Senior Superintendent of Police Hans Raj Parihar's first love were postings in the Kashmir Valley even when terrorism was at its peak. Today, he is behind bars on charges of murder because of his alleged role in the staged killing of a villager from Kokkernag, Abdul Rehman Padder.
Ever since he became superintendent of police in 1997, he has had postings in Awantipora, Kulhgam, Anantnag and Ganderbal. During these 10 years, he was for less than one year in Bhaderwah and Udhampur in Jammu region.
He was inducted into the Kashmir Police Service (KPS) in 1992 following a ruling of the court in his favour. Parihar, who hails from a remote area of Palmar in Kishtwar in Doda district in the Jammu region, has spent almost nine years in the the Valley.
Most officers in the police prefer postings in the relatively calm Jammu region and there is tremendous pressure on political leaders to get them posted outside the Valley, where terrorism is continuing with daily killings.
The killings of terrorists brings laurels and rewards. And in some cases, fake encounters are staged for rewards and promptions.
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad while reflecting on the fake encounters had stated that these appeared to have been "motivated by a desire to earn rewards, promotions or to please superiors."
Parihar was in Kashmir's worst terrorism-affected areas.
Parihar, who was declared unsuccessful in the KAS/KPS list declared in 1984, is a law graduate from Jammu university. Before he got into police in 1992, he had a stint as a manager in the Handloom department.
The officer had political clout, alleged National Conference president Omar Abdullah. "The officer was handpicked by the then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to be posted in Ganderbal because that was my constituency," National Conference president Omar Abdullah told Hindustan Times.
Parihar was posted in Ganderbal in April 2005.
Omar had lost the 2002 Assembly elections, which he had contested from Ganderbal — a constituency regarded as a bastion of the Sheikh Abdullah family. He had lost to Qazi Mohammad Afzal, who was hailed as a giant killer and inducted into the coalition government as a minister from day one.
But he recovered in a big way in this assembly segment, which is one of the 16 segments of Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti retorted to Omar's charges, saying: "Chief Minister doesn't scan each and every posting."
She also advised that "Omar should look into the past records of the postings of the officer. He was a favourite officer of the National Conference."
These accusations and counter accusations against the officer by the top political leadership of the state, police department officials said, were also indicative of the political clout of the officer.