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The six terrorists who were eliminated during the Pathankot operation, which lasted around 80 hours, are said to have taken refuge among the shrubs in the air force base since the early hours of January 1, an analysis of the cell phone tower records of the snatched mobile phones reveal, a top government official told The Hindu.
Investigators have pieced together the circumstances leading to the attack and found at least three mobile phones, which the terrorists snatched from the former Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police, Salwinder Singh, and his friend Rajesh Verma remained active at the airbase from early morning till the afternoon of January 1.
Only one phone used
While the terrorists used only one phone, that of Mr. Verma, to communicate with their handlers in Pakistan, the other two belonging to Mr. Singh were not used. The location of all the three phones was from the same phone tower close to the airbase. By afternoon, the three phones were switched off. Officials presume the terrorists would not have got an opportunity to charge the batteries. The terrorists opened the attack only around 3.30 a.m. on January 2 when they killed five unarmed Defence Security Corps personnel in their barracks.
Preliminary investigations reveal the terrorists were not carrying any phone as no calls were made from a Pakistan number to another Pakistan number from the airbase, the official said. The four calls to Pakistan, intercepted by the agencies, were made from the airbase with Mr. Verma’s phone.
Call records point to Multan
The intercepted calls reveal that the terrorists who attacked the airbase in Pathankot spoke in Multani dialect, commonly used in the districts of Multan, Lodhran and Bahawalpur in southern Punjab of Pakistan.
“This type of Punjabi is not spoken in India. The Multani dialect is common in south Punjab, Pakistan. This is a crucial pointer to the attackers being Pakistanis,” a senior official told The Hindu.
“We analysed the cell phone location and the calls only on January 2 when the attack had begun. The Punjab Police informed us only by afternoon,” said the official.
From: The Hindu