Home Ministry contradicts Rajnath Singh’s claim of six terrorists’ involvement in Pathankot attack
Union Home Ministery replied to a query by Lok Sabha on Tuesday that four terrorists were behind the Pathankot air base attack earlier this year, thus contradicting Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s claim that six terrorists were hit.
The mistake came to light in a written reply from Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir to a question by Congress MP Ravneet Singh, grandson of late Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.
“Four Pakistan-based terrorists entered Punjab via Janial Road, Dhusi turn, near Ravi river bridge, Gulpur Simli village and attacked air force station in Pathankot,” written reply read.
When the news spread,
When the news spread, the Centre clambered to correct the “mistake” and blamed bureaucratic mistake for the reply.
“The official figure of terrorists involved in the attack is still six and it was nothing but a drafting mistake. We have pulled up the official who drafted the written reply and it was unintended. We will request the Speaker tomorrow to rectify the mistake,”a senior North Block official told The New Indian Express.
The slip came a day after Home Ministry nodded to National Investigation Agency’s request to prosecute Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, the alleged mastermind behind Pathankot airbase terror attacks.
In March, Rajnath Singh declared that six terrorists were killed in the ambush, a figure later corroborated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
NIA, probing the issue have said that while the bodies of four had been found, the remains of the other two are yet to be found.
The error had come to light in a written reply to a query on the possible repatriation of Dawood Ibrahim, a 1993 Bombay blasts suspect. Home Ministry had issued a clarification later.