New Delhi: The Delhi police on Sunday night arrested Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo who had escaped from the Nabha jail in Punjab earlier in the day.
“Mintoo was nabbed late last night (Sunday) from the Nizamuddin station’s parking area. We have been in touch with Punjab and Uttar Pradesh police, who tipped us off that he was heading towards Delhi. Mintoo had trimmed his beard and changed his appearance. We arrested him once his identity was absolutely confirmed,” said Arvind Deep, special commissioner of police (Delhi police).
On Sunday morning, a group of 12 men in Punjab police uniform broke into the jail and started shooting, facilitating the escape of Mintoo along with five others.
The Delhi police said Mintoo had bought a train ticket for Panvel in Mumbai, where he had lived for 18 years. From Mumbai, he had planned on going to Goa, from where he would escape overseas. the police said they also discovered a pistol and six cartridges from Mintoo. A case has been registered under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“When we cornered him, he pulled out his weapon to fire at the teams. But we managed to overpower him and arrest him. We have been interrogating him and will further investigate the matter based on the leads provided by Mintoo,” Deep said.
The Punjab police had informed their Delhi counterparts that six inmates, including Mintoo, had escaped in four cars. The police gathered information on these cars from their registration numbers and passed it to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police, who set up pickets and barricades across the border and within the cities.
The Delhi police stated that Mintoo had been tipped off about the jailbreak.
On Sunday evening, one of the 12 men accused in the jailbreak, Parminder Singh, disclosed that Mintoo and Kashmir Singh—who has been accused in the shooting of a Shiv Sena leader—decided to go along with the plan.
“Mintoo was aware of the jailbreak. According to him, Gurpreet Sekhon was the mastermind of the attack. When Mintoo and Kashmir Singh escaped, they got off just before Kurukshetra and split in order to not be apprehended together. Mintoo then changed his appearance and took a bus to Panipat and then Delhi. They had both planned to meet in Goa,” Deep stated.
Reportedly trained by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Mintoo has been wanted in 10 terror-related cases.
While the other five escapees are still absconding, police from all three states have laid out their networks to nab them.