Pakistani team probing the Pathankot terror strike on Thursday completed recording statements of the witnesses and were also handed over some more documents which included DNA report of the four terrorists killed in the 80-hour gun battle with security forces.
The Joint Investigating Team (JIT) of Pakistan headed by Additional Inspector General of Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Muhammad Tahir Rai and also including ISI’s Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, began their day by recording the statements of witnesses in the case, NIA sources said.
They questioned 16 witnesses in all, including a Superintendent of Police rank officer of Punjab Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal.
The three were kidnapped by the Pathankot attack perpetrators belonging to the banned Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on the intervening night of December 31 and January one.
The terrorists had allegedly dumped Verma after slitting his throat and continued their journey with Singh and Gopal before jettisoning them a few kilometres away from the strategic air base at Pathankot. The terrorists entered into the air base and mounted the brazen assault on the intervening night of January one and two. In the fierce encounter that ensued, seven security personnel besides four terrorists were killed.
The Pakistani JIT had asked NIA to hand over swabs of four terrorists identified as Nasir Hussain (Punjab province), Abu Bakar, (Gujranwala), Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum (both from Sindh). However, the Indian anti-terror probe agency handed over to the visitors the DNA report of the terrorists and asked them to match those with their family members, NIA sources said.
“Talks are at a conclusive stage and hopefully by Friday afternoon everything will be over,” Director General of NIA Sharad Kumar said.
Besides recording the statement of the three, the JIT also spoke to the caretaker of a shrine visited by Singh before he was kidnapped, policemen and members of the public who spotted the abandoned hijacked vehicle.