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Pathankot: All six terrorists neutralized, Parrikar admits ‘gaps’

After much chest thumping, it now time for introspection over the Pathankot terror attack as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday admitted to “some gaps” that led to the catastrophe at the Air Force base. After a visit to the forward base, Parrikar while addressing a news conference there said all the six terrorists were neutralized in an operation that lasted for more than 36 hours since 3: 30 am on Saturday.

When asked if there was any major security lapse that led to the terror attack, the Minister said, “I see some gaps. But I do not think there is any compromise on security. Once the investigations are over, things will become clear.” The Minister added that every security detail could not be discussed in public.

Following the Minister’s comments, Punjab Police on Tuesday denied any lapse in security leading to the entry of the terrorists into the air base. The clarification came from director-general of Punjab Police Suresh Arora.

Earlier in the day, while praising the security forces for their action against the terrorists, Parrikar said that he was concerned as to how the terrorists had managed to come inside the base which has a perimeter of 24 km and spread over 2,000 acres. He said the terrorists were carrying 40-50 kg of bullets, mortars, which were fired from modified Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher besides some magazines. 

Asked about the Pakistani connection, he said there are indications that some of the equipment used by terrorists were made in Pakistan. The terror attack is expected to jeopardize the Indo-Pak foreign secretary level talks scheduled later this month.

Parrikar also announced that all those seven security personnel killed during the attack will be treated as martyrs that will entitle them to all the benefits available to “battle casualty” like in war-like situation.  He added that except for the Garud commando, no one else was killed in direct operations. “Five Defence Security Corps personnel died more of a bad luck. One of them Jagdish Chandra virtually grappled with the terrorist before killing him,” he said hailing them as martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice.

Sharif assures modi of decisive action
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif “to take firm and immediate action” against those responsible for the Pathankot terror attack at the Air Force base. Sharif, who called up Modi on Tuesday afternoon regarding the terror attack, assured the Prime Minister that his government would take prompt and decisive action against the terrorists.
“Prime Minister Modi strongly emphasized the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organizations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack. Specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan,” said a PMO statement.
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