Govt stands-by four militants theory in Pathankot attack

New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry will not change its statement given to the Parliament that there were four terrorists, who carried out terror attack at the Pathankot airbase, and not six as was announced by the government.

A top Home Ministry official said the written question asked in Lok Sabha on November 29 was related to how many terrorists came from Pakistan.

Since the investigation carried out by the NIA has found that only four Pakistani terrorists had cross over to India, it was decided that there would be no clarification.

There may be two more terrorists, who attacked the Pathankot airbase, but investigations on that was still continuing, the official said.

The answer given in Parliament is contrary to a statement made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 4 when he had said that charred remains, apart from four bodies of terrorists, were found at the debris after security forces searched the Pathankot airforce station when the operation ended.

“Charred remains were found and sent for forensic examination. We are awaiting for reports,” he had said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too had said that six terrorists were involved in the attack.

The National Investigation Agency, which was probing the case, has been maintaining that the investigators had found only four bodies.

In the reply to a query in Lok Sabha on November 29, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had said only four militants had entered the air force station to carry out the strike.

“Four Pakistan-based terrorists entered Punjab via Janial road, Dhusi turn, near Ravi river bridge, Gulpur Simli village – Akalgarh and attacked air force station in Pathankot,” he said in a written reply to a question by Ravneet Singh.

The Congress MP had asked about the number of terrorists who entered Punjab for Pathankot attack and the route used by them as well as the details of terrorists killed and arrested along with the weapons recovered from them.

Ahir said all these terrorists were neutralised by the security forces. The security forces recovered 4 AK rifles, 32 AK magazines, 3 pistols, 7 pistol magazines, one under barrel grenade launcher, 40 hand grenades and one dagger from them, he said.

The Home Ministry had in the past been left red faced over answers to Parliament questions including one Pakistan related controversy where it informed the House that they did not know about whereabouts of most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, forcing the government to retract and clarify that Dawood was in Pakistan.