A SYMPATHISER of terrorists lodged in various jails, an Akali councillor and a hairdresser are three key witnesses among a total of 72 witnesses in a charge sheet running over 30 pages and filed by Punjab police against the 15 accused arrested in the Nabha jailbreak case. Incidentally, all three approached police on their own and recorded their statements, supporting the prosecution’s theory of conspiracy and execution of the sensational jailbreak. A number of armed men had executed the escape of four gangsters, Gurpreet Sekhon, Kulpreet Singh aka Neeta Deol, Vicky Gounder, Amandeep Singh and two terrorists, Harminder Singh Mintoo and Kashmir Singh, from the maximum-security Nabha jail on November 27, 2016. At the time of filing the charge sheet in a Nabha court last month, Punjab police had revealed that 14 more, including prime accused Gurpreet Sekhon, were yet to be arrested. After the charge sheet was filed, Gurpreet, Manvir Sekhon and Rajwinder Singh Raja were arrested. A supplementary charge sheet shall now be filed against the three arrested.
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Seven jail officials, whose roles were probed in the jailbreak, have been given a clean chit in the charge sheet. Elaborating the conspiracy and execution of the jailbreak, Punjab police in their charge sheet mentioned that on January 5, 2017, Gurbachan Singh, a sympathiser of terrorists, had met Mintoo, who told him that their [terrorist] organisations were suffering since they had been in jail since long.” “Both told me that their earlier organisation, Khalistan Commando Force, was finished and the Babbar Khalsa International they created was also on the verge of extinction. They added that they planned to make BKI shine again by roping in maximum Sikh youths to create an atmosphere of terror in Punjab and other states.
They told me that they had made a plan with Gurpreet Sekhon gangster group members to plan an escape from the jail”,” reads Gurbachan’s statement that forms part of the charge sheet. Gurbachan, in his statement, added that he dissuaded both of them from doing so and Mintoo and Kashmir dropped their plan to escape from jail. According to the charge sheet, on January 6, 2017, Khushhal Kumar, a municipal councillor in Nabha, stated that one of his friends had arranged a meeting with a number of men about three to four months ago who claimed that they were members of the Gurpreet Sekhon group. Kumar, who claims to be a politically active worker of the Akali Dal, said he had turned down the offer of the group when they said he could get any work like killing for money, looting, ransom and getting possession of land done from them. On the day of the Nabha jailbreak, Kumar said he saw the members of that group in four cars near Nabha jail.
According to the charge sheet, Kumar said he remained busy due to Assembly elections and with municipality work” “Today, I had come to your office for personal work and after hearing discussion on Nabha jailbreak case, I recollected that I had seen these persons near Nabha jail that day,” read the charge sheet, quoting Kumar. A hairdresser, Chamkaur Singh, according to the charge sheet, told police that he heard 15-20 men in four cars – three to four of them wearing police uniform – that they would help Mintoo, Kashmir and three to four members of the Gurpreet Sekhon group escape from jail at any cost on that day [November 27, 2016]. Chamkaur stated that he heard them saying that Mintoo and Kashmir were in touch with terrorists settled in Pakistan and procure arms and cash from them.
The charge sheet said another accused in the case, Ramanjit Singh Romy, who was trying to help the absconding accused flee the country through his network, was living in room 747, 7/F Kam Hon House, Choi Hung Estate, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The charge sheet noted that one automatic pistol, Made in Italy, number 111700, without any magazine, was recovered from the accused Gurpreet, a resident of Mangewal village in Moga district at whose house the jailbreak was allegedly planned. The pistol barrel had a marking, Supply for only Army 9 MM 9 ROUND. The police charge sheet said that another pistol, with a marking of GABILOMDO YCIA ELGOYB (ESPANA) CAL 9 F/M(380) (LAMA) 58904 with magazine and five live rounds bearing the mark, GFL 380 AUTO, was also recovered from Gurpreet.