Self-proclaimed chief of Khalistan Liberation Force, (KFL), Harminder Singh Mintoo along with his aide, Kashmir Singh Galwadi escaped the Nabha Jail in Patiala on Sunday. Mintoo has been mentored by Wadhawa Singh, chief of Babbar Khlasa International and has allegedly been to Pakistan a few times to train under the infamous Inter Services Intelligence ( ISI). He was arrested by Punjab Police from Indira Gandhi International airport in 2014 when he was returning from Thailand. Kashmir Singh Galwadi, his aide met Mintoo while serving his term in the jail for shooting a Shiv Sena leader, Harvinder Soni in Gurdaspur. Four other gangsters too escaped the jail with them. The escape was planned and executed by 10 men who were in possesssion of arms which they used to threaten the policemen into submission.
The manner in which the jail-break happened indicates that the men were familiar with area inside the Nabha prison. Here is how the daring escape was engineered by these hardcore terrorists:
1. The gunmen had initially entered the jail dressed as policemen and stabbed a guard at the gate. The prison guards thought that they had come on official purpose and did not suspect anything was amiss. Whether they asked for any ID cards or other papers from the gunmen is as yet unclear.
2. Upon entering the jail, they fired their automatic weapons, located and then freed Mintoo, his aide and four other gangsters – Harjinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sekhon, Kulpreet Singh and Amandeep Singh. Amazingly, as many as 200 rounds were fired inside the jail.
3. The gunmen then escorted the prisoners out of the jail and into their cars – a sedan, a hatchback and an SUV. It took them 10 minutes to break the high security Nabha prison, carry out their plan and then make their escape. They did not face any opposition at all from the prison authorities. Shockingly, the police was caught by surprise and did not fire a single round at the gunmen.
4. While escaping in their cars, the gunmen threw a rifle they had snatched from the policemen onto the road.
5. According to people at the scene, it took the policemen 15 minutes to ome out of the jail gates and onto the road to see what was happening outside!
Later in the evening, UP police was able to catch one of the attackers, Palwinder. In addition to self loading rifle two other rifles and bullets, cash recovered from him. He was driving a white SUV and jumped from the vehicle when the police signaled him to stop. The arrest was made in an alley. “He has confessed o the crime. Mintoo was with Palwinder in the car but he got down at Panipat. Police have recovered two more vehicles used in the Punjab jail attack, a sedan and a hatchback”, additional Daljeet Singh Chowdhary told HT.
In a big breakthrough in the case on Monday morning, the Delhi Police arrested Mintoo. However, the other escapees and the gunmen who pulled off the audacious escape are still at large.