New Delhi: Continuing with its probe in the audacious terror strike on Pathankot air base, NIA today recovered a Chinese-make wireless set from the vehicle of senior Punjab police officer which was hijacked by terrorists before abandoning it a kilometre away from the IAF facility.
A Home Ministry spokesman said a NIA team found the wireless set in the car in which the terrorists travelled to the Air Force case on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.
The spokesperson said that the data in the wireless set had been deleted and the equipment was sent to CFSL Chandigarh for a joint examination with experts from National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) for retrieving the deleted data.
This wireless set is similar to one recovered from the site of attack in Sambha on March 20 last year, the spokesperson said in a statement. The NIA teams, after establishing route taken by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from the point where Superintendent of Police-rank officer Salwinder Singh’s car was hijacked to the IAF base, were looking for clues with the help of local villagers.
“NIA teams are collecting CCTV footage on the route taken by terrorists to Air Force Base,” the spokesperson said. NIA teams with Punjab police and local villagers are carrying out searches in the nearby villages on the route taken by the terrorists for evidence left behind by terrorists like clothes, electronic devices, the spokesperson said. In the meantime, questioning of Singh, who is posted as Assistant Commandant in the 75th battalion of Punjab Armed Police after being shunted as SP (Headquarters) of Gurdaspur continued for the third day today.
“Singh was questioned for the third consecutive day today. His cook Madan Gopal and Baba of the Mazaar are being summoned to NIA headquarters here tomorrow for examination,” thespokesperson said. The questioning is continuing to ascertain various facts related to the case, official sources said, adding that Singh is allegedly changing statements quite often. Somraj, caretaker of Panj Peer Dargah in Punjab, which Singh had claimed to have visited before he was kidnapped by terrorists who attacked the Air Force base hours later may be confronted with the SP and Gopal.
Somraj’s statement that Singh had come to the shrine for the first time before the attack and that his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and Gopal had visited the dargah twice the same day had raised eyebrows as the police officer had earlier claimed he was a regular visitor to the place. The shrine is located a few kilometres from Bamiyal, the village from where the terrorists were suspected to have infiltrated into India before mounting the attack. Terrorists attacked the Pathankot IAF base during the intervening night of January 1 and 2 and managed to kill seven security personnel including a Lt Col of elite NSG. So far only four bodies of terrorists have been recovered after an 80-hour-long gun battle.