Kashmiris ‘Considered Guilty Until Proven Innocent’: Mehbooba

Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday alleged that former Jammu and Kashmir police officer Davinder Singh, who was caught ferrying militants in a vehicle last year, was let off the hook by the Centre while innocent Kashmiris rot in jails for years under anti-terror laws.

Accusing the government of having double standards, Mehbooba Mufti said Kashmiris are “considered guilty until proven innocent”.

Ms Mehbooba’s remarks came after a copy of a government order dated May 20 dismissing Davinder Singh, a deputy superintendent of police, from service went viral on social media.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha had ordered Davinder Singh’s dismissal from service with “immediate effect” under Article 311 of the Constitution, according to the official order. This provision enables the government to withdraw presidential pleasure without holding an inquiry and the decision can only be contested in the high court.

“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?” Ms Mehbooba asked in a tweet.

She said Kashmiris are “considered guilty until proven innocent”.

Davinder Singh was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in January last year when he was ferrying Hizbul Mujahideen militants to Jammu from Kashmir. The case was investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and it filed a charge sheet against Davinder Singh and others.

According to the NIA charge sheet, Singh was tasked by his Pakistani handler with establishing a “contact” in the Ministry of External Affairs for carrying out espionage activities. Davinder Singh used his own vehicle for the movement of the Hizbul Mujahideen militants and also assured them help in procuring weapons, the NIA alleged.

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