A group of about 10 armed men helped an undertrial escape from police custody after overpowering three cops of the Amritsar police at the civil court here on Monday.
The Batala police have registered a case under sections 223 (escape from confinement or custody negligently suffered by public servant) and 224 (resistance or illegal obstruction to the lawful apprehension) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Satnam Singh, constables Narinder Singh and Manjeet Singh.
The undertrial, Sukhpreet Singh Harry, a murder convict, had been lodged in the Amritsar central jail and was brought here for a hearing in the VMS college firing case.
On Monday morning, a police van from Amritsar dropped two undertrials and five policemen at the civil court and left for Gurdaspur. After the hearing in the court of judicial magistrate (first class) Monika Chowan, the three policemen accompanying Harry took him to a dhaba outside the court. The latter asked for a soft drink from a refreshment shop, located a few metres from the court complex.
When the three cops and Harry entered the shop, about 10 persons, who were already waiting there, pointed a pistol at them and snatched their weapons. The policemen showed some resistance, but the accused overpowered them and fled with Harry after snatching the handcuffs from the cops. The place where the incident occurred is just 100 metres from the Batala police lines.
Harry, a resident of Ghiana-ke-Banger village under the jurisdiction of the Batala police, is the main accused in the VMS (Vishwa Mittar Sekhri) college firing incident. Six criminal cases are already registered against him at various police stations.
Harry’s accomplices Ashu, Jasbir Singh, Gopi Kaura, Bhupinder Singh and Dharminder Singh are co-accused in the firing case. Shots had been fired outside the college in April 17, allegedly due to a rivalry between two groups over the student union elections.
The college is owned by All India Congress Committee vice-president and local MLA Ashwani Sekhri. Inspector general (border range), Amritsar, Ishwar Chander rushed here from Amritsar an hour after Harry’s escape. Police teams of Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Amritsar (rural) are on the lookout for the accused.