Davinder Singh, a decorated Jammu and Kashmir police officer charged with terror links, was dismissed from service after he was deemed to be a “threat to the security to the state”. Two teachers were also dismissed on the same charges.
Singh, a deputy superintendent of police who was awarded the Sher-e-Kashmir police bravery medal, was arrested in January 2020 while ferrying a Hizbul Mujahidin commander, Naveed Babu, and two others, on the Srinagar-Jammu highway insouth Kashmir. He was later suspended from services. He was charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which was asked to probe the case.
The government order said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was “satisfied after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and on the basis of information available” that the activities Singh were enough “to warrant his dismissal from service”.
Singh, who joined the J&K police in 1990 as an assistant sub-inspector, was the among the first batch of officers to join the infamous counter-insurgency arm, Special Task Force (STF), now rechristened as the Special Operation Group (SOG). He was often accused of torturing inmates at the Humhama STF camp. Singh was promoted as DSP in 2003.
Singh was involved in one of the heaviest gun-battles between militants and government forces in the militancy-ravaged state. On August 26, 2017, eight security personnel, including four CRPF men and four policemen, besides three militants were killed in an encounter in Pulwama, around 50 km south of Srinagar. Singh, posted as SP (Headquarters) in Pulwama then, also took part in it and was later given the bravery medal. In August 2018, he was transferred as DSP, anti-hijacking, at the sensitive Srinagar airport.
The Lt Governor also dismissed two teachers invoking Article 311 which empowers the government to terminate an employee without recourse to the normal procedure if it is satisfied that his or her retention in public service is “prejudicial to the security of the State”. Over the past year, the government has dismissed several employees from Kashmir for alleged anti-national activities.
The government action against employees had earlier drawn a sharp rebuke from the opposition. “In the middle of a pandemic, GOI should focus on saving lives instead of firing govt employees on flimsy grounds in Kashmir. No wonder its misplaced priorities have converted India into shamshanghats & kabristans. The living continue to suffer & the dead are deprived of dignity (sic),” former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted.