Pursuasive Davinder Singh won over L-G for promotion

Singh explained how he played a key role in several anti-terror operations and how he led from the front despite the risk.

Hyderabad: Just as he sweet-talked top bureaucrats and politicians in Jammu and Kashmir into getting things his way, “terrorist” DSP Davinder Singh succeeded in convincing J&K’s first Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Girish Chandra Murmu that he was a “true patriot” who risked his life numerous times in the “service of the nation” — and therefore deserved a promotion.

Making the most of his posting in the Srinagar airport’s anti-hijacking squad, Davinder Singh managed a brief audience with the L-G at the airport and presented his case for promotion to Superintendent of Police (SP). Thereafter, his file moved at lightning speed and but for the arrest, he would have soon been SP.

Highly-placed sources told this newspaper that this happened during one of Mr Murmu’s visits to New Delhi from Srinagar in December when Davinder, who received and saw-off dignitaries as part of his duty, took the opportunity to introduce himself to the L-G in the VIP lounge. (Murmu was in the lounge following a delay in departure.) Singh explained his role in the Special Operations Group (SOG) where he led anti-terror operations.

Wearing his trademark broad smile, Singh explained how he played a key role in several anti-terror operations and how he led from the front despite the risk. ‘’Most of my operations yielded results,’’ he said.

Singh drew Murmu’s attention to the bullet wound on his left leg, explaining how a militant opened fire during an operation aimed at flushing out a militant hideout in the Valley. ‘’I have taken a bullet for my nation and worked fearlessly in tackling militancy,” he told Murmu. “I have been DSP for about 20 years and my promotion as SP is long due.’’ Sources said Murmu was impressed.

The L-G assured him he would look into his case. His staff made a note of Singh’s request. After the meeting, which lasted a little over five minutes, Singh escorted the LG up to the aircraft and saw him off.

Days later, the Home department began processing Davinder’s file. When top administration officials learnt that Singh had met the LG, they wondered how a DSP-rank official easily managed an appointment with Murmu on his own. They learned of the airport encounter only later.

Davinder’s file was near ready when news came of his arrest in Kulgam on January 11, along with top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Naveed Ahmed Shah who is responsible for killing over a dozen policemen.

The LG’s office, which had earlier sought immediate clearance of Davinder’s file, now had to issue orders “forfeiting’’ the Sher-e-Kashmir police medal for gallantry awarded to Singh.

Davinder Singh's name first appeared in the grey zone after Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru levelled serious allegation against him during his defence in the trial court. But back then both the state police and the intelligence agencies had dismissed those allegations as a figment of a terrorist's mind.

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