Salwinder Singh, the Punjab police officer allegedly abducted and later released by terrorists who attacked the Pathankot airbase, has come out clean in a polygraph test, home ministry sources said on Friday.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing if Singh has any links to the attackers or drug cartels active in Punjab’s border areas.
As part of its investigation into Singh’s alleged connections with the narcotics trade, the NIA conducted raids with sniffer dogs at his residences in Punjab’s Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts to look for traces of drugs. Here too, Singh came out clean.
The police officer has said he, his cook and a friend were abducted by the terrorists while visiting a shrine but subsequently allowed to go as the gunmen, who had slipped into India from Pakistan, used his vehicle to reach the airbase which they attacked on January 2.
Sources also said a Central Forensic Science Laboratory report has found that some footmarks of Pakistan-made EPCOT shoes identified by investigators in the border village of Bamial in Gurdaspur district do not belong to the slain terrorists. This means how the Pathankot attackers entered India remains unclear.
The Border Security Force (BSF) was waiting for the forensic report to trace the infiltration point. So far, the BSF has not been able to find any breach at the border after scanning thermal images and areas along the fence for gaps and tunnels.
During the polygraph test, Singh was questioned about the reasons for his visit to the shrine on New Year’s Eve as well as the reasons for not taking along his security guards as he chose to travel with a friend.
The polygraph test, or the lie-detector test as it is more popularly known, is not foolproof. However, in Singh’s case, his cellphone records do not indicate any links to illegal activities.
Singh, after he was released by the attackers, had informed his seniors and alerted intelligence agencies about a potential terror strike.
However, he first came under the scanner following inconsistencies in his statements to various investigating agencies. Also, the testimonies of Singh, his cook Madan Lal and jeweller friend Rajesh Verma did not match.