Nabha jailbreak: Tipped off, Harminder Singh Mintoo tagged along

According to Uttar Pradesh Police, Palwinder Singh Pinda, who was nabbed late on Sunday in Shamli, disclosed during interrogation.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Nabha | Updated: November 28, 2016 12:25 pm
Nabha jailbreak incident, Nabha jailbreak, Harminder Mintoo, Harminder Mintoo jail escape, Harminder Mintoo jailbreak, Khalistan Liberation Front, india news Harminder Singh Mintoo.

The 12 men who carried out the Nabha jailbreak Sunday were hoping to free just four of their gang members but Khalistan Liberation Force militant Harminder Singh Mintoo and Kashmir Singh, accused in the shooting of a Shiv Sena leader, decided to join the group after coming to know of the escape plan. According to Uttar Pradesh Police, this is what one of the 12, Palwinder Singh Pinda, who was nabbed late on Sunday in Shamli, disclosed during interrogation. Mintoo and Singh escaped along with Vicky Gounder and other members of his gang, tipped off about jailbreak, militant tagged along Gurpreet Sekhon, Amandeep Dhotian and Kulpreet Singh aka Neeta Deol.

Update: Mintoo arrested by joint team of Delhi-Punjab police

WATCH VIDEO: Khalistani Militant Harminder Singh Mintoo Arrested: Find Out More

“Palwinder told us that the plan was only to get the gangsters freed. But Gurpreet Sekhon had told Mintoo that they would escape on Sunday. Mintoo was keeping a watch and joined them in the jail corridor,” Daljit Singh Chaudhary, UP ADGP (Law and Order), told The Indian Express.

UP Police arrested Pinda on the Panipat-Kairana city road in Shamli while he was driving the Toyota Fortuner suspected to have been used in the jailbreak. They recovered four rifles from him, including one that was snatched from police in Nabha jail.

Chaudhary said Pinda was arrested in 2013 and lodged in Nabha jail, where he was facing trial for the murder of a policeman, before he escaped this March from police custody during a medical check-up at a local hospital.

According to Punjab Police, the armed men showed up at the main gate of the jail on the Nabha-Channo road at 8.56 am and exited with the inmates at 9.04 am.

Police suspect that the group of armed men and the gangsters lodged in jail were likely in touch over phone. “The armed men were waiting for a signal from inside to enter,” said sources.

As soon as the armed men rushed in, the gangsters reached the jail corridor to find Mintoo and Kashmir Singh already there, said sources.

Asked about the presence of six inmates in the corridor at the same time, Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said, “That is why we are probing the connivance angle.”

Revealing details about the jailbreak, sources said that the armed group — one wore the uniform of a sub-inspector and the rest were dressed as constables — arrived at the main gate with two other handcuffed men in civilian clothes to suggest that they were bringing inmates back from a court hearing.

But as soon as they got down from the car, sources said, they snatched a rifle from a policeman at the entrance and split into two groups, one taking those on duty there as hostages and the other heading towards the jail corridor entrance, 100m away in a Honda City.

The first group remained at the entrance where the other three vehicles involved in the escape were parked, said sources.

Meanwhile, the four gangsters inside, along with Mintoo and Kashmir, overpowered policemen at the spot, snatched a pistol from one of them and shot at the lock to break it open, said sources.

The group then headed back to the main gate in the car firing shots along the way, said an official, adding that the entire group then sped away in the four vehicles towards Thoohi on the Nabha-Channo road.

According to DGP Arora, about 35 rounds were fired during the jailbreak. “Ten more rounds may have been fired because we were told that shots were fired outside the jail, too,” he said, adding that policemen inside the jail retaliated but were not effective.

There was one last twist to the jailbreak, though.

“The gangsters found that the gates of the railway crossing at Thoohi, about 500m from the main jail entrance, were shut. They took a U-turn and headed back on the jail road towards Nabha from where they took another route through the villages to enter Haryana,” said sources.

“The railway gates were closed at 9:05 am and opened at 9:11 am after the Ganganagar-Haridwar train passed through. Every time the gates are closed, it takes about 10 minutes for the traffic to resume momentum,” said the gateman at Thoohi.

Police said that one of the vehicles used in the escape, a Hyundai Verna, was later found abandoned in a village in Haryana’s Kaithal district.

Sources said that video clips from a camera installed in a shop outside the jail show the four vehicles racing towards the railway crossing and speeding back in a few seconds. They show two children stopping near the gate to watch the cars speed out and then running for safety moments later.

The clips also show a gun falling out of one of the cars, said sources.

