Terrorists stormed an Indian Air Force station in Pathankot on January 2, killing seven security personnel. Photograph: (DNA)
A basic security protocol at the Indian Air Force's Pathankot air force station - despite precise intelligence information about an imminent attack - could have prevented terrorists storming the air force station in January 2016, an internal inquiry ordered by Indian PM Narendra Modi concludes.
The inquiry was ordered after PM Modi expressed his displeasure over the manner in which terrorists stormed the airbase in a meeting with top security officials, a media report states.
The report claims that the IAF, which initially hadn't ordered an inquiry, was forced to order one after the prime minister stepped in.
The inquiry, conducted by Air Vice-Marshal Amit Dev, has blamed security loopholes and senior IAF officials at the airbase not following basic security protocol, and for the terrorists infiltrating into the IAF station.
The report says the "standard operating procedure to secure installations had been violated making it easy for the terrorist to enter and hide within the base".
Seven security personnel were killed after terrorists stormed the IAF fighter base near the India-Pakistan border on January 2, 2016 in an operation lasting three days.
The inquiry has reportedly concluded that the air force officials weren't able to come-up with comprehensive plan to defend the airbase despite "clear and precise intelligence" about the attack.
The then Pathankot Airbase Commander Air Commodore JS Dhamoon, who finds mention in the report, has resigned. Some IAF officers and soldiers are likely to lose their seniority as a punishment for not following procedure, the media report qupted top sources as saying.
The inquiry states that a few months before the attack, the route used by the terrorist to enter the airbase was called a "vulnerable point" after a mentally unstable man breached security using the same route.