The arrest of four Jammu and Kashmir policemen for alleged links with militants has caused serious concern to central security agencies which suspect that they may have been involved in gun-running and extortion in connivance with some senior officers of the force.
The central intelligence agencies have sought access to the arrested policemen but the state police wants to complete its preliminary investigation into the matter before giving access to them.
"We will be providing access to all of them once our preliminary probe is over. After all its the Jammu and Kashmir police which blew the cover over this," director general of police K Rajendra said over phone from Srinagar.
Surprisingly, among those nabbed is constable Mukhtiar Sheikh, who was arrested in the aftermath of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai for supplying SIM cards to Lashker-e-Taiba terrorists. But the case was dropped against him later on the ground that he was trying to infiltrate into the terror group.
The constable ran short of luck when two of his other colleagues were picked up for interrogation after their conversation with members of banned terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen operating in Tral area of South Kashmir, official sources said.
Besides Sheikh, those arrested were Mohammed Abbas, Riyaz Ahmed and Mohammed Illyas and all of them have been booked under section 10 (being member of an unlawful organisation), section 13 (any form of assistance in unlawful activity) and section 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
All of them were in direct control of senior officials of the Zonal Headquarters of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
Sources in the central security agency said attempts to question the four constables have been turned down by the Jammu and Kashmir police so far prompting them to send a detailed note to the union home ministry explaining the ramification of the case which includes a possible involvement of some senior state police officials.The sources that CRPF, which is assisting the Jammu and Kashmir Police in internal security duty in the state, also wanted to question the four constables amidst allegations that they could have played active role in May 30 firing on its picket near Shiraz cinema in downtown that left seven jawans injured.
CRPF director general K Vijay Kumar was briefed about the developments after which a request was forwarded for custodial questioning of the four accused constables, the sources said.
According to the sources, the four constables were allegedly helping Hizbul Mujahideen militants in reviving the militancy within the Valley as it was getting really difficult for the terrorists to smuggle in arms into the city.Their role in other terror-related incidents that took place in the Srinagar city was being looked into but the sources in the central security agencies favoured a probe by some central police organisation fearing that attempts could be made to sabotage the investigations.