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India to hand over DNA samples of Pathankot attackers to Pak. team

India will hand over the DNA samples of the four terrorists killed in the Pathankot airbase to Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team, which arrived here on Sunday to probe the attack.

The team is expected to track down the families of the terrorists in Pakistan and match the samples.

The five-member team, including an ISI official, landed at the Palam technical area in a special aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force in the morning. It has a seven-day visa to visit Delhi and Pathankot.

A senior government official said the evidence gathered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the role of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the attack was not “perfunctory or nebulous.”

“The proof can withstand any international judicial scrutiny. Since Pakistan has not sent any letter rogatory [a judicial request to gather evidence] so far, India has said that the onus of making the evidence count in a court of law in their country is on them. It is an operational visit, so protocols can wait,” the official said.

“We will be handing over the DNA code to the Pakistan team and expect them to match it with the families in Pakistan. For this, they will have to locate their families first,” said the official.

Officials said they had “irrefutable evidence” for the JeM’s involvement in the attack. The NIA is also expected to ask the team about the progress on the Letter Rogatory sent earlier.

“The four JeM terrorists, all of whom have been identified, dialled six numbers in Pakistan. The numbers belonged to various service providers in Pakistan and we would like to get the call record details of these numbers,” said the official.

The NIA has prepared a dossier on JeM chief Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf (one of the handlers) and another handler Kaashif Jaan, who had dropped the terrorists at the Punjab border on the night of December 31.

Kaashif Jaan, who exchanged a number of calls with the terrorists, has been under the scanner of intelligence agencies for long.

An analysis of his Facebook profile revealed that of the 1,200 people on his Friends list, 130 belonged to the JeM. According to the NIA, Kaashif Jaan was also friends with a few Kashmir-based groups. through his Facebook page.

Not only the attack on the Pathankot airbase, India will also underscore the similarities with the attack on a police post at the Rajbagh police station in Kathua, Jammu, on March 20, 2015 and the attack on an Army camp in nearby Samba on March 21, 2015. All these places are located within 15-20 km of the Pakistan border and along the National Highway 1A, and the attacks were suspected to have carried out by JeM militants.

The NIA has found that Chawinda in Pakistan is connected to Bamiyal in Punjab, where terrorists are suspected to have infiltrated into India.

The Pakistani team will be taken to the village in Bamiyal from where the terrorists infiltrated into India. The Pakistani team, which was received by officials of the NIA and the Pakistan High Commission, will visit Pathankot on Tuesday. It will be flown in an Embraer aircraft owned by the Border Security Force.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 8:06:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/India-to-hand-over-DNA-samples-of-Pathankot-attackers-to-Pak.-team/article14179708.ece

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