The Jammu and Kashmir Police is not revealing much about the interrogation of Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh, but the decorated officer’s arrest along with two wanted militants raises many uncomfortable questions about the nexus between the cops and terrorists. Reports say he has told his interrogators that he was trying to infiltrate the militant ranks when he was arrested, implying he was merely doing what was assigned to him. But that argument doesn’t hold much water simply because his current job profile, of providing security at the Srinagar airport, doesn’t require him to do that. It is common knowledge that such sensitive tasks are assigned to counter-intelligence officials, whose primary job and expertise is to carry out covert operations.
Singh’s defence and even that of the J&K Police is rather weak and raises many questions. If Singh was indeed a mole, why was he arrested? Did he turn rogue, as it happens with many in the murky world of counter-intelligence? But if the officer is lying, then wasn’t it a huge failure on the part of the police that it couldn’t uncover the insidious designs of one of its own? This is not the first time that J&K policemen have been caught for their links with militants. The nexus between lower-ranked personnel and militants is not something new and such plots have been uncovered in the past. But the involvement of an officer marks a new turn in the history of militancy in the Kashmir Valley.
It is widely known that militancy in Kashmir, or for that matter anywhere in the world, cannot succeed without the involvement of locals. Unlike in the nineties, when foreign terrorists drove militancy, a majority of the current crop of militants are local youth. Many have been inspired by the supposed exploits of the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Given the current nature of the militancy, the government’s first priority must be to win over the vulnerable youth. A carrot-and-stick policy will have to be followed, not an eye for an eye.