Pathankot: No headway as yet in probe after 4 snatch SUV
Pathankot, Nov 16: There appears to be no breakthrough in the investigations that were launched after four persons snatched an SUV from its driver at gunpoint near Madhopur in Punjab's Pathankot district.
The incident took place Tuesday night when the driver stopped the car after one of the passengers complained of vomiting.
"We are on the job to nab them," a senior Punjab Police official said Thursday.
Several teams have been formed to crack the case, police said, adding that personnel in border districts of Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Batala, Amritsar (Rural) and Tarn Taran have been asked to remain alert and maintain vigil.
The instructions were issued as in 2016, terrorists, who had launched attacks on the Pathankot Air base, had snatched a Punjab Police officer's car to get to the air base.
The Punjab Police is coordinating with the Jammu and Kashmir Police to trace the suspects.
Several checkpoints have been set up in border areas and on highways, and vehicles are also being thoroughly checked, police said. Photos of the suspects procured from CCTV footage have also been given to the checkpoints, the police official said.
The official said the vehicle's driver, Raj Kumar, a resident of Jammu, has told police that he did not see the weapon, he was threatened with.
The police say that the four persons had conducted a recce before hiring the cab and even paid an advance of Rs 3,550. These persons hired the cab in the name of Major Sarvjeet Singh. The cab was Pathankot bound. It may be recalled that in 2016, the Pathankot air base was attacked by terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad after they had robbed a cab at gun point.
After robbing the silver coloured Innova bearing the registration number JK 02 AW-0922 they stopped at Kathua for dinner. At the Lakhanpur toll post, the four occupants told the staff that they were from the Army and hence exempted from paying toll tax. The police say that they even asked the toll booth operator, why he had not checked their ID, if these persons claimed they were from the Army.
The driver, Raj Kumar told the police that the four persons were speaking in Punjabi dialect, which is spoken in Pakistan's Punjab.
The police say during the questioning of the driver, they were unable to get much information as he kept changing his statement. He will continue to be questioned for more leads.
While a terror angle is not being ruled out, the police in Jammu and Kashmir say that this could be the handiwork of some mischief mongers. All possibilities are being explored, an officer from J&K informed OneIndia.
Meanwhile a high alert has been sounded in Pathankot as the leads suggest that the four men were bound to this place. The Army and Air Force authorities have been informed about the incident.
Security around the Army ammunition dump in the Mamun cantonment has been stepped up following the incident.