The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has decided to jointly interrogate senior Punjab police officer Salwinder Singh along with his cook-cum-helper and the caretaker of Dargah Panjir, the shrine they visited before being ‘abducted’ by the Pathankot attackers on night of December 31, sources said.
“Investigators still don’t know whether Salwinder is stating the truth or not. Now his version of events will be compared with what Madan Gopal and Dargah Panjpir’s caretaker Som have stated. The federal anti-terror agency will confront them with each other in a joint interrogation session, which is likely to take place on Wednesday,” a senior home ministry official said, requesting anonymity.
The official added that Madan Gopal and Som have been summoned to Delhi.
Salwinder Singh on Tuesday was questioned by NIA sleuths for the second day in a row, his interrogation lasting more than seven hours. He was questioned for around eight hours on Monday.
As of now, Singh has been summoned under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is normally used for summoning witnesses. “But NIA sleuths are still not satisfied with the answers given. Once his questioning gets over, investigators will take a call on whether he will be an accused in the case or a witness,” said the official.
Salwinder had told his superiors that he and his two companions — Gopal and jeweller Rajesh Verma — were abducted by the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot airbase. Counter terror officials say Salwinder is being questioned about the involvement of drug cartels in the attack as it is suspected that terrorists’ weapons were brought into the country as part of a consignment of drugs.