New Delhi, March 3: For the National Investigation Agency ascertaining how many terrorists were present at the Pathankot Air Force station is extremely important.
There appears to be some confusion on this issue and while it was said at first there were six of them, evidence suggests that there were only four. This confusion regarding the number of terrorists at the air force station was there at the time of the attack itself.
On January 3, one of the handlers from Pakistan is heard telling the terrorists, " inko pata nahin char hai ya che" (they do not know how many are there- 6 or 4.) However nothing in the calls intercepted clearly indicate how many terrorists had infiltrated into India to undertake this attack.
There was also some amount of confusion when the Home Minister said that the attack was over but later deleted his tweet.
The encounter lasted a good 30 hours after that statement and it was said that the NSG was battling two more terrorists at the air base.
The NIA which was handed over the charred mass following the attack has sent the same for forensic analysis at Chandigarh. The NIA says that it is yet to receive any report from them and reminders too have been sent.
NIA awaits final report:
An NIA official said that they are yet to receive any report
from the forensic laboratory. We are still ascertaining the case
and have not concluded anything as yet, the officer also informed
According to the original version, there were six terrorists.
While four terrorists had been killed and their bodies too had been found. In the second encounter that lasted 30 hours, it was said that two more terrorists had died. The bodies had not been recovered and it was said that only the charred remains had been found.
The NIA had managed to recover four AK-47 rifles and three pistols the weapons of the other two terrorists has not been recovered.
The question is whether the rifles had melted due to the fire. Highly unlikely since an iron cot was found intact. The investigations that are being conducted would suggest that the the recovery of weapons took place from the first encounter site.
That means investigators have managed to recover four assault rifles and three pistols from the four terrorists who were involved in the first half of the encounter.
There has been no recovery from the second encounter which according to the security forces had lasted over 24 hours.
There are questions that are being raised by the investigators in the wake of this. What happened to the clothing of the two other terrorists. During the recovery bed sheets had been found, but the military clothing was missing.