English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

After DSP Davinder Singh, NIA nabs decorated cop Arvind Negi for links with Lashkar

The National Investigation Agency has arrested an Indian Police Service officer Arvind Digvijay Negi on the charges of leaking sensitive official information to terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyiba

For the first time in its history of 13 years, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer—who, on deputation from the Himachal Pradesh Police, served in the agency for 11 long years—on the charges of leaking sensitive official information to the UN-designated Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT).

The NIA spokesperson said that the Superintendent of Police (SP) Arvind Digvijay Negi was arrested on Friday, 18 February, in connection with NIA’s case RC 30/2021/NIA/DLI.

“The case, registered on 6.11.2021 pertains to the spread of widespread network of OGWs (Over Ground Workers) of LeT (Lashkar e Taiba)– a proscribed Terrorist Organisation, for providing support in planning and execution of terrorist activities in India. Earlier NIA had arrested 6 accused persons in the case”, the NIA press release said. “During investigation the role of A.D. Negi, IPS, SP posted at Shimla (since repatriated from NIA) was verified and his houses were searched. It was also found that official secret documents of NIA were leaked by A.D. Negi to another accused person who is an OGW of LeT in the case”, it elaborated.

According to the sources privy to the investigation, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had alerted the Union Home Ministry in the middle of last year that Negi, during his deputation with NIA, had developed intimate liaison with a Srinagar-based human rights activist and some OGWs of the LeT. Through them, he was believed to be leaking sensitive information to the terror outfit. He was immediately put under the NIA’s own scanner.

After months of highly confidential surveillance—including a combination of the human intelligence in Kashmir and technical intelligence from Delhi—two teams of the NIA officials in Hyderabad and Lucknow were constituted to investigate Negi’s involvement and the incriminating activities of other characters of the story. Jammu, Chandigarh and New Delhi chapters of the organisation were kept out of the loop.

It was an extraordinary investigation as the prime suspect Negi had put in 11 years of service with the NIA. He was part of the teams which investigated the high profile terror and terror-funding related cases including one filed against the valley’s separatist leaders in 2017. He also handled the high -profile cases against the then Deputy SP of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Davinder Singh, and the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s confidant Waheedur Rehman Para. Both Singh and Para had been arrested for allegedly providing shelter and other logistics and funding to the LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen and Hurriyat (Geelani).

Negi had been rewarded for ‘meritorious service’ after investigating the terror-funding case against the Hurriyat leaders in 2017. In 2016, he was inducted into the IPS. The allegations against him, according to officials, included collection of money by extortion from J&K’s politicians and businessmen besides “intimate liaison” with some cross-LoC traders and Khurram Parvez, the chief executive of Kashmir’s Coalition of Civil Society (CCS). Khurram had first figured during the NIA’s investigation into the connections of the Left-wing human rights activist Gautam Naulakha, an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence.

Negi was immediately repatriated to the Himachal Pradesh Police.  After preliminary verification of the charges against him and his contacts, the NIA conducted a series of raids in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir in November 2021. Six of the accused, Khurram, were arrested and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Negi’s houses in Shimla and Kinnaur were sealed. His mobile phones and other electronic gadgets were seized and subjected to a thorough forensic analysis. He was called for multiple rounds of questioning.

Three months later, the NIA on Friday confirmed Negi’s hand in leaking sensitive information to the LeT. It was, however, not clear whether Negi had passed on the official documents to the LeT through Khurram or any other OGW. Officials maintained that the investigation was still underway even as the preliminary charge sheet would be shortly filed in a court designated for the NIA cases.

Negi was part of the NIA team that had raided multiple premises including Khurram’s residence and office in Srinagar in October 2020. In that crackdown, however, Khurram was not arrested. Over a year later, a different team from the NIA lifted him from his home in Sonwar, Srinagar. Without regard to the substantial international pressure from Amnesty International and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Navlakha and Khurram are both in jail.

Also Read: NIA probing Kashmiri human rights coalition with international links