NIA summons Gurdaspur SP

NIA summons Gurdaspur SP

Pathankot attack: Officer under scanner for 'gaps' in statements

NIA summons Gurdaspur SP

Punjab Police officer and Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, who claimed he was “abducted” by terrorists responsible for the Pathankot airbase attack, has been summoned to New Delhi for questioning on Monday.

The SP has been under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for “gaps” in his version about the incident.

NIA sleuths will question him to ascertain his role in the whole episode.

The NIA has also sought call details of Ikagar Singh, the taxi driver who was killed by the terrorists.

Besides, it is also surfing through documents about location of mobile towers through which terrorists made calls to Pakistan.

Salwinder, Assistant Commandant of 75th Battalion of Punjab Armed Police, was abducted along with his friend Rajesh Verma and cook in his personal vehicle. The terrorists used this vehicle on December 31 before dumping it near the airbase.

Sources said the NIA might seek a lie-detector test on Salwinder. Investigators see loopholes in versions provided by the officer and his cook. Investigations are on whether the officer has links with the terrorists or whether he helped them in carrying out the attack.

Though the officer may not know the real intentions of the terrorists, investigators want to see whether the officer inadvertently helped them. Investigators also suspect that the terrorists might have used smugglers’ network to sneak in to India and ferry arms and ammunition. The border districts of Gurdaspur and Pathankot are known for such activities.

It is possible that the officer chickened out and informed the police about the terrorists after he found out the real intentions of the terrorists. “There are loopholes in his story. We have to find out to get to the bottom of the case,” a senior official said. Salwinder kept four mobiles numbers while his cook has two.

Investigators would also ask Salwinder why he is maintaining four numbers. Four NIA teams are already camping in Punjab to verify facts and examine witnesses in close cooperation with the Punjab Police. NIA Director General Sharad Kumar met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to brief him on the case.
Attackers’ DNA samples awaited
Investigators are now awaiting reports of DNA samples collected from vehicles used by terrorists, footprints lifted from a border village and airbase to conclusively nail their identity and nationality of those involved in the Pathankot terror attack, DHNS reports from New Delhi.
Authorities have conducted the post-mortem examination of bodies of terrorists killed and their body tissues have been preserved for DNA sampling, officials said on Friday.
DNA samples collected from vehicles used by the terrorists have also been sent for forensic examination. Footprints suspected to be that of terrorists were lifted from Bamihal village along the border and from within the Air Force station. The footprints will be compared at the Central Forensic Science Lab in Chandigarh, which will help the investigators to track the route taken by terrorists to reach the airbase.