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3-month jail to Khalistani militant Mintoo for resisting rearrest

Khalistani Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo had escaped the Nabha jail in Punjab on November 23, 2016.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2018 19:37 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Khalistani Liberation Force,KLF,Harminder Singh Mintoo
Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh Mintoo, centre, was arrested from the railway station in Delhi.(HT Photo)

Khalistani Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo, who escaped the Nabha jail in Punjab on November 23, 2016, was on Wednesday awarded three-month imprisonment by a Delhi court for assaulting public servants and attempting to fire at police officials to prevent his rearrest a day later. The 51-year-old had fled the jail with five other inmates but was nabbed from the Nizamuddin railway station here.

Additional sessions judge Sidharth Sharma sentenced him for three months, a term he has already undergone, after Mintoo pleaded guilty and sought leniency. Mintoo, wanted in 10 terror cases, had been arrested by Punjab Police after he was deported from Thailand in November 2014. He continues to be in jail as other trials continue.

As for this case, the prosecution said that when Mintoo found himself surrounded by the police, he took out a pistol and tried to fire at them but was apprehended. The chargesheet was filed against under sections 186 (obstructing public servant) and 353 (assault to deter public servant from duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the Arms Act.

The court, in its order, said the accused was also chargesheeted for the offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act but, because he was already facing trial under this law in a court in Patiala, he was not eventually charged. According to the police, a loaded pistol and six live cartridges were seized from Mintoo. He was earlier a member of Babbar Khalsa International and later floated his own group, police had said.

Mintoo had sought leniency from the court, contending he remained in custody for the last 15 months and was a heart patient. “Record shows that the convict is in custody since November 28, 2016, and thus he remained in custody for more than 15 months till date. Considering the punishment provided for the offences, considering that the convict is a heart patient, aged 51 and considering that he has been convicted on his pleading guilty, I sentence him to three months imprisonment,” the judge said.

Earlier, the police had told the court that the role of “insiders and outsiders” who assisted Mintoo and five others in escaping the Nabha jail in Patiala had to be ascertained. It had said the role of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence and some terror organisations was required to be probed as Mintoo had also visited Pakistan.

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 19:37 IST