Over three years after the dramatic arrest of the Deputy Superintendent Davinder Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have arrested Deputy Superintendent of Police Sheikh Adil Mushtaq in a terror-linked corruption case on Thursday.
On Wednesday, DSP Adil, currently posted in a battalion of the J&K Armed Police, was called for questioning and interrogated for his involvement in a matter of receiving money from a Lashkar-e-Tayyiba operative Muzamil Zahoor during his posting as Sub Divisional Police Officer Pantachowk and the inquiry officer (IO) of a case registered with the Nowgam Police Station in Srinagar.
On Thursday, DSP Adil was formally arrested even as he jumped out a window of his house and attempted to escape after having formatted his two mobile phones allegedly to destroy evidence of his involvement in the terror-linked corruption case. However, the Police had already established his links to the LeT terror operative over the disclosures of some detained terror operatives and Over-ground workers (OGWs) with the help of technical support from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
In January 2020, DSP Davinder Singh was arrested while driving two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists from Srinagar to Jammu. He was booked for his links to militants and dismissed from service in May 2021. Interestingly, both Singh and Adil served as Dy SPs of the Anti-Hijacking Wing of the J&K Police at the Srinagar Airport.
With his brother as a Youth Congress leader in Baramulla, Adil belongs to an influential family. He happens to be the son-in-law of a former District & Sessions Judge who has resigned from the judicial service and joined Farooq Abdullah’s Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) to claim the party’s ticket from a southern Kashmir constituency in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Official sources said that the Police presented DSP Adil before a judicial magistrate and secured his remand for custodial interrogation for six days.
“One Dy SP of 17th IRP namely Adil Mushtaq was arrested in FIR no 149/2023 u/S 7, 7A of Prevention of Corruption Act & Sections 167, 193,201,210,218,221 of IPC of Nowgam PS. A five member SIT headed by SP South City was entrusted with the investigation. 6 days police remand of accused obtained”, the Srinagar District Police posted on X, formerly Twitter.
For his prima facie involvement in the terror-linked corruption case, Adil was placed under suspension in March this year but subsequently reinstated and posted in the 17th battalion of the Indian Reserve Police (IRP), the armed wing of the J&K Police.
According to the Police records, three persons namely Umar Adil Dar, Bilal Ahmad Sidiqi and Salik Mehraj, were intercepted by police at Lasjan on the outskirts of Srinagar on 7 February 2023. An amount of Rs 31,65,200 was recovered from their cricket kit bag. Subsequently some documents suggesting their involvement with LeT were also seized from them.
Case FIR No: 20/2023 under sections 120-B, 121 and 121-A of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13, 18, 39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was registered at the Police Station Nowgam and DSP Adil was appointed as the IO. During sustained interrogation, the detained trio surfaced as the LeT’s OGWs. They divulged that they had been receiving money from their handlers in Pakistan for promoting terror and turbulence in Kashmir.
“The said money was received by them on the directions of their handlers based in Pakistan as a part of larger criminal conspiracy hatched by terrorist organization, within and across the border to pass/raise funds for furthering their activities and causing large scale disturbances in the UT of J&K”, the Police have recorded.
DSP Adil seized four mobile phones with SIM cards from the detainees which were sent for forensic analysis to Forensic Science Laboratory Srinagar on 2 March 2023. FSL Srinagar submitted a report of its technical analysis on 26 July 2023.
“The CDR/IPDR/CAF of the 4 mobile numbers were sought by Dy SP Sheikh Adil Mushtaq from concerned service providers through proper-channel. During the investigation, the accused Umar Adil Dar in his disclosure statement recorded on 09.02.2023 stated that he was earlier working with Hurriyat (G) a secessionist organization and after abrogation of 370, he was approached by an unknown person through a number viz. 92333579050 through which he got in touch with a Pakistani handler Col Yasir and one Aijaz Rehmani (Kashmir based separatist leader sitting in Pakistan)”, the Police have recorded.
On Rehmani’s lead, Umar Adil Dar received an amount of Rs 25 lakh from an unknown person at Wanpoh filling station, Kulgam. He passed on Rs 10 lakh to Bilal, Rs 10 lakh to one Zamrooda of Anantnag and Rs 5 lakh to Yasmeen of Pampore. “The total amount of cash received through these consignments turned out to be Rs 31 Lac 65 thousand 200 (excluding the 25 Lac Consignment received earlier) which was later recovered in the case. The recovered amount was to be handed over to an unknown terrorist of the valley for promoting terrorism and terror activities in District Srinagar”, says the Police record.
DSP Adil seized two mobile phones from the ladies, Zamrooda and Yasmeen, sent the same for technical analysis to FSL Srinagar on 27 March 2023 but he did not proceed to arrest them. Weeks after DSP Adil was suspended and replaced, Zamrooda and Yasmeen were arrested by the new IO, DSP Sumit Sharma, on 18 May when they had allegedly destroyed the evidences of their involvement. It helped their release on bail but the duo was held in detention under UAPA.
One Muzamil Zahoor was arrested on 19 July 2023. His mobile phone and SIM was sent to Director General CERT-IN New Delhi on 22 July for expert opinion which was received on 24 July. The CERT-IN report traced Muzamil’s telegram account to another telegram account which belonged to DSP Adil and they were found regularly communicating from 7 July to 19 July.
The investigation revealed that one Muzamil Zahoor was in touch with the terror network. According to his statement before a magistrate, he helped the terror network to open bank accounts and handled their money transactions. He approached DSP Adil to seek the release of the detainees. Adil assured him help by way of ‘limiting the investigation’ for which he received an amount of Rs 2.73 lakh.
“It is submitted that some disturbing evidence has come from the disclosure of the Muzamil Zahoor and corroborated by the expert opinion of CERT- IN which apparently seems to be highly sensitive and requires to be handled with care and caution,” read a police report.