The Punjab counter-intelligence team in a joint operation with the Patiala and Moga police arrested Nabha jailbreak mastermind Gurpreet Singh Sekhon and his three aides from a house at Dhudike village in Moga on Sunday.
With Sekhon’s arrest, cops have nabbed three of the six criminals who fled the highsecurity jail in Patiala district on November 27 last year.
“We had been tracing Sekhon’s movements for the past two months and acted after getting specific input, in coordination with the Patiala and Moga police,” said assistant inspector general (AIG), counter-intelligence, Gurmeet Singh Chauhan.
Besides Sekhon, his cousin Manvir Sekhon of Makhu village and Rajwinder Singh Raja, alias Sultan, of Mangewal village in Moga, and gangster Kulwinder Sidana, brother of gangster Surinder Sidana, were nabbed during the twohour operation. Sources said the accused often stayed at the house, owned by a non-resident Indian, Kultar Singh Goldy.
While Sekhon had planned the Nabha jailbreak, Manvir and Sultan were involved in executing it and helping the prisoners escape after attacking the jail, said AIG Chauhan.
“Manvir was the one who conducted the recce of the jail with a pen camera, and plotted the escape route besides providing logistics. While Sekhon was firing from inside the jail, Manvir and his group fired around 200 rounds in five minutes to facilitate the escape,” he said.
Before carrying out the Sunday operation, cops had made extensive preparations, said sources. Mobile jammers were installed in the village and all entry and exit points to Dhudike and adjacent villages, Ajitwal and Chuaharchak, were blocked.
Cops also told people in the neighbourhood not to come out of their houses during the operation. Villagers claimed police shot a number of rounds in the air after cordoning the house. Cops, however, denied it.
“We did not give the gangsters time to retaliate. They surrendered after finding the police had surrounded them,” said AIG Chauhan. Police teams also recovered four weapons, including two .32 bore, one .30 bore and a .12 bore firearm, from the gangsters.