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Info on locations called by Jaish militants, handlers given to Pakistan

Terror in Pathankot Updated: Jan 13, 2016 01:36 IST
Shishir Gupta
Pathankot attack

Indian Army soldiers take up position on the perimeter of the Pathankot airforce base on January 4, 2016. (AFP File)

Investigations into the Pathankot airbase attack have revealed that the terrorists called up phones located in Bahawalpur, Lahore and Karachi, speaking to handlers linked to the top leadership of the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The five Pakistan numbers that were contacted by terrorists during the attack have been conveyed by New Delhi to Islamabad for further investigation even though these numbers fell silent the day after the attackers were neutralised.

India has also handed over to Pakistan concrete evidence regarding the terrorists being moved from Sialkot to the Indo-Pak border on December 31. The terrorists were dropped in a Mitsubishi Pajero and Toyota Land Cruiser, and were accompanied to the drop zone by a senior Jaish leader whose identity is known.

Read | Terror calling: Pak militant group’s role in Pathankot attack decoded

Top government sources said technical analysis reveals that three out of five numbers have been identified. One is linked to the Jaish-operated Al-Rahmat Trust, another to the top Jaish leadership and one to Dera Ismail Khan in Bahawalpur. One of the terrorists was in touch with a senior Jaish leader in Karachi, while the Bahawalpur number was used by one of the terrorists named Nasir to communicate with his mother Nusrat at 9.22am on January 1.

The owners of the two mobile numbers have also been identified. Help has now been sought from Pakistan through back channels to identify the remaining two numbers.

Read | When terror checked in: Reconstructing the Pathankot air base attack

Analysis of mobiles phones of Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh’s friend Rajesh Verma has revealed that three Pakistani numbers were contacted between 3am and 9.22am on January 1, with one of these numbers also present in the mobile phone of dead taxi driver Ikagar Singh. The taxi driver’s phone reveals contacts of two other Pakistani mobile numbers.

Material recovery from the bodies of terrorists clearly shows the Islamabad link with pain-killer injections and chocolate wrappers all manufactured in Pakistan. While three of the recovered AK-47 guns are normal assault rifles, one has an attachment for launching grenades. There has been no recovery of any global positioning device or mobile phone from the encounter site.

Read | Pakistan seeks harder evidence from India on Pathankot attack