Punjab govt refuses to transfer terror attack investigation to NIA

  • Pawan Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 23, 2015 10:51 IST
Army personnel during an encounter with attackers at the police station in Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur district. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

Refusing to transfer the Dinanagar terror attack investigation to National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Punjab government on Friday told the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) that Punjab Police had "enough professional and technical efficiency".

The state government, however, informed the MHA -- which wants the July 27 terrorist strike to be investigated by the NIA alone -- that the "state police will appreciate the gesture of any investigating agency" to associate itself with the investigation of Punjab Police and exchange any information that will enhance the safety and security of the state.

The Parkash Singh Badal government has told the MHA that the state police was of the view that transferring the case from the state police to some other agency, including the NIA, will not only disturb the continuity of the ongoing probe but also "jeopardise the sustained and long-term efforts" required to be done by the state police to ensure the safety and security of the state.

The government conveyed its position officially to the Centre on the basis of a detailed report by director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini, who cited numerous reasons against the transfer of investigation to the NIA.

Also, the government's dossier to the MHA includes a six-page report prepared by additional director general of police (law and order) Rohit Choudhary, who had been handpicked to head 12 different police teams investigating the case.

"As stated by the ADGP in his report, it would not be desirable to transfer the investigation to the NIA. The local police are best suited for this," DGP Saini had pointed out in his August 21 communication to additional chief secretary (home) Jagpal Singh Sandhu, who had dispatched the report to the MHA, government sources said.

The government has conveyed to the MHA that Punjab Police had the technical intelligence unit which is sound enough in terms of professional efficiency. "And in the past in coordination with the IB, Punjab Police has conducted several international operations successfully," the government has said.

Another major ground for refusing to transfer the probe to the NIA is that Punjab Police have liaised with different security and intelligence agencies of the Centre and state such as IB, CBI, CRPF, BSF, NTRO (National Technical Research Organisation), CFSL, FBI of the US and ammunition and ordnance factories to carry out the investigation scientifically.

Also, the government has said that a special team from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has examined the night vision device (NVD) on Friday at the CFSL Chandigarh and that their detailed report/analysis is yet to be received.

Besides, the police have requested the CBI for collecting further evidence from foreign nations in respect of GPS and NVD devises used by the terrorists.

The police have also sought technical advice from Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, and Ordnance factory, Varangaon, regarding the arms and ammunition recovered from the ultras.

The state police, the government told the MHA, also liaised with the J&K DGP, who had been "kind enough" to send a special team to analyse the pattern of activities carried out in Dinanagar and various parts of J&K. "The J&K DGP has sent a detailed incident analysis report which reveals striking similarities between fidayeen attacks in Dinanagar, Jammu and Kathua region," reads the report.

ADGP Rohit Choudhary, whose report is the basis for declining the probe by the NIA, has said that the NIA officers be requested to contact the Gurdaspur district police chief for collecting information, facts of the case, etc, "which may be of interest to them".

The police had registered two cases - one pertains to Dinanagar police station siege, another is about explosives planted at the rail bridge.

As in these cases all the accused (three terrorists) have been killed in the encounter, police have said, no prosecution proceedings are required.

The government's dossier to the MHA has all the facets of the investigation, including technical and mechanical. Twelve police teams are carrying out effective investigation in a scientific manner under the supervision of ADGP Choudhary, reads the report.

A detailed investigation has been carried out by IG (intelligence) Ananya Gautam regarding the GPS recovered from the terrorists. "The scientific analysis and route mapping of the GPS devices has established that the terrorists had entered Dinanagar from Pakistan. These facts have been corroborated by the team of experts from the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)," the report sent to the MHA reads.

The government has said that the police have also received a report from the army about the disposable rocket launcher the ultras were carrying and that preliminary report of the CFSL on the arms and ammunition recovered from the killed ultras had also been received. All these reports from NTRO, army and the CFSL were received on August 18 and 19.

"Therefore, in entirety, it would not be proper to transfer the investigation to the NIA," the state government has told the MHA.

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