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House panel on Pathankot attack puts Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh under cloud

salwinder-singhCHANDIGARH: The Parliamentary standing committee on home affairs has wondered why Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists let go Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh after waylaying his official vehicle and using it to reach the Pathankot airbase on January 2, 2016 to wreak havoc. The multi-party committee has also asked the government to probe the role of drug smugglers in facilitating the jihadis’ entry into India. The committee, headed by former Union home minister P Chidambaram, has several MPs, including Prem Singh Chandumajra of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Kirron Kher of the BJP. While its 70-page report submitted on February 8 directly attacks Punjab Police, it also questions the role of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Seven security personnel, including NSG’s Lt Col Niranjan E K, were killed in the attack that lasted more than 72 hours. A massive war of words had erupted between Congress, AAP and Akali Dal before just-concluded Punjab polls over the drug trade patronage. “The committee is unable to understand why the terrorists let the SP (Salwinder) and his friend (jeweller Rajesh Verma) off, which should be thoroughly examined by NIA. The committee understands that in this attack, the role of Punjab Police is also very questionable and suspicious as even after abduction of Punjab Police SP, the Punjab Police took long time in arriving at the conclusion that their abduction was not just a criminal robbery but it was going to be serious national security threat,” the report points out. “The committee is unable to understand that in spite of terror alert sounded well in advance, how terrorists managed to breach the high-security air base and subsequently attack (it),” the report reads.

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