Pathankot: “We were blindfolded, our hands tied behind our backs and the terrorists numbering four-five threatened to kill us if we tried to look up,” Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, whose vehicle was forcibly taken away by the heavily-armed militants, said today.
Armed with AK 47 rifles, the terrorists initially had no clue that he was a police officer. It was only when his gunman called him and the terrorists picked up his mobile that they realised the person they had caught was a senior officer, Salwinder said.
After they were blindfolded, the terrorists took two of his three mobiles and fled with his vehicle. The hooter in his vehicle also made it clear to the terrorist that the vehicle belonged to a police officer.
“They came back to kill me but by then I had freed my hands and moved from the spot,” he said.
Asked why he was in civilian clothes and did not have his gunman with him, Salwinder said he was returning after offering prayers at the ‘Pir Baba’ and that was the reason he chose not to take the police escort.
“Light band karo,” ordered one of the terrorist while another asked us to kneel down.
“If your look up we will shoot you on the spot,” Salwinder recounted and added that the terrorists spoke in Urdu, Punjabi and also Hindi.
Since it was dark we could not make out the exact number of terrorists but it looked like about four to five, he said. Salwinder said the terrorists had stopped his vehicle when he along with his jeweller friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal were returning after paying obeisance at Narot Jaimal Singh in the wee hours of Friday.
“They were carrying AK 47 and GPS,” he said, adding, “We were dumped along with my cook,” he said. “When they came to know that I was a SP then they told Rajesh that you have deceived us and you will have to face consequences,” Salwinder said.
Rajesh was attacked by the militants who later dumped him. He is recuperating at a hosptial. Soon after the SP’s abduction, the terrorists had attacked the air base.
Security forces had yesterday killed two more Pakistani terrorists inside the Pathankot air base with the government saying that six attackers had thus been neutralised. However, it was not clear whether all the intruders who attacked the base have been eliminated.
Asked why he did not show resistance, the SP said they (militants) were carrying weapons. “What could I have done against 4 to 5 people who were armed,” he said. The SP, who was under transfer, said he had immediately informed his seniors about his abduction by militants.
“I immediately informed (my seniors) about the incident. After that DGP, ADGP and other senior officers reached Pathankot,” he said, adding “police swung into action and laid nakas (check posts) at various points.”
Asked if police was initially not believing his story, Singh said, “There is no such thing. I was speaking the truth only. I have got a new life. I know what I have gone through and how I returned.”
On investigating agencies questioning him, he said, “Truth has come out. Whatever information I gave was completely right. Had I engaged into a fight with militants they would have killed me. Five persons, who were armed, would have killed me. What could we have done when they were heavily armed. I was not carrying any weapon.
“If my gunman was with me I could have thought about taking on them,” he said.