NIA to register case in Pathankot terror strike on Monday

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), mandated to probe terror cases, will register a case on Monday to probe the conspiracy of Pakistan-based terrorist group, believed to be Jaish-e-Mohammed, behind the strike at the IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab.

A team of NIA was at the spot on Saturday as per the standard operating procedure and today the Government decided to hand over the case to the NIA after taking concurrence from the Punjab government, official sources said.

The mandate of the NIA probe will include entry of the militants into India, killing of a taxi driver Ikagar Singh, kidnapping of Superintendent of Police-rank officer of Punjab Police, who was later released and entry into the IAF campus, the sources said.

They said the investigators will also try and ascertain the conspiracy that was hatched on the Pakistani soil by the terrorists and if possible find out the state and non-state actors in that country. As per the standard operating procedure, an NIA team is rushed to the site of terror strike so that they can share their expertise as well as have first-hand information about the case, the sources said.

The NIA may also question or seek custodial interrogation of a sacked IAF personnel Ranjith KK, a Leading Air Craftman (LAC) with IAF posted at Bhatinda, who was arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly supplying information to ISI, the sources said.

The Pathankot IAF facility, located near the border with Pakistan, is the base of MiG-21 fighter planes and MI-25 attack helicopters of Air Force. India recently gifted four such choppers to Afghanistan last month.