Behind the jailbreak
Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo, was apprehended again in Delhi on Monday after 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 after opening fire indiscriminately at jail staff. 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 is wanted in 10 terror cases. According to reports, the alleged mastermind in the Nabha jailbreak case, Parminder, has claimed that eight persons were involved in the incident (they were in contact with them through WhatsApp), and the five fugitives were in Karnal and Panipat in search of a hideout. During interrogation, Parminder said that he was also involved in narcotic smuggling in states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab. Parminder was accused of killing Punjab police inspector Gurudev and he was on the run.
Reacting to the arrest of Mintoo less than 24 hours after he dramatically escaped from Nabha jail in Patiala district, Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh warned against allowing the matter to be pushed under the carpet with the arrest of Mintoo, and called for a thorough probe. He demanded handing over of the Nabha jailbreak case to CBI, alleging a deep-rooted conspiracy, "which has deepened" with the arrest of Khalistan Liberation Front chief. He said, "since the Punjab Police DGP Suresh Arora has already admitted to conspiracy and connivance in the matter, the case should not be probed by the Punjab Police and handed over to CBI for an independent investigation". Amarinder Singh also accused the ruling Akalis of "resorting to communal polarisation when faced with imminent defeat". "The jail break incident also pointed to such an attempt by the state government," he alleged in a statement here. He maintains that this is a clear case of connivance as "the ease of his arrest belied Sukhbir Badal's claims of a Pakistani role in the escape of the hardcore terrorist, who has about a dozen terror cases against him." He alleges that with the entire police and administrative machinery in Punjab in the grip of the Akalis, such blatant incidents of law and order breakdown were to be expected in the run-up to the Assembly polls in the state scheduled early next year. Expressing apprehensions of violence and possible terrorist attacks in the poll-bound state, Amarinder went on to demand imposition of President's Rule to ensure free and fair elections in Punjab.