Pathankot attack probe: Punjab cop Salwinder Singh to be confronted with cook, shrine caretaker

 A Senior Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh, kidnapped and set free by the terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack, will be confronted with his cook and caretaker of a shrine for greater clarity on incidents that preceded the assault on the air base. Singh, a Superintendent of Police rank officer, who was questioned for the fourth consecutive day today, will be confronted with his cook Madan Gopal and caretaker of 'Panj Peer Dargah' Somraj tomorrow, official sources said.

PTI| Updated: Jan 15, 2016, 00:13 AM IST
Pathankot attack probe: Punjab cop Salwinder Singh to be confronted with cook, shrine caretaker

New Delhi: A Senior Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh, kidnapped and set free by the terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack, will be confronted with his cook and caretaker of a shrine for greater clarity on incidents that preceded the assault on the air base. Singh, a Superintendent of Police rank officer, who was questioned for the fourth consecutive day today, will be confronted with his cook Madan Gopal and caretaker of 'Panj Peer Dargah' Somraj tomorrow, official sources said.

The sources said bringing them face-to-face was necessary because of "conflicting statements" being made by the three. While Singh had told the Punjab police he frequently visited the shrine, Somraj claimed he had seen him for the first time hours before terrorists launched the brazen attack on the Pathankot facility.

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 conduct a polygraph (lie detector) test on Singh or others will be taken after tomorrow's questioning. A Home Ministry spokesperson said Singh and others were questioned at the NIA headqutares here.

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

The NIA has also approached the Punjab Police asking them to share details of the terror strike at Dina Nagar in Gurdaspur district on July 27 last year after investigators of the central terror probe agency found similiarities with the attack on Pathankot air base.

Three heavily-armed militants in army fatigues, believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan, had on July 27 last year sprayed a moving bus with bullets and stormed a police station in Dinanagar, killing eight people, including a Superintendent of Police before being killed in a counteroffensive. The case is being probed by the Punjab Police.

Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had recently refused to hand over the case to NIA, which is probing the Pathankot attack.

Terrorists had attacked the Pathankot base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2. They were killed in a counter-operation by Indian forces that lasted for about three days and also claimed the lives of seven security personnel.