Pathankot attack: NIA conducts search at 6 places in Punjab

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The National Investigation Agency personnel on Thursday searched six different places in Punjab in connection with this month’s terrorist attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in the state.

The places raided included the office and residences of Salwinder Singh, a Superintendent of Police with Punjab Police and his friends in Amritsar and Gurdaspur, according to sources. Salwinder’s residence is at Chowk Jai Singh, inside the walled city in Amritsar.

Salwinder’s jeweller friend Rajesh Verma, whose throat was ‘slit’ allegedly by the terrorists after kidnapping them along with cook Madan Gopal, was also searched, besides the homes of Madan Gopal and a woman friend of Salwinder.

Amritsar Police Commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh said that Punjab Police provided assistance to the NIA team as sought by the agency.

Salwinder, now in New Delhi for the last few days, underwent a lie detector test on Wednesday as part of the investigation into the Pathankot attack. He is set to undergo behavioural tests, too.

Salwinder is currently Assistant Commandant of 75th Punjab Armed Police after being transferred as Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) in Gurdaspur.

Media reports said Singh was expected to be produced before a team of scientists for ‘behavioural test’ along with ‘psychoanalysts’ who would give a scientific assessment of his personality.

The attack, which happened on the night of December 31-January 1, is suspected to have been launched by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attack comes just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his way back from Afghanistan, made an unscheduled visit to Lahore to wish his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and attend a wedding in his family.

The terrorists attack on IAF base, however, failed to make a dent in the defence cordon that is located close to the border with Pakistan as they met with effective response from the security forces, police and security officials said.

Four bodies of terrorists were recovered while two others are believed to have been burnt in the building where they were hold up during the encounter which lasted for about 80 hours. A few Indian security personnel were also killed in the encounter.

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