Jammu and Kashmir police’s Deputy Inspector General Atul Kumar Goel, who broke a police-terrorist nexus by arresting now-suspended DSP Davinder Singh, is among 81 personnel of the force who have been awarded police medals for gallantry.
Overall, the J&K police’s 81 medals are the maximum awarded to any police force this year, followed by the CRPFs 55.
Goel, a 2004-batch IPS officer, had personally laid a police picket on a national highway on January 11 this year after intelligence reports indicated that Davinder Singh, along with an over ground worker of terror groups, was ferrying two terrorists to Jammu to escape the harsh winters.
After a brief altercation, when Singh attempted to throw his weight at the policemen at the checkpost to escape, Goel, according to eyewitness, stepped out of his vehicle and slapped the erring DSP, following which he was arrested.
The NIA, which took over the case subsequently, has already filed a charge sheet and alleged that the suspended DSP was being groomed by officials of the Pakistani High Commission in India to get more sensitive information.
Tahir Ashraf Bhatti, a Superintendent of Police in the Special Operations Group, a specialised anti-terrorist unit of the JK police, was also awarded the gallantry medal for his countering-militancy work in the Kashmir valley.
A law graduate, hailing from Poonch area of Jammu, the officer has been incharge of the SOG for the past two years. He simultaneously looks after the cyber cell, which monitors anti-India propaganda on the internet.
The force also been given 13 medals for meritorious and distinguished service.
Among the meritorious service awardees is Awantipora Senior Superintendent of Police Tahir Saleem Khan, who looks after the highly volatile area of South Kashmir. Many terrorists have been killed during his tenure.
A 2001-batch officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Service, Khan has been awarded the police medal for meritorious services in leading his force and elimination of dreaded terrorists which included the longest surviving militant Riyaz Naikoo of Hizbul Mujahideen.
Considered an upright and tough task master, this is Khan’s second posting in Awantipora during which successful operations have led to the killing of nearly 30 terrorists.
Besides Naikoo, Qari Yasir, a dreaded foreign JeM terrorist, and local terrorist Umar Fayyaz alias ‘Hamad Khan’, a resident of Tral who worked for banned Hizbul Mujahideen in North and Central Kashmir, were also eliminated during his tenure.