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Pathankot attack: SP to be questioned jointly with cook, dargah caretaker today

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Jan 15, 2016, 2:48 am IST
Updated : Jan 15, 2016, 2:48 am IST

NIA may take over Dinanagar probe, finds similarities to Pathankot

Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh (Photo: PTI)
 Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh (Photo: PTI)

NIA may take over Dinanagar probe, finds similarities to Pathankot

The National Invesitgation Agency has found similarities between the Pathankot and Dinanagar terror attacks, that has prompted it to approach the Punjab police asking it to share details of the Dinanagar terror strike. This comes just days after Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had defended the BJP-Akali Dal government’s decision not to hand over the Dinanagar probe to the NIA, arguing that the attack was “directed at Punjab police personnel” and a state government establishment, the police station where three heavily-armed militants in Army fatigues, who are believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan, had stormed on July 27 last year after spraying bullets on a moving bus with bullets. The terrorists had killed eight people, including a superintendent of police, before being shot dead in a counter-offensive. The case continues to be probed by the Punjab police, while one section in the security establishment fears that the Centre is taking a “soft” approach to the state. The NIA may now urge the government to contemplate invoking the NIA Act to suo motu transfer the case, if glaring evidence points to the same terror outfit being behind both attacks.

The NIA on Tuesday continued to question senior Punjab police officer Salwinder Singh, who will be confronted with cook Madan Gopal and Panj Peer Dargah caretaker Somraj on Friday, official sources said. Mr Singh was kidnapped and set free by the terrorists involved in the Pathankot airbase attack, and the joint questioning is likely to bring greater clarity on incidents that preceded the assault on the airbase.

Sources said bringing them face-to-face was necessary as “conflicting statements” were being made by the three. While Mr Singh told the Punjab police he frequently went to the shrine, Somraj claimed he had seen him for the first time just hours before terrorists launched the brazen strike on the Pathankot base.

Mr Singh had said he was kidnapped by the terrorists after his visit to the shrine and later let off as they did not know his identity. They said a final decision on whether to hold a polygraph (lie detector) test on Mr Singh or others will be taken after the questioning on Friday.

While the police officer has been questioned for last four days, Gopal and Somraj, who are related to each other, came to record their statements for the first time.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi