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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

terror attack on Pathankot ~ the JIT of Pakistan ..

Any idea of what these respected army jawans are guarding ? [photo credit : The Hindu]

Nurpur was one of the Princely states of India during the period of the British Raj. It covered an area of 180 square kilometres (69 sq mi) and is now part of Himachal Pradesh state. The state of Nurpur was founded towards the end of the 11th century by Raja Jhet Pal, who was the younger brother of the ruler of Delhi. It was ruled by Rajputs of the Tanwar or Pathania dynasty. Earlier Nurpur was known with the name of Dhameri. Pathankot  from 2011  is  the capital of Pathankot district (carved out of Gurdaspur district) in Punjab.  The name Pathankot comes from Pathania Rajput, who was the king of Nurpur.

New  year 2016 started differently for India.  On 2 January 2016, a heavily armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four attackers and two security forces personnel were killed in the initial battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries hours later. The gun battle and the subsequent combing operation lasted about 17 hours on 2 January, resulting in five attacks and three security personnel dead.  The attackers, who were wearing Indian Army fatigues, were suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed, an Islamist militant group designated a terrorist organisation by India, the US, the UK and the UN.  Further three soldiers died after being admitted to hospital with injuries, raising the death toll to six soldiers. The hijacking of a car of a superintendent of the Punjab Police the previous day was reportedly linked to the attack; the carjackers did not recognise it as a police car since its lights were turned off !

Much water has flown since… a  five-member Pakistani joint investigation team (JIT) is in India probing into Pathankot, as  India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) has decided to confront Islamabad with evidence of Maulana Masood Azhar's Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) being responsible for the January terror attack. It is stated that India has decided to ask for the voice samples of Azhar and other JeM leaders, against whom it claims to have direct evidence linking them to the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in January.

Besides, India is also asking the Pakistani team why all the arms and ammunitions recovered from Pathankot siege had a Pakistan stamp on it. "Clothing, medicines, shoes, food packets, thermal wear and even wire cutters were brought from Pakistan," the NIA source said. India has also asked Pakistan to start responding to the Letter Rogatories sent by New Delhi if they "really want to cooperate" with the Pathankot investigation as the two countries began formal discussions, making it the first-ever visit of a JIT from the neighbouring country that includes an ISI official. The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore's Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lt Col Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lt Col Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.

For an ordinary citizen, the real strategic significance of allowing them is not understood much. 

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Pakistan probing the Pathankot attack will not be allowed to go anywhere near the airbase.  “We have specially denied them (Pakistan’s JIT) permission to go anywhere in the air base. NIA is investigating. They (JIT) are only allowed access to the place where crime took place. The area is cordoned off,” said Parrikar. He further added that MOD has issued directions that crime scene should be barricaded and to ensure that external entry to the NIA be given. “MOD doesn’t want to be in the receiving end for non-cooperation with the investigators or as the cause for the failure of the probe” he said. Indian Express further states quoting sources that cooperation with the Pakistani team would be based on the principle of reciprocity hoping that an Indian team would be allowed to travel to Pakistan at a later date.
Homage to slain soldiers – sand artist Laxmi – Hindustan Times photo

Now read this report in today’s The Hindu.  It is  80 days now, but constable Dalbir Singh cannot afford to lower his guard even for a minute. His job, along with 11 of his colleagues, is to protect a morgue in the only government hospital in Pathankot. Also referred to as the “Dead House” by local policemen, the morgue can be tracked from a distance because of the unbearable stench emanating from it. It has been provided security since the bodies of the four terrorists killed at the Pathankot airbase on January 2 were brought here.

With only two freezers available, two bodies are sharing space in each compartment. On Monday, a day before Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team is to visit the airbase, officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) collected the post-mortem reports and briefed the doctors, in case the JIT examines them. All the four have been identified by the NIA. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has written to the Pathankot Civil Hospital not to dispose of the bodies of the four terrorists killed at the Pathankot airbase on January 2 till it issues an order.
Head constable Vinod Kumar is on alert whenever anybody approaches the morgue. “We have clear instructions not to allow anyone near the room. If terrorists could come till the airbase, then this place cannot be beyond their reach. Our senior officers conduct daily rounds to check on the bodies and a van from the police control room is also stationed near the boundary wall every night,” Mr. Kumar said.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Mar 2016.


  1. Terror attacks such as this can really be scary especially to the village people. I hope there will come a time where terror attacks are no longer necessary and people will just start respecting and loving each other despite their differences, just like what is written via

  2. I liked the arrows for their help in organizing your notes.