Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

NIA arrests BSF officer for helping cross-border drug smugglers

Romesh Kumar is the second security person to be arrested in Jammu & Kashmir since January 2020 for allegedly helping terrorists
By Neeraj Chauhan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:08 AM IST

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an assistant sub-inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) from Jammu & Kashmir’s Handwara for allegedly helping cross-border drug traffickers associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), people familiar with the matter said.

Romesh Kumar is the second security person to be arrested in Jammu & Kashmir since January 2020 for allegedly helping terrorists. The NIA earlier arrested deputy police superintendent Davinder Singh for helping HM terrorists. He has since been charge-sheeted and dismissed from service.

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People cited above said Kumar allegedly connived with drug traffickers linked to terror groups when he was posted in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on deputation and investigated drug traffickers’ networks in Baramulla and Handwara regions. The NCB recently repatriated him back to BSF after his name cropped up during questioning of the drug trafficking accused arrested last year. The NIA also raided Kumar’s residence.

Kumar was arrested after several hours of questioning on Monday. He was produced before a special court in Jammu on Tuesday and sent in two-week custody.

Four alleged drug-traffickers named Kumar during their questioning, said a second officer, requesting anonymity.

A BSF spokesperson in Delhi said they were trying to find more details on the arrest and added any jawan or officer arrested in a criminal case is immediately suspended.

The NIA has been investigating the Handwara narco-terrorism case since June 2020 and has filed a charge-sheet against six persons. In a statement in December, the NIA said the accused in the case were involved in cross-border smuggling of heroin in huge quantities from Pakistan and supplying it to Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of the country. “They were also in regular communication with the operatives of proscribed terrorist organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), using encrypted chat platforms. The proceeds of the sale were being used to finance the activities of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba operating in the Kashmir Valley.”

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