Pathankot Attack: Salwinder Singh Gets Clean Chit

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New Delhi:  Senior Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh, who is being questioned by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the Pathankot terror strike, has been given a clean chit after the tests, including a lie-detector test, found nothing against him, according to official sources.

Mr Singh, a Superintendent of Police-rank officer, has been questioned multiple times in the last two weeks.

Searches at various places against him including his native place in Amritsar found nothing; documents recovered showed nothing incriminating against him, official sources said.

The NIA was trying to find out whether the senior cop had any role in the drug racket being run in the bordering districts of Pathankot and Gurudaspur.

Mr Singh says he was driving with his cook and a jeweller friend on the night of December 31 when men wearing fatigues and armed with AK-47s stopped his car. He says the men then took his car, abandoning his cook and him, gagged and bound, on the road. The throat of the jeweler, who was taken by the terrorists, was slashed; he has recovered from his injuries.

Mr Singh’s car was used by the terrorists from Pakistan to approach the 2000-acre air force base at Pathankot, which they reportedly entered by scaling a 10-foot high wall with a rope. The attack, conducted by them and another pair of terrorists, commenced pre-dawn on Saturday.  Seven military men were martyred and 20 injured before the base was secured nearly 80 hours later.

Mr Singh has denied reports that links to the booming cross-border drug trade in Punjab may have brought him into contacts with the terrorists, believed to be from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, which says it is fighting for Kashmir’s independence.

After he managed to free himself, Mr Singh’s phone call to his superiors, alerting them to his car-jacking, was treated for hours as a case of armed robbery – a major security lapse.

PTI

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