Terrorists hiding near Pathankot airbase, says parliamentary panel

  • PTI, Jammu
  • Updated: Jun 21, 2016 21:20 IST
It said the government had been informed about it and security of the strategically important facility had been beefed up. (HT File Photo)

Terrorists are hiding in villages close to the “vulnerable” Pathankot airbase, which can come under fresh attack from them, the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on home affairs said on Tuesday.

It said the government had been informed about it and security of the strategically important facility had been beefed up.

The committee was in Jammu to review the security arrangements along the international border and had earlier gone to Pathankot. “After going back from Pathankot, we made our suggestions to the government and said that there can be more attacks on in Pathankot. We were told by the villagers that some terrorists were still hiding in the villages there,” chairman of the committee P Bhattacharya told reporters here on Tuesday.

After the recommendation of the committee, the government has alerted the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and the army and handed over the security of the airbase to them, he said.

“Do you know that a few days ago, the government asked the CRPF, BSF and the army to guard the air force station because some terrorists are hiding there. How they are hiding there, it is not my business to find out but as we got the information from the villagers, it was very clear to us that they are hiding somewhere. We have informed the Union government of about it,” Bhattacharya said.

When asked to comment on the permission granted by the Indian government to the Pakistani investigation team to visit the Pathankot airbase to probe the January 2 attack, Bhattacharya said he was not in favour of allowing Pakistani intelligence officers to visit the strategic facility.

“The committee does not support the idea of the Union government of bringing this intelligence branch of Pakistan here. What for? But for any foreign policy of the government, we are not the proper fora, we cannot take the decision to do this and not to do this,” he said.

A five-member joint investigation team (JIT) from Pakistan had visited India between March 27 and 31 to collect evidence with regard to the Pathankot attack.

Bhattacharya said the policy guidelines have to be framed by the Indian government.

The committee said it was satisfied with the measures being taken by the BSF to check infiltration, but advocated providing fully modern equipment to the force.

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