Pathankot Attack: National Investigation Agency To Probe Conspiracy Behind Strike

04/01/2016 9:42 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
PATHANKOT, INDIA - JANUARY 3: An Indian army soldier takes up position on the perimeter of a Pathankot Airforce Base during an operation to 'sanitise' the base following an attack by gunmen, on January 3, 2016 in Pathankot, India. The deadly assault on an Indian air base near the Pakistan border was 'a heinous' terrorist attack, the United States said, urging the two rivals to work together to hunt down those responsible. Three security officers were killed in the attack by suspected Islamist militants on Pathankot base in northern Punjab state early January 2. So far, six terrorists and seven soldiers, including a Lieutenant colonel, have been killed in the exchange of fire. Five members of the Defence Security Corps succumbed to injuries in the hospital. The attackers were believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan and there was speculation that they may belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad headed by Maulana Masood Azhar of the Kandahar hijack episode (Photo by Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- The National Investigation Agency (NIA), mandated to probe terror cases, will register a case tomorrow to probe the conspiracy of Pakistan-based terrorist group, believed to be Jaish-e-Mohammed, behind the strike at the IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab.

A team of NIA was at the spot yesterday as per the standard operating procedure and today the Government decided to hand over the case to the NIA after taking concurrence from the Punjab government, official sources said.

The mandate of the NIA probe will include entry of the militants into India, killing of a taxi driver Ikagar Singh, kidnapping of Superintendent of Police-rank officer of Punjab Police, who was later released and entry into the IAF campus, the sources said.

They said the investigators will also try and ascertain the conspiracy that was hatched on the Pakistani soil by the terrorists and if possible find out the state and non-state actors in that country.

As per the standard operating procedure, an NIA team is rushed to the site of terror strike so that they can share their expertise as well as have first-hand information about the case, the sources said.

The NIA may also question or seek custodial interrogation of a sacked IAF personnel Ranjith KK, a Leading Air Craftman (LAC) with IAF posted at Bhatinda, who was arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly supplying information to ISI, the sources said.

The Pathankot IAF facility, located near the border with Pakistan, is the base of MiG-21 fighter planes and MI-25 attack helicopters of Air Force.

India recently gifted four such choppers to Afghanistan last month.

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