New Delhi: In the backdrop of a terror attack at the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in which seven security personnel, including one officer of the National Security Guard were killed, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy said on Sunday that time has come to teach Pakistan a lesson by breaking it into four.
However, the terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan and who attacked the IAF base, failed to destroy IAF assets due to timely action by security forces, union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said.
“Time to put in place a strategic 2 year plan to teach Pak by breaking it into 4. But you need Chinese neutrality for that,” Swamy tweeted.
Time to put in place a strategic 2 year plan to teach Pak by breaking it into 4. But you need Chinese neutrality for that
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) January 3, 2016
Four terrorists were killed on Saturday in a 15-hour gunfight in which the NSG, Indian Army and IAF commandos were involved, assisted by IAF attack helicopters.
Smoke could be seen coming out of the IAF air base in Pathankot, 250 km from Chandigarh, on Sunday evening as the gunfight moved to an end.
The home secretary said four terrorists were neutralised on Saturday after hours of fighting. At that time, "it was not certain if there were other terrorists or not."
But on Sunday morning, it was discovered there were two more terrorists, he said.
According to him, the terrorists killed six IAF personnel and injured eight others. An NSG officer was killed on Sunday morning and 12 of his colleagues were injured.
"Because of early action, the terrorists were unable to move to their likely intended aim but were contained in an area of heavy growth of trees and shrubs and surrounded," Mehrishi said.
He also said the security forces had sounded an alert in the area, including the IAF base, ahead of Saturday's pre-dawn attack.
All vital installations and government offices were informed about a likely terror attack and efforts were mounted to track down the terrorists who had earlier killed a taxi driver, he said.
"Due to the active intelligence inputs and quick action taken by security forces, especially the IAF, we were able to ensure there was no damage to the assets of the air force. Therefore, the main apparent aim of the terrorists stands defeated."
Giving details of the attack, Air Commodore Dhamoon said: "During the search operation late in the night, one group was engaged by the Garuds (IAF commandos). One Garud was martyred and one was injured.
"The terrorists, estimated to be four in number, managed to run away from there and headed to other buildings. They kept firing while running."
He said the terrorists, while running, fired at the DSC (Defence Service Corps) mess where early morning breakfast was being prepared.
"One DSC jawan ran after them, jostled with one of the terrorists who were running. With the terrorist's rifle itself, he killed the terrorist. Thereafter, he was killed by one of the bullets of the terrorists," Dhamoon said.
"The terrorists were cordoned off in one area and the operation continued throughout the night (Saturday) and in the morning (Sunday)," he said.
Dhamoon said seven security personnel -- one Garud commando, five from the DSC and one officer of the NSG -- were killed.
There was confusion on Saturday evening about the number of terrorists killed and whether the operation against them had ended.
(With IANS inputs)