Senior Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh was on Monday questioned by NIA in connection with the terror strike at Pathankot IAF base as suspicion arose after several contradictions in his statements during his interrogation.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday questioned Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh at its headquarters in New Delhi. He is likely to be questioned on Tuesday as well. Meanwhile, the agency has sent a request to the Interpol to issue Black Corner Notices for help in identifying the bodies of four terrorists killed in the Pathankot terror attack.
An NIA team has also recovered a mobile phone, a pair of binoculars and an AK-47 magazine from the Pathankot airbase.
“Salwinder Singh was called for examination by the NIA today (Monday) and his questioning continued through the entire day. He is likely to be called tomorrow as well, as the NIA is not through with examining him. His cook, Madan Gopal, is also being summoned to NIA headquarters, but the date and time of his examination will be decided later. Since Gopal was also kidnapped by the terrorists, he will be asked to share whatever information he has,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
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“Investigation is a laborious process, and one cannot say at this stage whether Salwinder Singh is a witness or a suspect. At this moment, the question of arresting him does not arise,” added the spokesperson.
MHA officials said NIA’s field teams were examining several witnesses in the Pathankot airbase and outside, who were connected to the case and could share information on it. Asked if Singh’s jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, who was also allegedly abducted by the terrorists before his throat was slit, would also be summoned to the NIA headquarters, “That will be decided depending on his medical condition, and if the need arises. NIA teams have questioned Verma and Gopal in Punjab,” NIA said.
About the ongoing probe, the spokesperson added, “A Black Corner Notice is being issued through Interpol tomorrow for identification of four slain terrorists. A ten-member team of the NIA, led by a Deputy Inspector General, is continuing with the search operation in Punjab. An AK-47 magazine, mobile phone and binoculars have been recovered from the encounter sites in the airbase. Search operations will continue.”