Pathankot attack: Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh arrives at NIA HQ for grilling, may face polygraph test

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New Delhi: Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police (SP) Salwinder Singh on Tuesday arrived at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters here for questioning in connection with the Pathankot airbase terror attack case.

Singh is a key witness in the Pathankot airbase terror attack case, which is being probed by the NIA.

The NIA, which is not ready yet to give a clean chit to Singh, had yesterday asked him to appear before it for questioning again.

Singh was questioned for the entire day on Monday at NIA headquarters in Delhi. Salwinder’s cook, Madan Gopal, is also under scanner and is being questioned in Punjab by the NIA investigators.

Gopal may also be brought to Delhi for detailed questioning in a couple of days, Home Ministry spokesperson for Pathankot case, Satyendra Garg had announced yesterday.

“Salwinder is being questioned on all aspects of the case as he was a prime witness. He will also be questioned on Tuesday again in detail and if required for yet another day,” said Garg adding that questions on his arrest has not arisen yet and will depend on the findings during interrogation.

Besides, the NIA officials are also examining all witnesses connected to the case or those who have information about the terrorists, he added.

Salwinder Singh had told the investigators that he was kidnapped by the four terrorists on the intervening night of December 31 and later dumped along with his cook blind-folded and handcuffed.

The needle of suspicion remains on Salwinder for being left unharmed by the terrorists despite travelling in a SUV with a beacon and for inconsistencies that cropped up during his narration of the incident – right from his trip to the Panj Peer Dargah to the carjacking incident to the time he reached a police station to alert about impending terror attack.

His jeweller friend, Rajesh Verma, who travelled along with terrorists and escaped miraculously is also being questioned and simultaneous questioning of all the three at a later date cannot be ruled out.

Intelligence agencies are not ruling out the possibility of Salwinder becoming a fall guy in drug peddling racket that is rampant in Punjab. They are also examining through the past call data record (CDR) of Salwinder Singh to know about any possible links to the drug mafia.

In the meantime, a 10 member NIA team headed by a DIG has found more evidence from the crime scene during its search operation that includes one magazine of AK-47, a mobile phone and a binocular, said union home ministry.

A black corner notice is also being issued to the Interpol to establish the identities of four slain terrorists. The step would increase pressure on Pakistan to provide information about the terrorists in question, sources said.

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