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Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh Mintoo, who had escaped from the high-security Nabha Central Jail in Punjab’s Patiala Sunday, was arrested in a joint operation by the Punjab Police and the Special Crime Branch of the Delhi Police from the Delhi railway station on Monday. After being questioned at a special cell office in New Friends Colony, he was sent to seven-day police custody by a Delhi court. Mintoo had escaped along with five others from the jail after a group of 12 armed men stormed into the prison. Police teams of various states had launched a massive manhunt Sunday after the jailbreak.
Mintoo is said to be linked to Pakistan’s ISI, and had been arrested in 2014 by Punjab Police from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on his return from Thailand. He faces charges in a number of cases, including the attack on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2008.
Mintoo’s lawyer Jaspal Singh Manjhpur told the Indian Express that there was no need for his client to escape as he could have been released legally soon.
“The cases against him were very weak and in most of the cases he is described as the main conspirator. He has not been accused of direct involvement in any alleged militant activity,” his lawyer said.
Mintoo, who is a native of Dalli village in Jalandhar district, had been on the run till he was arrested on his return from Thailand in 2014. He had reportedly fled to Thailand after he was named as an accused in a case of seizure of 24.5 kg explosive material and several detonators in Ludhiana in 2008.