NSG deployment before attack proved alertness: Punjab DGP

Pathankot (Punjab), Jan 5 (IANS) Deflecting all accusations of delayed response by Punjab Police to the presence of heavily armed terrorists and the impending attack on a defence establishment, police chief Suresh Arora on Tuesday said the deployment of NSG commandos hours before the actual attack showed that the force had sounded the alert.

“This is the only case where the NSG (National Security Guard) was deployed even before the incident. The alert (on the presence of terrorists) was shared (with concerned agencies). We made all arrangements,” Director General of Police Arora told the media here after it was announced on Tuesday that six terrorists were killed in the Pathankot Air Force Station (AFS) counter offensive.

Asked if all terrorists had been accounted for, he said: “We do not have any information on any more terrorists.”

Senior officers of Punjab Police have been criticised for not taking the first information, provided by their own Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh early on Friday, regarding the presence of the terrorists and initiating counter measures to nab them.

“After listening to what SP had to say, although they (senior officers) wanted further corroboration, they started searching for the vehicle which was taken away. The ADGP, IG, DIG were also rushed to Pathankot.

“While corroboration was going on, at the same time, we went for combing operations and search for the vehicle,” Arora said.

Asked if there was a delay in acting on the police superintendent’s information, Arora said: “Absolutely not.”

He said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the terror attack. The NIA and Punjab Police will investigate jointly.

Three cases have been registered following the attack. One relates to the gun battle inside the air base, the second relates to the abduction of the police superintendent and two others and the third relates to the murder of taxi driver Ikagar Singh.

Arora said information regarding the terrorists was also shared with other concerned agencies in Pathankot.

“When it was thought that further resources were required from Delhi, the information was shared,” Arora said, justifying the actions of Punjab Police.

Unwilling to admit if there was an intelligence failure on the part of police, Arora said: “The investigation will prove this.”

Arora said police would take corrective measures on the weak points seen in the incident and would strengthen the force in the Pathankot-Gurdaspur belt, adjoining Pakistan.

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