NEW DELHI/ PATHANKOT: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday interrogated Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh to understand how the terrorists, who had abducted him in his car before attacking the base, let him go free.
Sources said Singh was interrogated about his statements that were contradictory and also different from the versions of his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal.
For instance, in his FIR, Singh claims that “they were abducted by five persons wearing Army uniforms along with AK-47 rifles”. However, Verma said there were four to five abductors. In his FIR, Singh has also claimed that the terrorists “stopped the vehicle, brought out Rajesh and pushed him onto the rear seat. I was compelled to sit in the middle seat”.
In another instance, in one of the statements Singh gave to the media, he claimed that the terrorists were carrying GPS. But this doesn’t find any mention in his FIR.
The SP’s claim that he was visiting Pathankot to get blessings from a dargah or shrine that he has great faith in is also under the scanner, as the caretaker of the Panj Pir Dargah, Somraj, has told NIA sleuths that Salwinder visited the place on New Year’s eve for the first time. Somraj also told the NIA that both Verma and Gopal visited Salwinder twice that day.
After Somraj’s claims, the agency also questioned Salwinder that if he is a follower of the shrine, why did he visit it for the first time only the day the terrorists entered India. Salwinder’s home in Gurdaspur is only about 34km from the shrine.
The investigating officials took the trio separately for a drive on the same stretch from which they were allegedly kidnapped, to reconstruct the sequence of events. The three were also questioned together to check if their stories matched.
NIA sleuths have also found that the terrorists most likely entered the base by jumping from one of the residential premises on either side of the base where buildings are higher than the 10 ft-wall encircling the base.
Investigators are suspecting that the terrorists managed to easily jump inside the base without having to cut any barbed wire or break the wall, as there is no damage to the wall along the outer periphery.
TOI accessed the three FIRs related to attack. The one filed on January 2 clearly names the Maulana Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) as ‘responsible’ for the attack even as the probe by the NIA has just begun. It says that the trained militants had come from Pakistan in a planned operation.
Source: Times of India