In a sensational jailbreak, ten armed men in police uniform on Sunday attacked the high-security Nabha Jail and fled with five prisoners, including Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo, an accused in 10 cases.
Police said a group of youths dressed in police uniform stormed the jail and opened indiscriminate fire at the high-security.
Those who escaped include gangster Vicky Gondar, Gurpreet Sekhon, Nita Deol, Vikramjeet, and terrorist Mintoo, police said.
Who is Harminder Singh Mintoo?
Harminder Singh Mintoo is the chief of the banned outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).
Mintoo was arrested by Punjab Police from Delhi’s IGI Airport in 2014. He was arrested in connection with 10 cases including the 2008 attack on Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and recovery of explosives at Halwara Air Force station in 2010.
The 49-year-old dreaded militant was part of the Wadhawa Singh-led Babbar Khalsa International till 2009, when he switched sides to lead its splinter group KLF.
Security agencies suspect that Mintoo had been receiving training and funds from Pakistan’s ISI. He is also said to have good network in South East Asian countries including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Heads started to roll soon after the incident with the Punjab Government suspending DG (Jails) and dismissing two other senior prison officials even as the opposition Congress said the incident exposed the “complete breakdown of law and order” in the state and triggered fears of revival of terrorism ahead of assembly elections.
The Centre has sought a report from the state government over the jailbreak incident. Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to take urgent steps to tighten security in all jails in Punjab, officials said.
A high alert has been sounded in Punjab and Haryana after the incident with security around railway stations, airports, inter-state bus terminuses and other places of key importance stepped up.
(With inputs from PTI)