THERE WERE nearly 500 rounds at the disposal of Punjab Police head constable Sahib Singh, who was supposed to guard the jail with an LMG from the strategically set-up morcha above the Nabha jail corridor in the jailbreak incident where armed gangsters in police uniform helped six inmates escape on Sunday.
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“There were 500 rounds with him at the morcha. He could have fired very effectively from there. The rounds were more than enough to cause extensive damage to those who executed the jailbreak,” said a Punjab jail official.
The Inquiry Committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Sandhu, and a Special Investigation Team, headed by Punjab Police Internal Vigilance Cell ADGP Prabodh Kumar, are conducting two separate probes into the jailbreak.
Another jail official said during his questioning that Sahib Singh said he was “totally caught unawares” as he never anticipated that men in police uniform could be criminals.
“He said he thought that there was an exchange of fire between police party on one side and inmates and the handcuffed man brought to jail on the other. He said he feared that if he had opened fire, it may have hit the police party,” said the official.
Paramjit Singh Sandhu, who was dismissed as the superintendent of Nabha High Security Jail, said, “500 rounds were enough to tear apart the car used in the crime. There was laxity on his part. But he (Sahib Singh) says that he did not open fire fearing that cops (who were actually gangsters wearing police uniform) might get killed.”
Asked about his own absence from jail without intimation, Sandhu said, “I had to leave in a hurry as one of my relatives had died.”
Karanjit Singh, who has been dismissed as deputy superintendent of the jail, said he was attending a five-day Art of Living course in Patiala. “Jail officials from several jails were attending the course in Patiala on the directions of ADGP Jails. I had gone from Nabha. Sunday was the last day of the course,” he added.