New Delhi: Putting to rest the controversy over the number of terrorists who attacked the Pathankot IAF base, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that forensic report has confirmed there were 6 terrorists involved in the attack that claimed the lives of 7 security officials.
Replying to a debate in the Lower House, Singh said that charred remains, apart from four bodies of terrorists, were found at the debris after security forces searched the spot when the operation ended and that the forensic report about them ‘makes it clear that those inside the building were two terrorists’.
“A detailed forensic examination on the remains collected by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from two different locations of the strategic airbase come to the conclusion that traces of two human beings were found in the remains collected from Pathankot airbase,” he said.
“This burnt mass material belongs to human male. It could not be possible to establish the identity of burnt male remains as under reference,” he said.
There have been varying reports over the number of terrorists, suspected to be belong to Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed, attacking the Pathankot airbase on January 2. Bodies of four terrorists were recovered immediately after the anti-terror operation was over in the airbase.
While NSG, which had carried out the operation against the terrorists, has said there were six terrorists, NIA, which is probing the case, maintained that they found the bodies of four terrorists and no conclusive evidence was found about any more terrorist's involvement in the attack.
On January 2, a heavily armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station. A total of 7 security personnel and 6 terrorists were killed in the gun battle. The attackers, who were wearing Indian Army fatigues, were suspected to belong to Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Border intrusions reduced by 35%: HM
On the issue of border security, Rajnath Singh said that there was more than 35 percent reduction in cases of border intrusion in 2015 over the previous year, especially after intelligence sharing and the steps taken by the government to ensure security and safety of the country in the wake of the Pathankot attack.
"In 2014, about 222 cases of border intrusion was recorded, while in 2015, 121 were recorded. There was a reduction of more than 35 percent. This has been possible only because of the valiant efforts of the security forces," he said.
"We will be doing security audit to identify the lapses. This will help in doing away with the lapses," he added.
He said that compared to the previous year (2014), in 2015 there was a reduction of 17 percent in the killings of security forces, and when it came to the question of the ordinary citizens, there was a reduction of 39 percent.
"In the last two months too, there has been reduction of 35 percent. The entire credit goes to the security forces and the army of the country," Singh said.
"Now, we are looking into technological solutions to prevent the terrorists from entering India through the riverine route. This time our government is going to spend more money to secure the borders," he added.
Singh also said the government wants good relations with its neighbours but not at the cost of the nation's pride. "We want good relations with all our neighbours including Pakistan, but not at the cost of nation's dignity and respect. I cannot doubt the intentions of any government in ensuring security and safety of the country. I know every government has tried their best in ensuring this. It should not be a battle between your government and our government. I need the support of all the political parties and the people in ensuring security of the country," he said.