Khalistani terrorist leader, 5 others, escape from jail

Armed men in police uniform entered a high security jail in Punjab, told cops they were bringing a prisoner, later fired indiscriminately and fled with the six inmates; Centre seeks a report

Police at the Nabha jail after the inmates escaped. Pic/PTI
Police at the Nabha jail after the inmates escaped. Pic/PTI

Patiala: In a sensational jailbreak, the chief of Khalistan Liberation Front militant outfit Harminder Mintoo yesterday escaped along with five other prisoners, after armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security Nabha prison here, exposing “lapses” and raising doubts of possible collusion of insiders, with the Centre seeking an immediate report.

Parminder Singh, one of the jail attackers, was later arrested in UP’s Shamli; arms, ammunition were recovered from him.

Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said that “the unidentified assailants came in police fatigues and were carrying small firearms.” He said that they told police personnel deployed on jail premises that they were bringing a prisoner.

“Later, they fired indiscriminately and fled with six criminals, including a terrorist,” he said, adding over 35 rounds were fired and there was no casualty among the jail personnel, who were allegedly taken offguard and did not offer strong resistance.

“The firing was also done from inside the jail. We will see why the firing was not effective,” the DGP said and added there is a “conspiracy somewhere”.

“Had there been effective firing, it would have been the other way round,” he said.

Punjab government sacked two senior prison officials, Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, suspended ADGP (Jails) and formed an SIT to probe the jail break. It ordered a separate inquiry committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Singh Sandhu to look into the “security lapses”.

Rajnath seeks report
Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal about the Nabha jailbreak and sought a detailed report.

'Pak could be behind this'
Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal said Pakistan could be behind the incident as it was desperate to revive terrorism in the state post-surgical strike across LoC and vowed that the “conspiracy” will be unravelled soon.

Woman shot
A woman, who was in an SHO’s vehicle, died after being hit by a bullet when the police opened fire at her vehicle after it jumped a barrier near the prison.

The escapees
Hardcore Khalistani terrorist Mintoo, Vicky Gaundar, Amandeep Dhotian, Gurpreet Sekhon, Nita Deol and Kashmira Singh, who is also a terrorist.

Rs 25 lakh
The reward announced by the Punjab government for any person who provides information leading to the arrest of the under-trial prisoners.

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