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Armed men free Khalistani leader

File photo of Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


At least five armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security Nabha Jail in Punjab on Sunday morning and escaped with six prisoners including Harminder Singh Mintoo, chief of Khalistan Liberation Force, after opening fire indiscriminately at jail staff.

Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora said five men were suspected to be involved, but there could have been more. Mr. Arora said they gained entry pretending that they had come to hand over a prisoner. The involvement of insiders was not ruled out.

Eyewitness Sukhwinder Singh said, “There were around 10 people waiting near the main gate. They pulled out blankets from cars and threw them near the gate. The men who came running from the jail picked up the blankets, which had concealed weapons. They fired indiscriminately, before driving towards the railway gate, which was closed. They then escaped in the other direction.”

The shocking incident comes at a time when maximum security is in force on the eve of the Heart of Asia Summit to be held in Amritsar from December 3 to 5.

Others who fled were Kashmira Singh, an alleged terrorist, and alleged gangsters Vicky Gaundar, Amandeep Dhotian, Gurpreet Sekhon and Nita Deol. Mintoo, who formed a new outfit after breaking away from Babbar Khalsa International in 2009 was held in November 2014 after he was deported from Thailand. He was wanted in 10 terror cases.

However, hours later, the alleged “mastermind” of the jailbreak, Parminder Singh, was arrested from Kairana in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district when their getaway vehicle was stopped at a police picket. A self-loading rifle (SLR), three rifles and several rounds of ammunition were recovered from the SUV during the search, U.P.’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljit Singh Chaudhary said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 12:49:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Armed-men-free-Khalistani-leader/article16710412.ece

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