New Delhi: NIA on Monday registered three cases to probe the entire conspiracy behind the strike at the IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab believed to have been carried out by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The cases were initially registered by local police stations in Pathankot that were transferred and handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a central probe
agency that was set up after the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror strike to probe all terror cases in the country.
The first case pertains to Superintendent of Police Salwant Singh's abduction and the second that of killing of taxi driver Ikagar Singh. Both the cases were registered at Narot Jaimal Singh Police Station in Pathankot district.
The third and the main case, registered at Police Station Division No. 2 Pathankot, relates to the terrorist attack on the Air Force Station at Pathankot.
A 20-member team of NIA led by an Inspector General- ranking officer has been camping at Pathankot since January 2 to supervise the ongoing investigations.
An officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police has been appointed as the Chief Investigating Officer of the case.
The NIA registered the case under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Arms Act against unknown persons, official sources said.
The NIA will take over the evidence and custody of the bodies of terrorists once the Army and NSG give clearance that the Pathankot operation is over, the sources said.
The mandate of the NIA probe will include entry of the militants into India, killing of taxi driver Ikagar Singh, kidnapping of Superintendent of Police-rank officer of Punjab Police, who was later released and entry into the IAF campus, the sources said.
The sources said the investigators will also try and ascertain the conspiracy that was hatched on Pakistani soil by the terrorists and if possible find out the state and non-state actors in that country.
The NIA may also question or seek custodial interrogation of sacked IAF personnel Ranjith KK, a Leading Air Craftman (LAC) with IAF posted at Bhatinda, who was arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly supplying information to ISI, they said.
The Pathankot IAF facility, located near the border with Pakistan, is the base of MiG-21 fighter planes and MI-25 attack helicopters of Air Force.
India recently gifted four such choppers to Afghanistan last month.