Tribune News Service
Pathankot/Gurdaspur, Jan 1
An SP-rank officer today claimed that five militants, in Army fatigues and armed with rifles and grenades, had abducted him and two of his acquaintances from a Pathankot village near the international border in the wee hours of Friday. He said he was set free an hour later, 35 km away.
The recovery of the body of a 24-year-old, Ikagar Singh, from the kidnapping site has only deepened the mystery.
Former Gurdaspur SP (Headquarters) Salwinder Singh, who was transferred two days ago as Assistant Commandant, 75th Battalion, PAP complex, Jalandhar, told investigators that he, Gurdaspur-based jeweller Rajesh Verma and his cook Mohan Lal were on their way to a religious place in his car when they were kidnapped in Kolian village, that is covered by the Narot Jaimal Singh police station.
He claimed that the kidnappers threw him off the vehicle and slit Verma’s throat. Verma is recuperating at a hospital in Pathankot. The other two were pushed out likewise and the car, with a blue beacon, was abandoned near Tajpur village, he said.
Stunned, Additional DGP (Law and Order) HS Dhillon, IG (Border) Lok Nath Angra, DIG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh and Gurdaspur and Pathankot SSPs Gurpreet Singh Toor and RK Bakshi rushed to Pathankot.
“In the light of the Dinanagar attacks, we are taking extra caution. The officer’s claims are being verified,” said a senior officer.
After the incident, the BSF and neighbouring police districts were put on high alert. Dhanpreet Kaur, Hoshiarpur SSP, set up base at Mukerian, 30 km from Pathankot. Gurdaspur DC Dr Abhinav Trikha, who holds the additional charge of Pathankot DC, said the Army had not been sounded so far.
Gurdaspur and Pathankot police teams have begun search operations. Salwinder Singh is already facing charges for breach of discipline. The Pathankot SSP said on receiving a call at 2.30 am that militants had kidnapped an SP-rank officer in the Narot Jaimal Singh area, he, DSP Kuldeep Singh and the Narot SHO started a search operation.
“At, 3.15 am, the control room received another call that the SP and his car had been spotted near Tajpur village following which we took the officer to Pathankot,” he said. A top officer said there were several loose ends in the SP’s tale.
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