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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

IB associated with SIT probe into Police-militant nexus

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jun 19: Amid strong resistance from a section of J&K Police officers, premier central intelligence agency, Intelligence Bureau (IB), has been associated today with the investigation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state Police into the lately exposed Police-militant nexus on the orders of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that, contrary to his initial stand, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has finally directed Chief Secretary Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary Home, B R Sharma, and officiating Director General of Police, K Rajendra Kumar, to involve a team of IB officials with the investigation into the Police-militant nexus. Though many of the state Police officials and top ranking bureaucrats were quick to demonstrate obedience, some of the senior officials put up strong resistance to the idea of ‘making the Police organisation suspect’.

Sources revealed that at least one senior officer implored Chief Minister to relieve him of his posting before associating with the investigation “central agencies who have, by law, neither mandate nor infrastructure” to investigate crime. He sought to emphasize that Police and investigation of the crimes like Police-militant nexus was “an exclusive state subject” and any unconstitutional value-addition would not only lower the image of Jammu & Kashmir into the eyes of common people but could also make the entire Police organisation as ‘suspect’.

Some other officials opined that it would be better to formally hand over the entire investigation to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) than informally associating IB with the process and thus abdicating the authority to a central agency. Believed to be under sustained pressure from union Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, Chief Minister remained adamant and argued that keeping the central agency deliberately away from the crucial investigation “having national security concerns” would not be prudent for the state government. According to sources, Chief Minister later decided to discuss the whole gamut of investigation with the MHA in New Delhi.

In the wake of Chief Minister’s direction, a team of IB officials was today involved with the investigation. Although, the network still seemed to be restricted to Tral and Srinagar city, efforts were underway to know whether any middle ranking or senior officials too were part of the nexus. As of now, sources said, the detained Police officials’ involvement appeared to be limited to arranging a gun and helping the militants of Hizbul Mujahideen in eliminating a released militant of the outfit, namely Ghulam Hassan Mir alias Shabnam of Tral, in Sadarbal area of Srinagar on June 7th.

SSP Srinagar, Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, declined to comment on the progress, if any, in the investigation. He, however, dismissed reports that CRPF had sought its involvement with the investigation. “They have full faith in our investigation. Neither did they seek their association with the investigation nor did we involve them with the process”, he said.


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