Pathankot, Jan 5: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday admitted to “some gaps” that led to the terror attack on the Air Force base here in which all the six infiltrators, who used some “Pakistan- made” equipment, have been killed.
Addressing a news conference after a visit to the forward base, he said the terrorists were neutralised in an operation that lasted for more than 36 hours since 3.30 am on Saturday but combing operations are still on.
“There is no suspected terrorist inside right now. (still) I will not give a negative report till the combing operations are over. The combing operations may be over by tomorrow,” he said in reply to questions.
Parrikar announced that all those seven security personnel killed during the attack will be treated as martyrs that will entitle them to all the benefits available to “battle casualty” like in war-like situation.
He said the terrorists were carrying 40-50 kgs of bullets, mortars, which were fired from modified under-barrel grenade launcher besides some magazines.
Replying to questions, he said “I see some gaps. But I do not think there is any compromise on security”. Once the investigations are over, things will become clear, he said, adding every security detail cannot be discussed and keep something for investigation.
Parrikar said that he was worried as to how the terrorists had managed to come inside the base which has a perimeter of 24 kms and located in an area of about 2,000 acres.
Calling the counter-terror operation as “very difficult”, Parrikar said that all assets–strategic and buildings–and the families, were secured. The only building that was damaged is the one in which the terrorists were holed up, he said.
Asked about the failure of Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in stopping the infiltration from Pakistan, Parrikar referred to media reports, which said that “the BSF has already been asked to give details of areas from where terrorists could have entered”.
He said the national investigation agency (NIA) is probing the case and it will not be proper for him to divulge details as it was the matter of ongoing investigation.
(With Agency Inputs)