Indian security agencies have identified five key figures from Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad who were involved in the conspiracy to attack the Pathankot air base, home ministry officials said.
Troops are deployed after two terrorists were reportedly seen in Pandher village of Gurdaspur.
The key conspirators include Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Rauf Asghar, Maulana Ashfaq Ahmad, Hafiz Abdul Shakur and Kasim Jan.
“India wants Pakistan to credibly act against them,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.
Maulana Masood Azhar remained in Jammu prison for six years before being released in the passenger swap after Indian Airlines flight IC-814 was hijacked. Rauf was mastermind of hijack of the plane in Kathmandu in 1999, which was later taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
“Rauf is an operational man but his brother Masood Azhar is basically an ideologue. The other key conspirator Ashfaq Ahmed is brother-in-law of Masood Azhar and once used to be manager of Al-Rehmat Trust, allegedly the front charity of Masood Azhar,” said a security source.
Investigators say they have recovered four assault rifles of Russian make from the Pathankot attackers. Three Chinese make pistols have also been recovered. Their serial numbers have been erased to make their identification difficult.
Sources say Masood Azhar has been given huge land in Pakoccupied-Kashmir in the name of running educational institute. Though, Pakistan banned Jaish-eMohammad but it never took any action against Al Rehmat Trust.
“We want Pakistan to first arrest them and make them face the consequences of carrying out the attack,” said the official.
But the shoes worn by the five attacks, the body of sixth attacker is yet to be found. The NIA investigators are conducting DNA tests on all body parts recovered from the air base to check whether they belong to six persons or five, said sources.