Worst fears of security experts about another terror attack due to incomplete investigations in Dinanagar attack on July 27 last year came true today when five terrorists attacked Air Force station in Pathankot early this morning.
The Punjab police, that had refused to hand over the investigations to National Investigation Agency (NIA) then, failed to make any headway in the attack, even after five months. Several security experts have been expressing concern at the fact that Punjab could not even ascertain the route of the terrorists, conveying an impression that some agencies were more concerned about saving their own skin rather than the security of the country.
Senior functionaries in Punjab police, on anonymity, admit to the Indian Express that it was shocking that a nation was attacked and neither the identity of the terrorists was known, nor their origin. The Punjab police spent all the energies on making it a turf issue instead of handing over the probe to the NIA.
The police had constituted a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by the Director, Bureau of Investigations, ADGP IPS Sahota, to probe the attack. The SIT was later handed over to Rohit Chaudhary. Sahota told the Indian Express that the GPS coordinates indicated different locations but other security agencies never agreed to Punjab police theory.
Only last month, BSF IG Anil Paliwal came out openly against the police to say they had checked the border after launching an extensive exercise but no indications suggested the terrorists having crossed the border from Punjab.
Punjab police has been sticking to its stand saying even if terrorists did not enter India from Pathankot, they would have come from the J&K border, and BSF was supposed to protect these borders too.
A senior police officer said, at the time of the attack the police suspected that the militants were from the Shakargarh tehsil of Pakistan. It was suspected they entered India from Tash area falling under Pathankot district.
Earlier, the police had stated the GPS coordinates from two devices found on the terrorists indicated they were from Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, showed a map which they allegedly used to make their entry into India. The route coordinates pointed to their having crossed the Ravi, moved Makoura (Gurdaspur) in Punjab and then Marara in Gurdaspur tehsil before entering Dinanagar, 18 km from the border.