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Pathankot attack: NIA searches residences of Punjab cop, friends

Source: PTI
January 22, 2016 01:14 IST
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The National Investigation Agency on Thursday conducted searches at six places including the office and residence of senior Punjab police officer Salwinder Singh and his friends in connection with its probe into the Pathankot terror attack.

The NIA, after securing search warrants from a designated court in New Delhi, carried searches at the residence of Singh, at present posted as assistant commandant of 75th Punjab Armed Police after being shunted out as superintendent of police (headquarters), Gurdaspur.

Besides, his office-cum-residence was searched in Gurdaspur where the NIA team also searched the residences of his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, a woman friend and the officer’s cook Madan Gopal.

Some recoveries have been made which are being analysed, official sources said.

Singh was travelling with Gopal and Verma when their vehicle was hijacked by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist on the intervening night of December 31 and January one.

Later, Verma was left on the road with a slit throat, while the other two were let off after travelling a distance.

There was no clarity about the sequence of events that had happened on the night when the three were kidnapped and the officer’s vehicle was hijacked, the sources said.

The development came after interrogation of Singh by the NIA for several days in Delhi.

Singh was subjected to a lie-detector test on Wednesday and examined by experts including a behavioural analyst and psychoanalysts to scientifically assess his personality.

The NIA is questioning Singh to ascertain the sequence of events that took place after he was allegedly kidnapped on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 by terrorists of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Singh came under the scanner after he said he and the cook were released after their abduction whereas his friend Rajesh Verma, who was travelling with them, was left bleeding midway by the terrorists.

Also, his claim that the incident occurred when he was returning from a shrine, which he often visited, was found to be allegedly incorrect after NIA questioned the caretaker of the dargah, Somraj, who told the anti-terror probe agency that the police officer had visited the place that day for the first time.

Terrorists had attacked the strategic Indian Air Force base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2. Seven security personnel besides six terrorists were killed in the gunbattle that lasted for three days.

Bodies of four terrorists were recovered, while two others were believed to have been blown up.

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