The arrest of Davinder Singh, a senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer caught transporting arms and Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists to Delhi, earlier this month forced authorities to confront the question of rogue cops aiding terrorist efforts.
That point was driven home this week after an encounter in Shopian district saw three Hizbul terrorists killed. One was another former cop – Adil Bashir Sheikh, a SPO (special police officer), who made headlines in October 2018 after an image of him posing with Hizbul terrorists went viral.
Only a few days before that photograph was taken Adil Bashir Sheikh fled while on duty guarding the residence of a former PDP MLA in Srinagar; he took with seven AK-47 rifles. His defection is part of a dangerous trend in Kashmir that sees cops deserting with weapons.
Over the past four years nearly 200 rifles – mostly AK-47s and SLRs – have gone missing, with many stolen by cops who deserted the force. In that same period 13 J&K police personnel and two Army personnel quit (or deserted) to join the ranks of terrorist outfits and train local youth.
In the four years prior there was only instance of a cop deserting the force; in 2012 Police Constable Abdul Rashid Shigan was arrested for running a terrorist module in Srinagar.
So why are members of Jammu and Kashmir Police crossing over now?
At Adil Bashir Sheikh’s residence, in Shopian district’s Zainpora village, we meet a family in shock. They say he quit the police force because he was angered by the brutality of the security forces.