The five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will begin recording statements of the Pathankot airbase attack witnesses today (Thursday), including a senior police official, as India started the process of handing over evidence.
The JIT, which is headed by CTD’s AIG Tahir Rai and includes officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), will speak with Indian Punjab SP Salwinder Singh, his jeweller friend and his cook who had been allegedly abducted by militants just hours before the base attack, according to Indian Express.
As many as seven officials were killed when four militants mounted a brazen attack on the Indian airforce base in Pathankot on January 2. India had accused the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group for the attack. On Tuesday, the five-member JIT had been shown the ‘crime scene’ at the Pathankot base and some other key locations around it. The team, during a meeting with officials from India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi on Wednesday, also sought access to the caretaker of a shrine that the police officer had visited before the attack, and Indian investigators working on the case.
"We have lined up all the witnesses for tomorrow and the Pakistani JIT may record their statement for next two days," said NIA Chief Sharad Kumar.
During their meeting at the NIA headquarters on Wednesday, the JIT had wide-ranging discussions with Indian investigators and reviewed further evidence including phone call intercepts and statements of witnesses.
“The process of handing over evidence to Pakistan started today," said senior NIA official Sanjeev Singh. The NIA also handed the JIT a 34-page document containing around 300 questions regarding evidence sought by India, including voice samples of JeM chief.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2016.