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NIA steps up probe into terror attack

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Jan 6 - Seeking to unravel how the brazen Pathankot attack was mounted, the NIA today quizzed an SP-rank officer who was allegedly abducted by the terrorists, recreated the scene of his abduction and visited the border village from where the perpetrators were believed to have sneaked into India.

A team of NIA, a Central agency created after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to probe terror-related cases, quizzed Salwinder Singh in Pathankot after he had earlier recorded his statement before the Punjab Police claiming five terrorists had kidnapped him, official sources said.

There were some discrepancies in the statement of Singh which are being looked into, the sources said.

They said Singh was taken to the places he had visited before he, along with his jeweller friend Rajesh Kumar Verma and cook Madan Gopal, was kidnapped.

Singh, who is facing charges of alleged breach of discipline and transferred as Assistant Commandant of the 75th battalion of Punjab Armed Police, had claimed that he was returning from a temple at 11 pm when terrorists kidnapped him.

The NIA also recorded the statement of caretaker of the shrine who is believed to have told him that Madan Gopal and Verma had come during day time on December 31 only to return in the evening.

The caretaker was quoted in some television channels as having said that he was not aware about why Gopal, who happens to be his relative also, had come on two occasions that day.

The NIA plans to question Verma and Gopal again as there were some discrepancies in the account of the kidnapping incident that preceded the terror attack at Pathankot Air Force base given by all the three, sources said.

Singh had told Police in his statement that after he and his co-passengers were kidnapped, he was blindfolded. � PTI

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