A Court of Inquiry conducted by the Indian Air Force into the terror attack at Pathankot Air Force Station in January 2016 found “serious lapses” at the security base as well as in the handling of the incident, The Hindu reported. Following the report by the IAF, Pathankot Airbase Commander Air Commodore, JS Dhamoon, took pre-mature retirement from service.
The attack on the airbase on January 2 had left seven security personnel dead. The inquiry had to be necessitated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his displeasure over the manner the militants had managed to enter the airbase, India Today reported.
The inquiry, which was conducted by Air Vice-Marshal Amit Dev, noted that basic standard operating procedures had not been followed and there were several security lapses at the airbase despite it being on a high alert, The Times of India reported. The report observed that the security personnel at the airbase had not noticed personal items and food left behind by the militants at the base despite being provided intelligence of the attack beforehand. They had also failed to detect ropes that were used to scale the perimeter wall, the inquiry added.
The inquiry has further said that if the IAF Garud Commandos had been able to pin down the attackers, five Defence Security Corps personnel could have been saved. As a result of their ill-preparedness, the Garud Commados have been deployed in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir to gain experience, according to India Today. “The Garuds are a competent force, but they need to battle hardened,” India Today reported quoting unidentified officials. “Based on the inquiry report the government has decided to deploy them in Jammu and Kashmir for battle inoculation.”