Millennium Post

Pathankot attack: Gurdaspur SP’s actions under NIA scanner

Days after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe into the deadly terror attack at Pathankot Air Force base, the Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh’s actions have come under agency’s scanner and he is likely to be questioned very soon.

Sources in the NIA told to Millennium Post that Salwinder Singh has been constantly changing his statement on how he came in contact with the terrorists who attacked the Air Force base and what happened when he was with them. “At present Singh is being looked at as an eyewitness by the agency, but the NIA does not rule out taking action against him depending on what emerges after questioning,” said the official.

Speaking on the Pakistan role in the ongoing investigation, the NIA chief Sharad Kumar said that they will also seek help of Pakistan in solving the Pathankot attack once the identity of people contacted by the perpetrators has been established.

Kumar, who will be flying on Wednesday to the Pathankot Indian Air Force base for an on-the-spot assessment, said solving the conspiracy behind the attack is a “very big challenge” but recalled how the agency had in the past established the identity of culprits in many blind cases.

“It’s a very challenging case and a lot of investigation needs to be done. Therefore, I am not fixing any deadline in the case but we will try to complete the probe soon,” Kumar said.

Asked about the nationality of the terrorists involved in Pathankot attack, Kumar said there was little doubt that the accused were from Pakistan and added “whatever evidence that is available in front of us till now is based on intercepted telephone calls between the terrorists and their handlers and family members across the border”.

The NIA chief said Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) team was already assisting the 20-member agency team that is camping in Pathankot. “We will also collect the DNA samples from all the dead bodies of the terrorists which may come in handy in future,” he said.

NIA had on Monday registered three cases in connection with the brazen terror strike, including the murder of a taxi driver by suspected terrorists, kidnapping of a Superintendent of Police rank officer and attack on the IAF base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2.

The NIA chief also said the agency would try to identify the slain terrorists and may seek Pakistan’s help in getting the voice samples of those from across the border whose voices figured in intercepted conversations. “We will ask them (Pakistan) to give us the voice samples once we identify these people,” he said.
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