How many terrorists in Pathankot attack? NIA still not sure

Nearly a year after the attack at the Pathankot air base, the investigating agency is yet to ascertain the number of terrorists

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Bengaluru, Dec 19: The National Investigation Agency is likely to file its chargesheet in the January 2, 2016 Pathankot terror attack case on Monday. While the NIA would detail the role of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in the attack, it would also put to rest the confusion surrounding the number of terrorists who staged the attack.

There was a great deal of confusion over the number of terrorists who carried out the attack. On Jan 2 this year, terrorists stormed the Pathankot air base. Following an encounter, four terrorists were killed. While Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the encounter was over, the statement was withdrawn as security forces indicated that two more terrorists were at the site.

Pathankot attack:NIA to file chargesheet

Even after several rounds of investigation, it could not be established that there were more than four terrorists present at the spot. The NIA is likely to state in its chargesheet that it was able to establish the presence of only four terrorists at the airbase.  However, this would not be conclusive and the NIA is likely to ask for more time to probe whether there were more than four terrorists present.

So how many terrorists were present?

During the course of the investigations, the NIA had sent what was meant to be the charred remains of the two terrorists for forensic analysis. On two occasions, the analysis had stated that there is no evidence. The video footage of the air base did not indicate that there were more than four terrorists either.

Also read: Pathankot airbase attacked by four militants, maintains Govt

Moreover, the NIA had only managed to recover four bodies.

There was more confusion after it was claimed that two more backpacks were found. However, the NIA could not find evidence of this as well. When the joint investigation team from Pakistan visited India, the NIA had maintained that there were only four terrorists.

The remains, devoid of bones and teeth were sent for forensic analysis to ascertain if they belonged to human beings. In March 2016, Singh informed Parliament that the remains were of human males. However, the NIA was not able to ascertain this fact also.

Hence, the NIA is likely to ask for more time to investigate since the presence of two more terrorists could not be established.

OneIndia News

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