The NIA also raided the house of Tariq Mir, the local sarpanch, in Maldera village of Shopian. Mir, said to be associated with the BJP was, however, neither detained nor questioned, the sources said.
Both the J&K police and NIA had earlier conducted raids at Singh's house in Srinagar's Indira Nagar and the family's ancestral properties in Tral area of Pulwama. The NIA also sealed a residential house in Srinagar's Gulshan Nagar where Naveed Babu had stayed as a tenant some time ago.
A special court at Jammu had on January 23 sent Singh, the militant duo and Irfan Mir and Syed Irfan to 15 days' NIA custody.
Three suspected Jaish militants - all said to be Pakistani nationals - were shot dead by the security forces while attempting to enter the Valley after reportedly sneaking into J&K from across the border at Hiranagar, 56 km east of Jammu, in an encounter at Nagrota along the Jammu-Srinagar highway Friday. One policeman was injured. The militants were in a truck driven by Sameer Dar, a resident of Pulwama's Kakapora area. Dar reportedly told his interrogators that he ferried a group of militants to the Valley using his truck earlier in December last year, after they had sneaked into J&K from across the border. He has said he doesn't know their present whereabouts, but knows that they were carrying a large amount of ammunition.