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IndiaNabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed

Nabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed


Nabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed

Nabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed
Nabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed

Chandigarh: Six prisoners — among them the chief of Khalistan Liberation Front — escaped from Nabha jail on Sunday in a daring prison break in which a dozen suspected gangsters dressed in police uniforms attacked the high-security prison. Some armed gangsters who came in four cars attacked the jail guard, broke into the prison and set six people — Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Singh ‘Mintoo' and, another militant, Singh, gangsters Amandeep Dhothian; Vicky Gounder, Gurpreet Sekhon and Neetu Deol — free as they fired indiscriminately before escaping, sources said. Police officials said that the gunmen fired 200 rounds at the policemen on duty, although nobody was reported injured.

In a major breakthrough, police arrested Parminder Singh, one of the Nabha jail attackers, from Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from his possession.

Parminder was among the group of ten armed men who attacked the high-security Nabha Jail in 's Patiala district today and escaped with six prisoners, including a Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo.

ADG UP Daljeet Singh Choudhary confirmed the news and told ANI that Parminder has confessed to his crimes.

“He has confessed to his crimes. There was a high alert in Uttar Pradesh since morning and we had information that the accused might try to go towards Nepal. During checking operation, we nabbed him,” the ADG UP said.

Parminder is said to be the mastermind of the high-security Nabha jailbreak incident. As per the report, he was caught while trying to flee to Nepal in a car. His arrest has come as the first breakthrough in the jailbreak incident.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, another car with a Punjab number plate has been found in Sonu Majra village in Kaithal district of . Police are suspecting that the car might have been used by the Nabha attackers.

Nabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed
Nabha Jailbreak: Attackers free 6 prisoners including KLF militants; Mastermind nabbed

Earlier today, Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal about the Nabha jailbreak and sought a detailed report from the state government on the incident.

Singh, who was in Hyderabad, also asked the Chief Minister to take urgent steps to tighten security in all jails in Punjab, officials said.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also spoke to the Security Advisor Ajit Doval and apprised him of the details of the incident. He updated the NSA on steps being taken to apprehend the culprits.

Sources in police said that the entire operation lasted 20 minutes — gunmen entered in Nabha jail at 8.28 am and left with the escapees by 9.01 am — raising questions of possible help from within the prison.

“As soon as the jail officials opened the main jail gate the accused overpowered the jail guard and the six accused who fled were almost waiting to be taken away. The six were then put in a waiting Fortuner and they fled firing at Jail guards, who failed to retaliate and were caught off guard,” a policeman said, not wanting to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the press. Sources said that intelligence reports had already alerted the police of a possible jail break. Police later confirmed that the suspects were heading towards Sadar Samana. There were suggestions previously that the gangsters should be distributed across several jails instead of having them all in the Nabha prison, reports said. Although the home department discussed it, no action was taken. Ropar police have been asked to grill another gangster moved there last week from New Jail Nabha. Mintoo has been accused of having been involved in several cases of militancy and was arrested from the Delhi airport in November 2014.  Originally from Sarawan Bodla village in Lambi assembly segment, Gondar is the prime suspect in the murder of gangster Sukha Kahlwan and was arrested in December 2015. He was moved to Nabha jail after a clash with a rival gang in Ropar jail. Gondar is suspected of having been involved in another murder case by Jalandhar Commissionerate in 2010. His gang — gangster Gurshahid Singh alias Shera Khubban's group — is primarily involved in highway robberies and murders. Gurshahid Singh was killed in a police encounter in Bathinda in 2012. Punjab Police have alerted Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan of the prison break. Punjab Director General of Police met Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who holds the state's home ministry, to discuss the development. All interstate check points have been sealed. Union Home Ministry has demanded a report of the incident from the state government. Police are also vetting call records and mobile data dump at the jail. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal meanwhile hinted at possible Pakistani involvement. He said in a tweet: “Pak desperate to revive terror post-surgical strike. Could be behind jail break”. Punjab Government meanwhile announced a reward of Rs 25 lakh for information that lead to the escapees' arrest.

The incident came two days after Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked security forces to guard against attempts to disturb peace through “vicious” political campaign or by external extremist forces during the election process in Punjab and four other states.

A massive manhunt was launched to trace the inmates who escaped from the jail and a special task force was also formed to track them.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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