The curious case of J&K Police officer Davinder Singh, arrested on charges of links with terrorists, almost lends credence to allegations by rights activists and political analysts that the men in khaki have “unaccountable” power in the militancy-wrecked Valley. It is true that Singh may very well be the rogue element found in every force, but his long history of carrying on the charade of a good cop fighting evil also provides an insight into how easy it is for such people to become a law unto themselves. However, it goes without saying that policing in a state—now a Union territory—where militancy has been raging for decades is not an easy task .
An IGP rank officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says that some people within the force might have acted “against norms”, but things have changed. “We have lost 2,000 people to insurgency. Hundreds of personnel have suffered injuries and many have been disabled,” he adds to drive home his point about professionalism of the force. Another senior official dealing with counter-insurgency says police in Kashmir only follow orders of the government. “Even with huge power after the abrogation of Article 370, the force acted in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the law. We are part of society. We cannot go back to society if we do wrong or are seen doing wrong. The police are deeply conscious of it.”