Pathankot Attack: SP Defends Self, But is Anyone Buying It?
Pathankot attack: ‘Abducted’ SP defends integrity, says he feels vindicated. But is anyone buying it?
On the intervening night of 31 December and 1 January, Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh and two others were abducted in his official car by four-five men. They were soon released, although the terrorists used the police car to enter the Pathankot air base.
Questions are now being raised about the SP’s activities that night.
Singh, who was recently transferred as Assistant Commandant, 75th Battalion, Punjab Armed Police, said he and his friend Rajesh Verma, along with his cook Mohan Lal, were coming back after paying obeisance at the Narot Jaimal Singh block. That night they were forced to stop their vehicle and were then abducted.
Amid rising doubts and questions, the SP has given his version of the events.
- The terrorists were dressed in military attire.
- They tied my hands and blindfolded me. I was pushed down to the place where we keep our feet.
- They threatened to kill me if I spoke.
- The terrorists spoke in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.
- I heard them speaking to a commander on the phone.
- The group leader was addressed as “Major”.
- They did not know I am a police official.
- I was dumped somewhere while the terrorists carried on.
- Since I was blindfolded and pushed to a corner, I am not sure about what all happened.
- From their conversations, I could figure out that they used a GPS device to navigate.
A reporter questioned the SP on why he did not offer “any resistance despite taking the oath to protect people”.
- They were five armed men. I didn’t have any weapon. How could I offer any resistance alone?
- Three unarmed men against five people with assault weapons.
- I have worked on the front, even at the height of terrorism here. But in this case I was tied-up and helpless.
- As soon as I could, I informed the higher-ups about the incident.
- I didn’t carry a weapon or take an SPO along since I was visiting a holy place.
- I have been vindicated, my information was correct.
On being asked if he felt “guilty” for not offering any resistance, the SP said,
- I feel that by alerting the authorities on time, I managed to stop further damage.
- I am willing to die if someone can prove any wrong doing on my part.
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