Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh was, on Monday, not declared the official prosecution witness by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016. A designated court has also asked NIA to produce the ammunition seized from the Pathankot airbase during the attack. The ammunition belonged to terrorists killed during the counter-terror operation. The next hearing of the case will be on September 14.
An NIA team told the court that its prosecution witness, a Flight Lieutenant-level officer, could not depose on Monday as he was posted in Ladakh. The court then asked the agency to produce the ammunition recovered from the Air Force station at the next hearing. Meanwhile, an official, on condition of anonymity, said though the agency has not declared Salwinder as their official prosecution witness, he would be called to depose in court under Section 311 (power to summon material witness or examine person) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
“His name was included in the list of 39 persons which was submitted in the court during the previous hearing last month, but he is not an official witness. He shall be examined during the trial,” the official revealed. The agency will produce the ammunition, including AK-47s, magazines, grenades and bulletproof jackets used by the terrorists to attack the Air Force station. The ammunition has been kept in custody of the local police. Senior Public Prosecutor Surender Singh, who represented NIA, said the ammunition would be produced as evidence and the Air Force officer would also depose. He added that the officer would be the first witness to depose in court. An Air Force employee, whose bike got burnt in the fire during the attack, has also moved court to get his vehicle back.
The special designated court has the power to release the case property under Section 452 (when an inquiry or trial in any criminal court is concluded, the court may make such order as it thinks fit for disposal, by destruction, confiscation or delivery to any person claiming to be entitled to possession thereof or otherwise of any property or document produced before it or