‘He stayed in touch with Pak High Commission officials in Delhi’
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Devender Singh, who was arrested along with two top militants and an Over Ground Worker (OGW) in south Kashmir early this year, had ferried militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in his vehicle, provided accommodation to them, and was in touch with the officials of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, National Investigation Agency (NIA) said Monday.
The probe agency filed a charge sheet in RC-01/2020/NIA/JMU against the six accused persons including Hizbul Mujahideen militant Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu, Irfan Shafi Mir alias Advocate, DySP Devender Singh, militant Rafi Ahmad Rather, Tanveer Ahmad Wani, former LoC trader and Naveed's brother Syed Irfan Ahmad under sections 120 B, 121, 121 A and 122 of the IPC, Sections 17, 18, 18 B, 19, 20, 23, 38, 39 and 40 of the UA (P) Act 1967, and 25 (1)(a) and 35 of Arms Act, section 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act in NIA Special Court at Jammu.
They have been chargesheeted in a case RC-01/2020/NIA/JMU registered by NIA on January 17 this year after taking over the investigation of the case from Qazigund Police.
“The accused Devender Singh was in touch with certain officials of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi through secure social media platforms. Investigation revealed that he was being groomed by the Pakistani officials for obtaining sensitive information,” NIA spokeswoman, Sonia Narang said in a statement.
In a bid to shield Naveed from the heightened surveillance of security agencies, DySP Singh, while serving in J&K Police, along with Mir and Ahmad, arranged safe shelter for him and his associate in Jammu in February 2019, NIA said.
“A Police constable-turned-militant, Naveed had deserted the Police force along with weapons and was responsible for various killings, including incidents in which labourers and truck drivers were killed after the abrogation of Article 370,” it said. “Naveed had made efforts to recruit gullible Muslims youth to join Hizbul Mujahideen cadres. He was also receiving funds from LoC traders and accused Tanveer Ahmad Wani who was the ex-president of LoC Traders Association was providing him funds with the help of other traders based in PaK."
NIA said the investigation had also revealed that the accused were obtaining weapons and ammunitions from across the border with the help of arms smugglers and the accused Devender Singh.
“These weapons were later used for militant activities,” it said.
Singh used his own vehicle for the movement of Hizb militants and assured them of help in procuring weapons, the NIA said.
On January 11, Police arrested DySP Singh along with Naveed, the then district commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen for Shopian and Ganderbal, and Rather and Advocate Mir near Al-Stop Naka at Qazigund while they were going out of Srinagar toward Jammu in a car owned and driven by Mir.
“During the search of the vehicle, one AK-47 rifle, three pistols and a cache of ammunition and explosives were recovered from them. All the four accused were arrested by Police on the same day," NIA said.
The NIA spokeswoman said during the investigation, these four accused were interrogated thoroughly and searches were conducted at 15 places in Kashmir and Jammu.
Three more accused including Naveed's younger brother Syed Irfan Ahmad, Tanveer Ahmad Wani, and Tariq Ahmad Mir were arrested in the case on January 23, February 10 and April 29 this year.
The NIA said they were arrested for being part of the “conspiracy to extend support to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen by way of raising and transferring funds to the militants of the outfit, harbouring them and supplying arms, ammunition, and explosives to carry out “subversive activities”.
“The probe revealed that they were part of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Pakistani state agencies to commit violent acts and to wage war against the Union of India," the NIA said in a statement.
It said Pakistan-based Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leadership including Syed Salahudeen, Amir Khan, Deputy Chief Khursheed Alam, Operational Head Nazar Mehmood and Financial Head and others along with Pakistani establishment was extending support to the cadre and commanders of the Hizb based in Jammu Kashmir.
The NIA said the investigation had revealed that Mir not only met the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leadership in Pakistan but also met Umar Cheema, Ahsan Chaudhary, Sohail Abbas, and others of ISI of Pakistan.
"He was tasked to identify and activate the new hawala channels for transfer of money for sustaining militant activities in Kashmir," the NIA said.
Some officials of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were in constant touch with Mir, who was provided with funds to organise seminars in J&K to mobilise the masses against the Government of India, as per the NIA.
"He used to receive instructions and money from Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and also facilitated the visa applications for a number of Kashmiris for their visit to Pakistan," it said.
The Pakistani establishment has been devising all possible ways and means to fund, arm, and sustain militant activities of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, NIA said.
"Further investigation in the case is continuing against the arrested accused Tariq Ahmad Mir and others in the case," it said.