Punjab to dismiss SP Salwinder who was probed by NIA after Pathankot air base attack

DW Bureau / Chandigarh

The Punjab Government is all set to dismiss controversial Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh who was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after the terrorist attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base in January last year, it is learnt. The Government, sources said, had already initiated the process in this regard and final orders were expected soon. ÔÇ£The charges against the SP are serious. The State Home Department is in the process of terminating his services,ÔÇØ a top government functionary informed Daily World.

Salwinder had claimed that he was abducted by terrorists who attacked the air base. Since then, he had been under the Central agencyÔÇÖs scanner following suspicion that he could be part of an international drug racket. During its probe, the agency also looked into the links of drug smugglers operating from across the border with some Punjab politicians. While several scientific tests were carried on the controversial SP, the NIA subsequently gave him a clean chit, saying it could not find anything incriminating against the officer. Salwinder has all along maintained that he had no prior knowledge about the terrorist attack in Pathankot. He also denied having any links with drug smugglers.

In August, 2016, the officer was booked by Punjab police on charges of rape and sexual harassment in Gurdaspur. He absconded after the police tightened their noose around him, but finally surrendered before a Gurdaspur court in this case of sexual exploitation. Salwinder, a PPS officer, had stirred up a major controversy after he reported to the police that the terrorists who came to attack the Pathankot air force station kidnapped him along with his associates and held them hostage for about 30 hours before the attack. His statement had surprised the state police and Central agencies probing the terror attack since it was bizarre that the armed terrorists allowed him to go unharmed. The terrorists had later attacked the air base in which seven security personnel were killed.

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