DAYS AFTER Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and expressed fears of re-emergence of extremism in the state due to “nexus of gangsters with Khalistani radicals”, the Centre has agreed to send two companies of central security forces to be deployed in high security jails of the state.
Sources in the government told The Indian Express that the state had got a communication from the Centre Thursday that two companies of CISF would be sent to the state so that the security of jails where
gangsters are lodged should be handed over to central security forces. This comes in the wake of a demand put forth by Amarinder to Rajnath Singh on April 19 in this regard. The CM had sought a comprehensive strategy to “tackle the re-emergence of extremism in the state, which was threatening to once again disturb the peace and stability of the state,” a government release had stated subsequent to the meeting
Sources said the deployment of central forces would go a long way in dealing with gangsters. The state has 10 high security jails, including Patiala, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Bathinda, Amritsar , Gurdaspur and Nabha high-security prison. Punjab had raised a red flag about gangsters-radicals nexus after the November 2016 Nabha jailbreak incident when a gangster, Vicky Gounder, and two Sikh militants had escaped from the Nabha jail. Among the militants was Harminder Singh Mintoo, chief of the erstwhile Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), who was arrested by the Punjab police in 2014 in Thailand and was lodged in the high-security Nabha jail since.
Gounder was killed by Punjab police in an encounter in January this year. Gounder’s escape alongwith Mintoo had led the police to investigations that Ramanjit Singh Romi, the mastermind of the jail break who supported the gangster with funds.