Seven months ago, Nabha jailbreak suspect had escaped in similar manner
The Nabha jailbreak on Sunday has yet again brought 29-year-old gangster Palwinder Singh Pinda into focus, with police dubbing him as the prime suspect behind the criminal operation.india Updated: Nov 28, 2016 07:42 IST
The Nabha jailbreak on Sunday has yet again brought 29-year-old gangster Palwinder Singh Pinda into focus, with police dubbing him as the prime suspect behind the criminal operation.
Pinda was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police at Kairana in Shamli district later that day. Two rifles, a SLR firearm, ammunition and cash were found on him.
The gangster had escaped from the law in a similar fashion on March 29, when five armed men attacked the policemen accompanying him to a local civic hospital. While a policeman was shot at, two others suffered eye injuries after the attackers threw chilli powder at them.
The incident, which occurred barely an hour after Pinda had left Nabha Central Jail, also placed some police officers under suspicion of abetment.
Pinda – a resident of Nehaluwala village – was accused of murdering an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) at Haveli restaurant in Jalandhar in April 2013. He was later arrested by Patiala police.
In July 2014, the gangster was sentenced to imprisonment in two separate cases of attempted murder. He simultaneously faced trial for the ASI’s murder, besides a separate case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. The gangster was brought to Nabha jail on August 24, 2015.
“It has emerged that Pinda masterminded the jailbreak to aid the accused, who he befriended during his stint at Nabha. He used to steal vehicles, which would then be used in crimes like these. In this instance, he provided the escapees with everything from guns to logistical support,” said a police officer.
Investigators are also examining the call records at the prison telephone booth. “This is the first time such an event has occurred at Nabha prison. We are investigating if there is a police-gangster nexus, and whether prisoners are allowed to use mobile phones for contacting aides,” another officer said.
The escapees were identified as Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh Mintoo, his aide Kashmir Singh Galwadi, and four other prisoners -- Harjinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sekhon, Kulpreet Singh and Amandeep Singh.
Meanwhile, Haryana director general of police KP Singh said efforts were on to nab the escapees. “We have learnt that two to three escapees got off the vehicles just before a police nakka on the Panipat-Kairana border. However, it is not clear whether Mintoo was among them,” he told HT.
Singh said the Karnal superintendent of police has been sent to Kairana to extract information from the arrested facilitator. “All the police teams are on high alert,” he added.
First Published: Nov 28, 2016 07:33 IST