Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Monday demanded handing over of the Nabha jailbreak case to CBI, alleging a deep-rooted conspiracy, “which has deepened” with the arrest of Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Singh Mintoo. “Since the Punjab Police DGP Suresh Arora has already admitted to conspiracy and connivance in the matter, the case should not be probed by the Punjab Police and handed over to CBI for an independent investigation,” he said.
Amarinder also accused the ruling Akalis of “resorting to communal polarisation when faced with imminent defeat”. “The jail break incident also pointed to such an attempt by the state government,” he alleged in a statement.
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Reacting to the arrest of Mintoo less than 24 hours after he dramatically escaped from Nabha jail in Patiala district along with five others on Sunday, Amarinder warned against allowing the matter to be pushed under the carpet with the arrest of Mintoo, and called for a thorough probe. “It is a clear case of connivance,” he maintained and added that since Mintoo was nabbed in Delhi, the case could jointly be probed by the CBI and the IB, with support from the Delhi Police.
“The ease of his arrest belied Sukhbir Badal’s claims of a Pakistani role in the escape of the hardcore terrorist, who has about a dozen terror cases against him,” said Amarinder.
“Had the whole thing been plotted from across the border, Mintoo would have by now escaped out of India, instead of waiting in Delhi to be nabbed,” he further stated.
The former Punjab Chief Minister demanded “meticulous interrogation” of Mintoo by independent agencies to get at the root of the conspiracy. “With the entire police and administrative machinery in Punjab in the grip of the Akalis, such blatant incidents of law and order breakdown were to be expected in the run-up to the Assembly polls in the state,” he said.
Assembly polls in Punjab are scheduled early next year. Expressing apprehensions of violence and possible terrorist attacks in the poll-bound state, Amarinder reiterated his demand for imposition of President’s Rule to ensure free and fair elections in Punjab.
Khalistani Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo was nabbed from Delhi railway station earlier in the day.