The five heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, who carried out the suicide attack on the key Pathankot IAF base in Punjab, are believed to have infiltrated into India during the intervening night of December 30-31 from a spot near Bamiyal village in Pathankot, located close to the international border.
The terrorists, official sources said, crossed over near Shakargarh in Pakistan to Bamiyal village and later changed into Army fatigues before kidnapping Salwinder Singh, a Superintendent of Police-rank officer, who was shunted out from Gurdaspur to take charge as Assistant Commandant of 75th battalion of Punjab Armed Police, at Kolian village.
There were three occupants in the vehicle when it was hijacked by five militants which included Singh’s jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and the driver. While the terrorists slit the throat of other two, the police officer, who is facing charges of alleged breach of discipline, was released later and the vehicle was abandoned at Tajpur village, a place which is 2 km from the IAF’s Pathankot air base.
One of the militants is alleged to have used the phone of the jeweller, who is undergoing treatment in a hospital, to make a call to Bhawalpur in Pakistan which was intercepted by intelligence agencies. After the day -long operation today, all the five terrorists, suspected to be from Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit, were eliminated by the joint team of police, army and NSG.
The area from where the terrorists crossed over has a thick foliage of elephant grass which provides an automatic cover for them, they said. A tributary of river Beas enters into Pakistan from this village and this route is quite famous for drug smugglers to enter India.