The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will soon take over the case of suspended Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Davinder Singh, who was caught in south Kashmir while ferrying two terrorists to Jammu last weekend, officials said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The necessary formalities were being completed in Jammu as well as in the national capital before the probe agency, which has been credited with breaking the nexus between stone-pelters and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, takes over the case, they added.
Some of the NIA members, posted in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, were present during the preliminary questioning of Singh and three others -- Naveed Babu, a self-styled district commander of banned outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, his associate Atif Ahmed and a lawyer, Irfan Ahmad Mir, who has been named as an active overground worker for terror groups by the police.
The officials said in Jammu that all records would be handed over to the NIA after the case was registered by the probe agency.
Singh, who was arrested along with the three on Saturday, had ferried Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Naveed Babu to Jammu last year and facilitated his return to Shopian after 'rest and recuperation'.
He is believed to have taken Rs 12 lakh for smuggling the two militants to Chandigarh and arrange for their accommodation for a couple of months, officials said.
Mir, who was driving the vehicle when they were caught by the police from a national highway in Kulgam district, may become a prize catch for the NIA as it is alleged that he was carrying orders from Pakistan.
He had visited the neighbouring country five times on an Indian passport.
Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh also said the force has recommended dismissal of Davinder Singh and handing over the case to the NIA.
He said the police has also recommended for taking back the gallantry medal awarded to Singh by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state on Independence Day in 2018, stressing that the police will act 'very ruthless' as it 'doesn't believe in sheltering or protecting people who have no loyalty towards the force, nation and their people'.
"The DySP was suspended for his act and his sacking is also recommended and the government will take a call on that. We have already recommended for the transfer of the case to the NIA because some thing of wider level can come out of it with links here and there," the police chief told reporters in Jammu.
Asked whether the police is going to seize his properties, the DGP said the law will take its own course and whatever is necessary as per law will be done.
"These kind of activities are not going to deter us or make any impact on our morale which rather gets further strengthened. We don't believe in sheltering or protecting such type of people.
"We are very strict with them and in the past we have also removed people from service. We are very ruthless and we will be very ruthless in this case also," Dilbag Singh said.
He said the officer was not awarded any gallantry or meritorious medal by the Ministry of Home Affairs but a gallantry medal was awarded to him by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state on Independence Day in 2018 for his participation in countering a suicide attack by terrorists at district police lines in Pulwama district in 2017.
"We are recommending the government to take back his gallantry medal," he said, advising media persons to avoid 'speculative stories' not based on facts.
On the progress of investigation in the case, Dilbag Singh said what he revealed during interrogation would be shared at the right time.
"He was involved in a criminal act and is being treated like a terrorist," the DGP said, adding that the allegations about his involvement in Parliament attack as claimed by Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged on February 9, 2013, and various other accusations would be looked into.
Asked whether any other official was under scanner following the arrest of Davinder Singh, the DGP said, "There is no need for speculations and investigation in the case is ongoing. However, if anybody is found involved in this nexus, he will not be spared."
In response to another question about any follow up arrests in the case, he said no arrests have been made so far.
"We have carried out raids on the inputs provided by Naveed Baba. We carried out five operations and busted two hideouts but no terrorist was found. We carried out searches in the houses and seized incriminating material," he said.
The DGP said the police has its own internal surveillance system and as soon as his involvement came to light, appropriate action was taken.
Asked whether he was having any contact with terrorist handlers in Pakistan, he said, "Such a thing had not come to the fore during his interrogation so far."
"As was said by advisor Farooq Khan that black sheep is present in any organisation. Two of our special police officers fled with weapons last year and joined terrorist ranks but both of them were killed along with two terrorists within 24 hours," he said.
Two Army personnel, who had deserted the force and joined terrorist ranks, met the same fate.
"Whatever the rank or organisation, we do not care for it. if somebody is doing any unlawful activity or such type of thing, strict action is being taken," he said.
Dilbag Singh said this operation has taken place on the police input.
"This was our own action and nobody else had any information what kind of operation we are undertaking. Police are very strict with those who can bring bad name and dent the image.
"Anyone deserting any force, showing no loyalty towards his organisation, nation, own people and their interests, strict action has been taken," he said.
Asked about the reaction of political parties after the arrest of the DySP for his involvement in terrorism, the DGP refused to comment on the remarks of the politicians and said, "We focus on our work and it is not my mandate."
On Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's statement that had the officer been 'Davinder Khan', the reaction of the 'troll regiment of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh' would have been different, he said, "It is unfortunate that someone is making such type of statements."
"I am not here to react to the political statements. My job is professional and my job is to take care of the morale of the force. We have carried out a number of successful operations and our action will go on (against terrorists)," the DGP added.