The probe into the Nabha jailbreak in Punjab — which saw five individuals dressed as policemen break into the high-security prison on Sunday and free six inmates, including Khalistani leader Harminder Singh Mintoo — took a new turn on Tuesday evening when the Punjab Police arrested two top prison officials and a businessman in connection with the case.
The first arrest in the case was made on Sunday itself while Mintoo was arrested on Monday, and has since been sent to police remand. However, the daring operation in which he was snatched away had raised serious questions on the security measurements in the prison. Tuesday evening's action seems to be in response to those suspicions.
The Punjab Police on Tuesday arrested Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jail, Bhim Singh, Nabha prison head warden, Jagmeet Singh, and a businessman named Tejinder Sharma — said to be the owner of a shop named Shagun Sweets in Nabha — in connection with the case.
The trio has been booked on charges of abetment and criminal conspiracy with the escapees. Effectively, they are accused of facilitating the jailbreak. While it can be understood that the ASP and the head warden could have used their clout to help the inmates escape, there is no exact explanation of how Sharma alias Happy, a sweetmeat-shop-owner, ties into this conspiracy.
Meanwhile, following the arrest of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Mintoo from the Delhi-Haryana border on Monday morning, he was sent to seven-day police custody by a Delhi court. It seems he was planning to flee the country. "Mintoo had trimmed his beard making it difficult to identify him. His plan was to escape from Goa via Mumbai. We're interrogating Mintoo and conducting further probe based on leads given by him," Special Commissioner of Delhi Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep told mediapersons on Monday.
The Punjab Police have also arrested the escaped inmates from Jalandhar. Arms and ammunition were recovered from the escapees. Two cars with Punjab number plates have been found abandoned near Kaithal in Haryana.