Hizb militant arrested with JK DSP was in touch with former independent MLA: Officials

Sumir Kaul

Jammu, Jan 30 (PTI) Self-styled Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed 'Babu', who was arrested along with suspended J&K Police DSP Davinder Singh, has started spilling the beans about his contacts and told his interrogators that he was in touch with an independent legislator in the now-dissolved assembly, officials said on Thursday.

Naveed alias Babu, whose full name is Syed Naveed Mushtaq Ahmad, is currently under the custody of National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The agency is probing the case which involves suspended Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh, who was arrested on January 11 for ferrying terrorists -- one of them being Naveed -- out of the Kashmir Valley.

Naveed claimed that he had been in constant touch with the legislator for establishing a firm base for the terror group in North Kashmir and was looking for possible hideouts in that area, the officials alleged.

The erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state assembly had three independent legislators.

Along with Singh and Naveed, Rafi Ahmed Rather and Irfan Shafi Mir, who claims to be an advocate, were also arrested on the day from the Srinagar-Jammu national highway at Qazigund.

After several days of interrogation, the case was handed over to the NIA.

During his interrogation, officials said, Naveed gave many versions about his role in the the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, whereas Mir was emerging as a kingpin of the group which had been in touch with their masters across the border.

Based on Naveed's inputs, security forces had conducted multiple raids and picked up some overground workers as well.

On sustained interrogation, Naveed started talking about his contacts which included the former independent legislator of the dissolved assembly, the officials said.

Later on January 23, Naveed's brother, Syed Irfan Ahmed, was also arrested after he was brought from Punjab.

He was in constant touch with his brother and had asked him to look for an accommodation in Chandigarh where they could escape the harsh winters months of Kashmir.

Last year also, Singh had ferried Naveed 'Babu' to Jammu and facilitated his return to Shopian after 'rest and recuperation'.

Naveed told the interrogators that they used to stay in the hilly regions to avoid the police and left the areas to escape harsh winters, they said. PTI SKL TIR