NIA seeks voice samples of Azhar

NIA seeks voice samples of Azhar

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought voice samples of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, considered to be the mastermind of Pathankot terror attack.

Pakistani investigators will start recording statements of attack witnesses from Thursday.  Officials of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) held another round of talks on Wednesday with a senior Indian official saying that the discussion with Pakistan was on the basis of reciprocity and the process of  handing over evidence has started. Official sources said Pakistan JIT headed by Additional Inspector General of Police of Counter Terrorism Department Muhammad Tahir Rai, was handed over a list of 300 questions by the NIA. The Indian agency is expecting positive response from the Pakistani side.

“We have asked for voice samples of Masood Azhar (Jaish-e-Mohammed chief) and his brother Abdul Rauf as also the voice sample of Khayyam Baber (mother of terrorist Nasir killed in the attack),” NIA chief Sharad Kumar said after the meeting.  Indian investigators have claimed that Nasir had spoken to his mother using phones snatched from Indians before the attack.

NIA Inspector General Sanjeev Singh said consultations with JIT will continue for two more days. “Pakistan has given detailed response. We cannot share it as it will compromise investigation,” Singh told reporters. “We have lined up all the witnesses for tomorrow and Pakistan JIT may record their statement for next two days,” Kumar said.

Pakistan wanted to record statements of witnesses, including Punjab police officer Salvinder Singh, his friend, his cook, caretaker of a shrine the officer had visited in the run up to the attack and officers who had carried out investigations earlier. The Indian agency has already handed over statements of witnesses to the JIT.

These include doctors who conducted the postmortem of four terrorists, call records of Salwinder Singh and his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, whose phones was snatched by the terrorists and used by them to speak to their contacts in Pakistan.

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