Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, who is under NIA’s scanner for his account of the events that led to the “snatching” of his Mahindra XUV in which terrorists are learnt to have reached Pathankot airbase, has said that the terrorists were also speaking in “Kashmiri” language.
In his statement to police, which is part of the First Information Report registered at Narot Jaimal Singh police station on the afternoon of January 1, Singh has said the terrorists dressed in army fatigues were “talking in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Kashmiri”.
The Indian Express has a copy of the FIR in which he has stated that the terrorists were five in number. One took the driver’s seat, other sat next to the driver, he has said. The SP has stated that one of the terrorists kept an AK-47 pointed at them as they were blindfolded and their hands tied. He has added that his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, who was with him, was pushed to the back of the XUV and “two went to Rajesh”.
However, Verma has told The Indian Express that the terrorists were four in number. His story of how terrorists overpowered them in the vehicle is almost similar to SP, except that he has said that “one terrorist sat over him when he was pushed to the back”. Verma has also told this paper that the terrorists were speaking in Hindi and Urdu and in a language in which he could pick only one English word, “Air Force”.
In his statement, the SP has given a specific detail about one terrorist, saying “one of them had a revolver hanging/attached on his chest”.
The SP has said that he left the religious shrine at Talur village at 11 pm on December 31. Som Raj, head of the shrine has, however, said Singh, Verma and Gopal—who is Som Raj’s uncle—came to the shrine at 9 pm and left at 9:30 pm. Som Raj has said that those present at the shrine were witness to the timing.
Verma has said that they went to the shrine between 10:30 pm to 10:45 pm. Verma said he was telling the truth and investigation would reveal why Som Raj was giving a different timeline.
Taxi driver Ikagar Singh, who was killed by the terrorists, had a conversation with his relative Harjinder Kaur at 9:31 pm when he told her that he was on the way to the nearby Janial village. Kaur said she later called Ikagar twice, but the phone was not answered.