A Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist, who was planning a major blast in Punjab, escaped from the custody of Punjab police in Hoshiarpur early on Monday.
Police officials here confirmed that BKI terrorist Karanbir Singh escaped from the custody of the CIA (crime investigation agency) staff building in Hoshiarpur early in the morning.
Police officials claimed that the terrorist had been arrested on Sunday night and was being interrogated when he gave police the slip.
Karanbir Singh escaped after breaking the window of a toilet where he had gone to ease himself.
The daring escape has left the police embarrassed.
Hoshiarpur district police chief Rakesh Aggarwal said the terrorist was planning a major bomb blast in Punjab and had even prepared a bomb with 3.5 kg of RDX.
Three harbourers of the terrorist from Hoshiarpur district, Amanbir Singh, Ranjit Kaur and Jarnail Singh, were also arrested and are still in police custody.
Aggarwal further said that a big cache of arms, ammunition and explosives were recovered from his possession. These include one AK-47 and an AK-56 assault rifle, two hand grenades, 5.4 kg RDX, six magazines, 276 rounds of ammunition, two detonators, timer and a remote control.
Five policemen, including two assistant sub-inspectors who were guarding him, have been placed under suspension.
The BKI terrorist was arrested for the murder of the head of a religious sect, Pradhan Singh, in May 2010 near Hoshiarpur.
The police have announced a reward of Rs.500,000 to anyone giving information about the whereabouts of the terrorist Karanbir Singh.
Aggarwal said that Karanbir Singh had got the arms, ammunition and explosives from across the border (Pakistan). He said that the terrorist was in touch with other BKI terrorists, especially Narain Singh Chaura and Pal Singh.
Karanbir had planned the murder of the sect head at his 'dera' (campus), 20 km from Hoshiarpur, with another absconding terrorist, Makhan Singh.
He told the police during interrogation that they killed the sect head as "his activities were not in accordance with the societal norms".
The Punjab police have issued a red alert to nab Karanbir and raids were being conducted at various places in Punjab and neighbouring Himachal Pradesh to find him.