Pathankot attack: Pakistan JIT to record statements of witnesses from today

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016,10:27 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The visiting Pakistani JIT will begin recording the statements of the witnesses in the Pathankot terror attack case, including a Superintendent of Police rank officer of Punjab, from tomorrow. Top officials of India’s anti-terror probe agency NIA, who held wide-ranging talks with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), meanwhile, have sought the voice samples of Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of terror group JeM said to have master-minded the assault, and his brother besides details of a trust run by the outfit.

Pakistani JIT headed by Additional Inspector General of Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Muhammad Tahir Rai, and also including ISI’s Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, was handed over a list of 300 questions by the NIA during the day-long deliberations that took place at the latter’s headquarters. We have asked for voice samples of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf as also the voice sample of Khayyam Baber mother of terrorist Nasir killed during the Pathankot attack, NIA Chief Sharad Kumar said after the meeting.

Nasir was said to have spoken to his mother during the attack. The NIA sought access to Azhar and Rauf and told the visiting team that till the time India’s request was pending with authorities in Islamabad, it would like the Pakistani JIT to question them about their role in the attack on the Pathankot air base and hand over their statement to the Indian agency.

The JIT arrived here this week for a probe into the Pathankot terror strike by Pakistan-based JeM. The Pakistani team, which was taken to various spots in Pathankot yesterday, including the ‘crime scene’ inside the air base, has sought permission for recording the statements of witnesses including Punjab police officer Salvinder Singh, his friend, cook Madan Gopal, caretaker of a shrine the officer had visited in the run up to the attack, and officers who had carried out investigations earlier and prepared the seizure memo.

We have lined up all the witnesses for tomorrow and the Pakistani JIT may record their statement for next two days, he said. The Paksitani team is scheduled to return on April two. On the intervening night of January 1-2, Jaish terrorists had struck at the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot and in the ensuing gunbattle seven security personnel had been killed. Bodies of four terrorists were also recovered after the fierce encounter that lasted over 80 hours. The bodies of the perpetrators have been kept at a morgue in Pathankot.