It is not too often we listen to stories about arrested militants escaping from prison amid such high security. But, a scene as real as it could get in any 90’s movie happened on 27th November when a daring attack at the highly protected and secured Nabha Jail by 10 armed men fled Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo and five others.
This sensational jailbreak from the high-security Nabha Jail in Punjab took place after 10 armed men dressed in police uniform breached the prison security and then fired more than 100 rounds. They then freed the Khalistani Chief Harmindar Singh, also called Mintoo who is involved in 10 terror-related cases including the 2008-attack on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and recovery of explosives at Halwara Air Force Station near Ludhiana in 2010.
The entire operation of jailbreaking lasted not more than 10 minutes, indicating the attackers were familiar with the jail’s layout and routine. Or rather someone from the jail being involved in helping the militants to flee from the prison. Nothing less than an iconic action scene from a 90’s movie happened that left everyone including the Punjab Police Force jaw struck.
Who actually is Khalistani Chief Harmindar Singh aka Mintoo ?
Harmindar Singh is the chief of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) better known by its acronym KLF. The outfit is banned in India.
In 2014, Mintoo was arrested by Punjab Police from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi when he arrived from Thailand.
Punjab Police had registered a case of attempted murder of Sirsa-based Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2009. He was produced in Jalandhar court in connection with this case after his arrest in 2014.
The 49-year-old dreaded militant was part of the Wadhwa Singh-led Babbar Khalsa International till 2009 when he switched sides to lead its splinter group KLF.
It is also suspected, Harminder Singh Mintoo was in touch with Pakistan’s ISI. He received training and funds from the Pakistani agency. Harminder Singh Mintoo was also suspected in the case of plotting the assassination of three Shiv Sena leaders in Punjab.
If you just jog your memories and rewind, a similar case of jailbreaking happened in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Where the fled militants were killed in an encounter, but nothing as an encounter happened in this case. After Twenty-four hours of a manhunt launched by the Special Cell of Delhi police, Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo was arrested on Monday near Delhi-Haryana border.
Harminder was tracked down when he tried to contact a relative in Delhi and the call was intercepted and traced. The police say he may have planned to escape to Nepal.
The Punjab police said that Mintoo was trying to revive the Khalistan separatist movement and was in touch with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence officers ahead of the 2017 elections coming in Punjab.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s son and deputy Sukhbir Badal said Pakistan could be behind the jailbreak, that it was desperate to stir trouble in India after the surgical strikes.
Launching a scathing attack on the state government, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said Sukhbir Singh Badal must take responsibility for jailbreak and the state’s home minister must resign over the issue.