Escaped Khalistani terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo was caught in Delhi 24 hours after a sensational jailbreak in Punjab in which armed men helped him and five others run away from the high security Nabha prison. The other prisoners remain missing.
Mintoo was tracked down at the Nizamuddin Railway station, from where he was planning to travel to Mumbai.
On Sunday, a little before 9 am, a dozen men disguised as policemen arrived in four cars at the gates of the Nabha jail with two handcuffed men, claiming they were bringing them back after a court hearing. After gaining entry, the armed men snatched the rifle of a policeman and fired over 100 rounds.
Within 10 minutes, the gang drove off with the prisoners.
Hunting for the men, the police opened fire at a car near a check-post around 25 km from the prison, killing a woman in what they admitted was a mistake.
Mintoo was dropped off around 90 km away at Haryana, from where he took a bus to the railway station in Delhi.
One of the men involved in the jailbreak, Parwinder Singh Pinda, was caught last evening in Uttar Pradesh with a huge cache of arms. He told the police that Mintoo and another prisoner Kashmir Singh were not part of the plan that was meant for the escape of Vicky Gounder, a prisoner accused in several cases of murder and highway robbery. Mintoo allegedly found out about the jailbreak plan and tagged along.
49-year-old Mintoo, chief of the banned Khalistan Liberation Force, is accused in more than 10 terror cases, including an attack on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. He was arrested in 2014 when he arrived from Thailand at the Delhi airport.
The Punjab police said he was trying to revive the Khalistan separatist movement and was in touch with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence officers. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s son and deputy Sukhbir Badal said Pakistan could be behind the jailbreak in an attempt to stir trouble in India after the surgical strikes. The opposition, however, accused the government of a role in the break-in.