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  1. S
    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:50 am
    Goons are operating from jails, they have all set up in jail.Money Power.
    1. A
      Atis Mitra
      Nov 28, 2016 at 1:42 am
      Our government yet declares OROP for security staff while people like me do not get anything
      1. R
        Nov 28, 2016 at 2:08 am
        These people will bring the entire Sikh community to disrepute.
        1. H
          Nov 27, 2016 at 11:44 pm
          Unbeleivable that such Plots are hatched and Logistics worked out.
          1. K
            Nov 28, 2016 at 4:06 am
            So bjp's demontization shadow claim to rid of terrorism is untrue
            1. M
              Nov 28, 2016 at 3:57 am
              Jail breaks are done with guns not with knives( from spoons) as in the SIMI activists who escaped from Madhya Pradesh jail.
              1. S
                Nov 28, 2016 at 3:27 am
                This story of "tagged along " is just to change the narrative a play down the incident of terrorists escaping.... the govt wants to project that the it was the gangsters who plotted the escape and the terrorists tagged along , because terrorists being successful in planning and escaping in a jail break is PR disaster for the govt esp when the elections are around the corner
                1. P
                  Pmg Pillai
                  Nov 28, 2016 at 12:00 am
                  Here is a breackof security as with out the top police men knowing it thrih inteligence thisisnotpossible the gurs may be not scnnedfor natinlist nent of mnd ony such sff be kept in these locions, Spying is a rehulr matter and it must be under stood by top and alertness to ne kept at alltimes dated monday Novedmber 28th 2016Time 0525hrs ist
                  1. R
                    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:01 am
                    Members of the Sikh community in India get everything done by hook or by crook. In essence, they treat the w system with contempt. Just a couple of years ago, they got the death sentence of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar (one of the most truculent criminals in history) commuted to life sentence. Then they got him shifted from a Delhi prison to an Amritsar prison, where all amenities were already in place for his comfortable stay. If that was not enough, he has been getting parole at will. Remarkably enough, this is not an isolated case, for a number of other dreadful criminals belonging to the elite community have been receiving the same kind of merciful treatment. The recent Nabha jailbreak is yet another incident in that sequence. The successive Congress governments in the past gave all evidence of their spinelessness when it came to dealing with this mor. Will the present BJP government prove its mettle? The least that it can do is shift the inveterate criminals to a prison in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
                    1. V
                      Vihari Naidu
                      Nov 28, 2016 at 5:02 am
                      So Deputy CM of Punjab blaming stan for this is a big lie. As long as we have politicians lying like this, everyday ache din.
                      1. A
                        Anand Ch
                        Nov 28, 2016 at 1:15 am
                        Punjab continues to surprise the Nation.
                        1. R
                          Nov 28, 2016 at 2:32 am
                          Police dress at night can foo the police themselves...,Jails must be made independent of Police dept and the custodian's trained to overcome such eventualities.
                          1. D
                            Nov 28, 2016 at 2:22 am
                            I always wondered why the Kalistani types were not liked in the West and North America.
                            1. D
                              Nov 28, 2016 at 1:43 am
                              IE....what exactly the article says. Is Mintoo the terrorists caught.
                              1. S
                                Suresh Shukla
                                Nov 28, 2016 at 2:31 am
                                "High Security jails" ???? first MP and now Punjab. These jails should be called "no-security jails"
                                1. S
                                  Nov 28, 2016 at 4:50 am
                                  Isn't it surprising that more than 100 rounds were fired but none of the police man is injured or dead? Punjab police credentials are in doubt. Earlier in pathankot terror attack their SP lead the terrorist in his car to air base and was not touched by terrorist and now nearly 10 terrorist come to jail to free their collegues but none of them touch any police man.
                                  1. S
                                    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:44 am
                                    This bit of news should not have been publicised in order to verify if other gang members corroborate it when they are eventually captured. It seems we have a totally incompetent police force who are playing to the galleries and political parties. How can India develop when you have pot-bellied policemen behaving like cowherds?
                                    1. T
                                      Nov 28, 2016 at 6:49 am
                                      As he is SIKH TERRORIST...he is caught alive...had muslim undertrial would have escaped he would have gunned down....Modi has openly exposed hypocrisy.......As elections are due in Punjab this terrorist may be pardoned/released and given BJP ticket...
                                      1. P
                                        Nov 28, 2016 at 2:09 am
                                        BJP and Akali politicians nust be hand in gloves with these gangsters. Is this possible without police complicity of top order? And everyone knows whose boots top policemen lick.
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