New Delhi: Six prisoners including Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh ‘Mintoo’ escaped from Patiala’s high-security Nabha jail on Sunday morning after 10 men in Punjab police uniform stormed it and opened fire, prompting the state government to sack the director general of jails and two senior Nabha prison officials.
Parminder Singh, one of the jail attackers, was later arrested in Uttar Pradesh and a cache of arms and ammunition was seized from him.
Mintoo is an accused in 10 terror cases including a 2008 attack on Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, and the recovery of explosives at Halwara Air Force station in Punjab in 2010. He was arrested in Delhi in 2014.
The others were named as Vicky Gaundar, Amandeep Dhotian, Gurpreet Sekhon, Nita Deol and Kashmira Singh.
Police check-posts were set up in areas surrounding the jail and security was heightened across the state, according to reports.
“The attack happened around 8.30am on Sunday, wherein 10 men in the guise of Punjab police fired over 100 rounds of ammunition at the police personnel,” said a police officer requesting anonymity.
“A special task force has been set up to track these criminals. The police is on duty. We will catch them. A team under the additional director general of police has been formed to investigate the incident. Strict action will be taken against whoever is responsible,” deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
He said the government has sacked DG jails, and the jail superintendent and deputy jail superintendent at Nabha prison.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh said the jailbreak exposed a “complete breakdown of law and order” in the state, while triggering fears of revival of terrorism ahead of assembly polls due next year.
Press Trust of India contributed to the story.