Political row erupts over J&K govt order on Davinder Singh
- The Opposition accused the government of hiding facts and double standards.
A political controversy broke out on Monday over a Jammu and Kashmir government order in May dismissing former police officer Davinder Singh, who was held last year for alleged involvement in terrorism and espionage.
Singh was dismissed from service by lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha in a May 20 order that said the L-G “was satisfied” that the activities of Singh, a suspended deputy superintendent of police at the time,warranted his dismissal from service.
The same order also said that Sinha was “satisfied that in the interest of the security of state, it is not expedient to hold an enquiry in the case of Mr Davinder Singh.”
The order, which was issued by the commissioner secretary of the general administration department on behalf of Sinha, cited clause 2 of Article 311 of the Constitution, which carves out an exception for holding an inquiry before dismissing a person from service.
”If the president or the governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the state, it is not expedient to hold such inquiry,” the clause says.
The Opposition accused the government of hiding facts and double standards.
“Innocent Kashmiris arrested under anti-terror laws rot in jails for years. For them the trial becomes the punishment. But GOI (Government of India) doesn’t want an enquiry against a cop caught red-handed with militants. Is it because he colluded with the system to orchestrate certain dodgy incidents?” former CM Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
In another tweet, Mehbooba said, “Kashmiris are considered guilty until proven innocent... But when a policeman is known to have facilitated militants, he is let off the hook. The double standards & dirty games is (sic) obvious,”.
“Who is J&K Dy. SP Davinder Singh? Why can’t government hold an enquiry? Why does the enquiry threaten national security? What is his role,if any, in Pulwama? Who was he arrested with? What’s the name of his accomplices? What is the Modi govt hiding? Nation has a right to know!”tweeted Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Sunday.
A senior government officer said on condition of anonymity that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had investigated Singh and there was nothing hidden about his role.
“All those involved in this case have been arrested. The case against Davinder Singh and the terrorists arrested with him has already been thoroughly investigated,” he elaborated.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed the allegations and said anyone involved or affiliated with terror activities faced action.
“The case of Davinder Singh is already being investigated by the NIA so everything about the case will come out,” said BJP leader Altaf Thakur.
In January last year, Singh was intercepted and arrested by security forces on the way to Jammu along with two Hizbul Mujahideen commanders, Naveed Babu and Rafi Ahmed Rather. A third man arrested with them was Irfan Shafi Mir, a local lawyer.
The NIA probed the case and filed a 3,064-pages charge sheet and accused the officer of “waging war against India”.
Former J&K law secretary, Mohammad Ashraf Mir said one of the three exceptions to the protection granted to civil servants under Article 311 is for reasons of national security. “There are concerns like security of the state and secrecy and the enquiry may open these things. Where the government thinks it is not expedient to hold inquiry in the interest of the state.”