On Friday, India issued visas to the five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan who will visit the country to probe the Pathankot Air Force Station terror attack in January. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), the same day, questioned Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh and his cook Madan Gopal in New Delhi.
The Joint Investigation Team is scheduled to visit India on Sunday.
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The is reported to have grilled the SP on the sequence of events that led to his “escape” from the terrorists who attacked the air base. Earlier, Salwinder was made to undergo a narco-analysis test.
“They were today called to Delhi for some clarifications relating to timing and other related information,” said NIA Inspector General S K Singh.
Salwinder, Madan and SP’s friend from Gurdaspur Rajesh Verma were allegedly kidnapped by the terrorists in the early hours of the new year when they were allegedly returning from a shrine. The terrorists had taken the trio hostage, before dumping SP and his cook and driving away with Verma.
The terrorists, according to Verma, slit his throat, and left him for dead but he managed to survive.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the four terrorists continue to be preserved at the Pathankot Civil Hospital. Citing capacity issues, Punjab health department had recently asked Punjab police to shift the bodies to some other place.
“An official of NIA recently visited the hospital and said bodies would need to be preserved as investigations are still on,” said Dr Bhupinder Singh, Pathankot Civil Hospital Senior Medical Office.
Seven security personnel were killed in the anti-terrorist operation at the airbase.
NIA Inspector General S K Singh said his agency had learnt from the press and other sources about the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team having been granted visas. On whether the Pakistani JIT would be allowed to question SP Salwinder Singh, the IG said, “If we receive such a request (from Pakistani SIT to question SP Salwinder), it will be analysed as per the law of the land. Right now we do not know what they (Pakistani JIT team) want in India”.
Asked whether Indian laws could allow the Pakistani JIT question Salwinder, IG S K Singh said, “That question is not there at this point of time. Such a proposal is not in front of me, so how can I react to this? We have not delved into this matter at all”.