Congress sniffs cop ‘cover-up’
The Congress on Friday objected to terror suspect and police officer Davinder Singh’s case being handed over to the National Investigation Agency, questioning the credentials of its chief Y.C. Modi and alleging a cover-up plot.
Davinder, a decorated deputy superintendent of police and counter-terror expert in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested last week while travelling with three suspected militants in a private car.
Since then, his possible roles in the December 2001 Parliament attack and the February 2019 Pulwama strike have come under the scanner, with some suggesting that he could make life uncomfortable for many in high places if he revealed secrets during interrogation.
“The best way to silence terrorist Davinder Singh is to hand the case to the NIA,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Friday. “The NIA is headed by another Modi — YK (sic), who investigated the Gujarat riots & Haren Pandya assassination. In YK’s care, the case is as good as dead.”
Rahul used the hashtag #WhoWantsTerroristDavinderSilenced to convey the possibility of explosive revelations being hushed up.
Y.C. Modi was part of the special investigation team that gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots, and had probed the 2003 assassination of former Gujarat BJP minister and Modi critic Haren Pandya.
Gujarat High Court had acquitted the Pandya murder accused, calling the investigation unfair, lopsided, botched up and misdirected, but the Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s order convicting the nine Muslim suspects.
Political rivals of the BJP allege that Y.C. Modi is close to the Prime Minister and had objected to his appointment as NIA chief in 2017.
The Congress has been highlighting the Davinder case every day, questioning the government’s silence.
On Thursday, Rahul had tweeted: “DSP Davinder Singh sheltered three terrorists with Indian blood on their hands at his home & was caught ferrying them to Delhi. He must be tried by a fast-track court within six months and if guilty, given the harshest possible sentence for treason against India.”
On Friday, Congress spokesperson Supriya Srinate said at a news conference: “There are extremely troubling questions, and the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and national security adviser Ajit Doval is conspicuous.”
She demanded “a fair, independent investigation that snuffs out any scope for suspicion” and monitoring by a fast-track court.
“The NIA’s track record doesn’t inspire confidence. NIA chief Y.C. Modi is the same person who probed the Gujarat riots and Haren Pandya’s case. The objectivity of the NIA has been in doubt in the recent past: they investigated the (terror) cases (against) Pragya Singh Thakur and Aseemanand,” she said.
Pragya became a BJP parliamentarian after being acquitted in the 2008 Malegaon blast case for lack of evidence, while Aseemanand, a monk linked to the Sangh parivar, was acquitted in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast.
“Why is such an agency is being trusted for a probe into a matter that has vital significance for national security?” Srinate said.
“Very serious questions are involved — we haven’t yet got answers on Pulwama, how so much RDX reached the spot despite elaborate security.”
She said the Parliament attack and Pulwama terror strike, which killed 40 CRPF men, needed to be revisited “in the light of new revelations”.
“Davinder is supposed to have warned Jammu and Kashmir police during his arrest not to interfere as this was a big game,” she said.
“He is no ordinary officer --- he was given charge of the security of envoys barely a few days ago. It has to be probed how he survived and flourished in the system for so long.”