Back in 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir Police was left rattled after a similar busting of a militant module that was responsible for 13 attacks that Srinagar had witnessed between 2011-12, including killings of atleast four police officials and one National Conference activist .
The busting of a major espionage network involving a BSF personnel and a librarian from Rajouri area of Jammu and Kashmir, has uncovered an alleged nexus between Pakistan’s premier intelligence agencies, members of the Indian armed forces and the J&K police. Crime Branch officials told dna that the arrests might be a part of a nation wide exercise to sanitise security forces across country from suspected espionage networks. This however is not the first time when such a network has come to light since an armed insurgency against the Indian state erupted in the valley in 1989.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Back in 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir Police was left rattled after a similar busting of a militant module that was responsible for 13 attacks that Srinagar had witnessed between 2011-12, including killings of atleast four police officials and one National Conference activist . The arrested men included a policeman, named Abdul Rashid Shigan, and a released Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) militant, Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri who were operating under the shadow name of Omar Mukhtar and General Usman.However, what makes the current bust even more important is the fact that the Crime Branch of Delhi police believes that the arrested librarian, identified as Kaifaitullah Khan, had managed to penetrate not only the security agencies but also the Indian Armed forces. He had also roped in his cousin Abdul Rasheed who is accused of directly sending secret information relating to army deployment to ISI agents.While J&K Director General of Police (DGP), K. Rajendra Kumar maintained that the security forces in the state, including JK police, are ‘professionals’ curbing terrorist activities on daily basis, Dr Ajit Kumar Singh, of the South Asia terrorism portal, said the phenomenon of providing state secrets to Pakistani intelligence needs to be curbed immediately with better selection ,training and recruitment procedures of the Indian armed forced as well as the J&K police.Kaifaitullah during his interrogation disclosed that in 1992, he was selected in BSF but he did not join the service. In 1993, he got selected in J&K police and after completing the training, he was posted in J&K armed police till 1995 after which he got job as Library Assistant in in a Higher Secondary School in Manjakot, Rajouri. The Crime Branch maintains that Kaifaitullah had begun his operation to penetrate the Indian army only 2-3 years back, but given his history, it is unlikely he was dormant from 1995, the year he joined militancy. This could well mean that he has served as an ISI handler for over 20 years even after being arrested by the state police on several occasions. Singh attributes this to botched up investigation into terror acts which according to him is detrimental to the cause of fighting terrorism.His research titled ‘J&K Police, The enemy within’ also documents one such botch up during the investigation of 26/11 attacks of Mumbai. “When Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh (arrested on June 16, 2012) was detained by the Kolkata (West Bengal) Police in December 2008 in the aftermath of November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai attacks for supplying SIM cards to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, the cases against him were dropped after the J&K Police informed their Kolkata counterparts that he was an undercover agent, and was trying to infiltrate into the terror group”, reads his research paper.”According to the data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, a total of 21 Policemen were arrested for their links with militants since 1990. While there were only three such arrests till 2009, 2010 alone witnessed four arrests and it increased to seven in 2011. The current year has already witnessed seven such arrests. Apart from these Policemen, four Army personnel and a Central Reserve Police Force trooper have also been arrested since 1990,” the paper reads.”We will have to look into his records. The case indeed is very alarming,” said a senior official of the JK police.