A day after a five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) team arrived in New Delhi to probe the terror attack on Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, India’s defence minister said the attack area is under the control of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and it is up to the agency to decide whether to facilitate the visiting JIT or not.
“The area where the actual crime had taken place was handed over to NIA awhile back, which is conducting the entire investigation. Who will be taken there, who will probe, depends on the decision of NIA,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.
Immediately after the January 2 attack, in which seven Indian troops were killed, New Delhi pointed the figure of blame at Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group for the attack.
The defence minister also said the area has been completely barricaded on his orders and any questions regarding access to the area should be directed towards NIA. “Whom to bring, when to bring is their [NIA’s] responsibility till they complete the investigation.”
He went on to say, “If I don’t permit them [NIA] this freedom in investigating the crime, the failure of investigation will be blamed on the Defence Ministry. We have isolated the area completely.”
Parrikar said the crime scene was not sensitive and was a non-functional area, except for a hostel for foreign cadres and the mess area.
“This [Pathankot attack] area is isolated and not part of the airbase till the investigation is complete. Permission to land at airbase has been refused; permission to use any of the defence instruments like vehicles has been refused. Permission to speak to any defence personnel has been refused,” he added.
INDIA REFUSES TO COOPERATE:
According to reports, Pakistani investigation side asked for the recordings of the telephonic calls of SP Salwinder Singh, his wife and related individuals along with IME numbers as well as copies of the three first investigation reports (FIRs) that were registered after the incident but the Indian authorities did not provide the team with any of the evidence.
Sketches of the perpetrators, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera footage, duty registers of the Border Security Forces (BSF) officers, details of bank accounts, service records, post-mortem report of the driver who died in the car accident at the time of the incident and the FIR report of that car’s snatching have also not been provided to the investigation team.
Indian authorities have also refused to share information related to the caretaker of Dargah Panjpir, threat alert to the airbase, security measures of the base commander and videos related to the coverage of the incident along with the wireless data of the entire operation.
Post-mortem reports of the alleged terrorists involved in the attack, their DNA reports, phone records and information regarding the base commander of the Pathankot airbase have also not been made available to the Pakistani investigation team in India.
It appears the stances of the Indian government and the BSF regarding the attack contradict with one another. According to the former, the terrorists that attacked the base infiltrated into India from Pakistan through a border near Beas River whereas BSF is of the view that no one crossed the border from the particular area cited by the government as the entry point.
According to reports issued by Indian authorities, the terrorists decapitated a sikh after infiltrating into India but left an SP, his driver and cook alive.
The reports of the Indian authorities further state that the terrorists entered the Pathankot airbase after scaling the 10 foot walls with ropes. However, no ropes were retrieved as evidences. The Indian government also dismisses claims of support from within the country to the terrorists. Agencies