The minutest details revealed in the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the Pathankot air base attack reveal that the web tools such as Google maps came handy for the planners, handlers and the terrorists who executed it with clinical precision.
The result- attack left eight people, including seven security personnel dead and 38 others injured.
The NIA has named Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar and three others as key conspirators for the January 1 attack detailing the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan.
According to an Indian Express report, the charge sheet mentions an April 2014 meeting in Pakistan’s Sialkot Jaish-e-Mohammed operative Shahid Latif who believed it was “easy” to launch an attack since the airbase was surrounded by forests. Hence, the plan was discussed using a Google map of the airbase.
A ToI report said that the chargesheet, filed at a Panch kula court, revealed that JeM terrorists in Pakistan were monitoring the attack, with Kashif Jan watching TV channels and receiving chats from different persons on its status. The attack was code-named `nikaah' (wedding) and attackers were called `baraati' (wedding guests).
Giving details about the infiltration and activities of the four militants, the NIA said all the four militants underwent extensive motivational, physical, military and tactical training and were radicalized to carry out strikes in India.
“The four armed with ammunition and other logistical items illegally crossed the Indo-Pak international border through the forest area near the Simbal Border Outpost on December 30.”
“Empty food packets manufactured in Pakistan and other food articles from the neighbouring country were recovered from the forest area near the Simbal Border Outpost, during investigation.”
After infiltrating into the Indian side, these militants reached the road from Bhagwal village to Janial.
On December 31, at around 2130 hours, they hijacked a taxi bearing registration number PB06-G-0061, along with the driver, Ikagar Singh, who was going from village Bhagwal to Janial.
They snatched the mobile phone of Ikagar Singh and used the same “to communicate with their handler, Kashif Jan and senior leaders and operatives of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan, on three Pakistan mobile numbers 923453030479, 923213132786 and 923017775253.”
“Their vehicle met with an accident at the Dhusi turn near the Ravi River Bridge after which they brutally killed Ikagar Singh and dumped his dead body in the nearby bushes. Thereafter, they drove the damaged vehicle and abandoned it at a service station at Kolian Morh in Pathankot.”
“During investigation, the DNA profiles recovered from the dagger, seized from the possession of one of the dead militants (Nisar), matched with that of Ikagar Singh, thereby conclusively establishing that he had killed Ikagar Singh.”
Similarly, DNA profile of two militants was found on an energy drink can, recovered from the vehicle of Ikagar Singh.
After abandoning the damaged vehicle of Ikagar Singh at Kolian Morh, they hid in the nearby sugarcane fields and waited for a vehicle to come.
They hijacked a Mahindra XUV bearing registration number PB02-BW-0313 of Salvinder Singh, Superintendent of Punjab Police, and moved towards the Air Force Station, Pathankot after taking control of the vehicle.
They snatched the mobile phones of the victims and used them to communicate with their handler, Kashif Jan and senior leaders “and operatives of the JeM in Pakistan on the four Pakistan numbers -- 923453030479, 923466746667, 923000957212 and 923024880619.”
After some time, they tied, blindfolded and dumped Salvinder Singh and his cook Madan Gopal at an abandoned place in a forest area near village Gulpur Simli on way to the Air Force Station, Pathankot.
However, they took the third occupant, Rajesh Verma, a jeweller, along with them.
Singh and his cook managed to untie themselves and rushed to the nearby Gulpur Simli village on foot for help, the charge sheet said, adding the militants, on learning later from Verma that Singh was a police officer, informed their handler who directed them to go back and look for him.
Since the duo had already left the spot, the militants resumed their journey to the Air Force Station.
At around 0400 hrs on January one, the militants reached village Akalgarh near the Air Force Station in Pathankot and tied Rajesh Verma.
They slit his throat with an intention to kill him and abandoned him and the vehicle in the sugarcane fields at around 0400 hrs. Thereafter, they moved towards the IAF Station on foot.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Verma managed to untie himself and rushed to the Akalgarh village for help, the NIA said, adding as per the forensic report collected during investigation, the DNA profile of the genetic material lifted from the energy drink can, recovered from the Mahindra XUV vehicle, matched with that of a deceased militant.
The DNA profile of the genetic material lifted from the dagger recovered from the possession of another militant matched with that of the victims Verma and Ikagar Singh.
Similarly, the profile of the trace DNA lifted from the handle of the dagger, matched with that of another militant. The seat belt of the Mahindra XUV was cut and used to tie one of the victims.
As per the forensic report, the seat belt pieces recovered from the forest area, where the militants had dumped Singh and his cook, matched with the remaining seat belt pieces of the Mahindra XUV vehicle.
The recoveries from the scene of crime, material and documentary evidence, forensic reports and extensive call data analysis, conclusively establish the complicity of JeM in the attack, the agency said.
(With inputs from PTI)