Bodies and ruins: Inside the Pathankot airbase, tales of a fierce fight

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Pathankot
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2016 09:45 IST
An Indian security personnel stands guard on a building at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, (REUTERS)

It looks every bit a city devastated by war. Inside the Pathankot airbase, where security forces battled terrorists for four days, even the roads bear witness to the intensity of the fighting.

As the country heaved a sigh of relief after the Pathankot attack was declared over on Tuesday, a few journalists were allowed inside the airbase, even to the ‘action area’, 2km from the main gate.

We were not allowed to click photographs or even take notes, but the details were strong enough to be pictured.

Read more: Questions raised over special forces not being deployed in Pathankot

As investigators worked swiftly and dog squads were pressed into service, an officer showed us the motor section, where the terrorists and the Garuda (air force) commandos first fired at each other. A burnt army truck stood there. Three or four burnt motorcycles stood elsewhere, were also burnt, the officer said.

Walking on the road, which bore the marks left by tank wheel-tracks, an officer also showed us the place where Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel Jagdish Chand, who was killed, had taken on the one of the terrorists with his rifle-gun before taking a bullet.

Read more: 10 lessons we can learn from the Pathankot attack

We also saw the four bodies —terrorists in military fatigues — in the area between the mess and a shed.

The officer also showed us the two-storey building where the last two terrorists, who stretched the siege, were holed up before being killed, its ruins now a symbol of the injuries the enemies inflicted.

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