September 22, 2016 11:37:22 am
Responding to The Indian Express report ‘Terrorists locked soldiers in cook house, store: Probe’, Alok Mittal, Inspector General and Official Spokesperson of the National Investigation Agency, has said the investigation into the attack on the Army camp in Uri is “only at a preliminary stage” and “conclusions attributed to the NIA investigation are false and misleading, and not supported by any investigational findings”.
“The movements of the terrorists inside the Army camp are still being verified and at this stage, it cannot be said to be the same as published in the newspaper. No seizure of any items including Kalashnikov rifles have been made by the NIA so far, and hence the presence or absence of markings on them have not been ascertained yet. Further, the process of taking over of the case properties are only underway, and have not been completed. The reference to the NIA’s conclusions on the GPS sets, and other case properties in this news report, are thus without basis,” Mittal said. He said the DG, NIA, has not yet visited the attack site at Uri, as was reported.
Referring to the same report, Colonel Abhijit Mitra, Director (Media), Integrated HQ of MoD (Army), said the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) had not claimed that weapons carried by the terrorists had Pakistani markings. He also said “the NIA does not have the mandate to investigate plans and conduct of Indian Army’s counter-terrorist operations. Its mandate, if any, under such circumstances, is to collect, collate and analyse forensic evidence to determine identity of terrorists, collaborators and sponsors, as applicable”.
The Indian Express replies:
The DGMO’s formal statement on the Uri attack made no reference to markings being found on the weapons carried by the terrorists. However, at least nine national television, print and news agencies including Doordarshan, reported the DGMO as saying that the weapons bore Pakistani markings. These reports were never denied until The Indian Express reported it.
Though it calls the report “false and misleading”, the NIA has not denied any of the three statements of fact. Like the Army, the NIA has not denied that no Pakistani markings have been found on the four weapons seized from the Uri attackers. It has said “the process of taking over of the case properties are only underway, and have not been completed”.
The NIA does not deny that a number of Army personnel died of asphyxiation in buildings bolted from the outside. The NIA denies it has possession of a GPS set found at the site. The report, however, stated that the GPS set was with the NTRO, a different organisation.
The report erroneously stated that the Director General of NIA, Sharad Kumar, had visited Uri. The error is regretted.
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