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Pathankot Live: SP Salwinder Singh Questioned by NIA

Day 4 of Pathankot attack: Col. Niranjan’s last rites performed. Three key witnesses recollect night of abduction.

Updated
India
9 min read
Indian soldiers stand guard outside the air base in Pathankot, Punjab. (Photo: PTI)
Snapshot
  • India’s NSA Ajit Doval has handed over information to his Pakistani counterpart, reports Times Now.
  • NIA DG: The terrorists were from Pakistan.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar says investigating agencies have initial leads about the terrorists.
  • Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh, who claims to have been kidnapped by the terrorists, defends himself saying he was outnumbered and lacked arms.
  • SP’s cook Madan Gopal: Police should have trusted us and acted on our call faster.
  • NIA DG Sharad Kumar is scheduled to visit Pathankot tomorrow.
  • NSG Lt Col Niranjan’s last rites have been performed in his hometown of Palakkad, Kerala.
10:51 PM , 05 Jan

PM Narendra Modi’s Silence on Pathankot

CNN IBN’s Zakka Jacob interviewed BJP member Subramanian Swamy, Congress member AM Singhvi and commentators Ajai Shukla and Vir Sanghvi about the silence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Pathankot attack.

BJP member Subramanian Swamy went as far as saying that the absence of representatives of the central government at funerals of the martyrs was merely because of absence of a formal invite by the state government of Kerala.

Family members of Lt Col Niranjan Kumar who was martyred in the Pathankot militant attack near his body at Palakkad in Kerala on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)
Family members of Lt Col Niranjan Kumar who was martyred in the Pathankot militant attack near his body at Palakkad in Kerala on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

The absence of a concrete statement from PM Modi on the incident has attracted criticism from not only the Congress party, but also commentators Sanghvi and Shukla.

Accountability Denied Or Unproven?

A statement of accountability of the attack, even though absent from PM’s office, was discussed on Times Now, as Pakistani representatives debated that even though Pakistan PM Sharif has promised “decisive action”, the evidence will be investigated by Pakistan.

The Indian counterparts, however, kept up the list of evidence including ammunition with Pakistani Army mark on it and phone calls traced back to Pakistan.

The evidence will be provided to Pakistan government through an NSA-level meeting which will happen before the Foreign Secretary level talks on 15-16 January in Islamabad, Pakistan.

10:14 PM , 05 Jan

Trouble For SP Salwinder Singh

SP Salwinder Singh questioned by NIA. (Photo altered by <b>The Quint) </b>
SP Salwinder Singh questioned by NIA. (Photo altered by The Quint)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is questioning SP Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, and Verma’s cook Madan Gopal are being questioned in the investigation of the attack on Pathankot air base.

On the intermediate night of 31 December and 1 January, the official vehicle of SP Salwinder Singh was hijacked on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. Inmates of the car – Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, and Verma’s cook Madan Gopal – were thrown out of the car.

Another car was hijacked by the terrorists after the attack and the driver of the second car was killed by the terrorists identified as members of a Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed.

8:51 PM , 05 Jan

ISI Link From 2014

Airman Sunil Kumar, an Indian Air Force personnel from Pathankot, was arrested for passing on crucial information about the Indian Air Force in September 2014.

He was, however, released as no chargesheet was filed against him within the stipulated three months after his arrest.

Kumar was allegedly passing on information through a series of emails to a Pakistani woman named Meena Raina, in exchange for money.

It is this information passed on by Kumar that may have helped the terrorists in the Pathankot attack, according to a report by CNN-IBN.

Another question raised was against the increasing number of security personnel getting either honey-trapped or falling prey to the monetary gains through spying for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

KK Ranjith, another Airman honey-trapped into spying for ISI through a social media account, is one of the 14 cases of such incidents in the past two months.

7:58 PM , 05 Jan

Punjab Police Denies Delay In Sharing of Information

Suresh Arora, the Punjab police DGP, is all praise for the armed forces. He has said that both the assets and families are safe because the security of the country rests in the best hands.

Seeing is believing, and what we saw was the highest standard of professionalism on part of defence forces.

Suresh Arora, DGP, Punjab Police

Arora has said that a slip recovered from one of the terrorists is what led the police to believe that the Jaish-e-Mohammad – a Pakistan based group – was involved.

Suresh Arora, DGP, Punjab Police at the press conference. (Photo: ANI screenshot)
Suresh Arora, DGP, Punjab Police at the press conference. (Photo: ANI screenshot)

According to Arora, SP Sulwinder Singh shared details of the attack that happened on his car at 3:23 am. Contradicting reports that Singh’s account was ignored, Arora says, that information was shared with all relevant agencies.

In the meantime, by 7 am, additional DG (law and order), rushed to Pathankot and the DIG was asked to mobilise forces.

Suresh Arora, DGP, Punjab Police

The armed forces, especially the NSG, were deployed as soon as the information from SP Sulwinder Singh was shared.

He stressed that the police and the armed forces worked in tandem and that there was no delay in sharing of the information.

When asked what preparations were made since the forces received intel about a possible strike, Arora said,

You must understand, arrangements were made. This is perhaps the only case when NSG was deployed before the action (counter-operations) began.

Suresh Arora, DGP, Punjab Police

Was Security Upgraded Post Dinanagar?

Arora was questioned about security upgrades in the area after the attack in Dinanagar, Gurdaspur in which two BSF jawans were killed.

Also on The Quint: Udhampur Attack: Captured Terrorist Usman Speaks on Camera

When asked for specifics, Arora refused to comment in public saying the media must remember, “the enemy is watching”.

However, post the Pathankot air base attack, following upgrades in civil security around the area are expected. Even as Arora indirectly pitched for strengthening of the district police, he said measures that are expected to be taken are,

  • Post SP (Operation) to coordinate different operations in the area.
  • One AIG counter-intel will be posted.
  • Install CCTVs.
  • Hi-tech pre-established barriers around the area.

Published: 05 Jan 2016, 11:59 AM IST
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