CHANDIGARH: The Punjab police and Punjab Jail authorities were caught napping, fuelling the allegation that if the police had acted on time the escapade at Nabha high security could have been prevented.
Police sources point out that a week before the jailbreak, the Bathinda Police had arrested five persons alleged to be gangsters on a tip-off and during their interrogation and search, the police officials discovered that these people were in touch with gangster Kulpreet Singh alias Neeta Deol who was in the Nabha jail.
Reportedly, the phones seized from them found to have been used to make some twenty WhatsApp calls to Kuldeep Singh in a short span of time. However, the police did not act on this vital information. The conspiracy to run from the jail was hatched by gangsters Harjinder Singh Bhullar alias Vicky Gondar and Kulpreet Singh alias Neeta Deol, but they involved the other gangster Gurpreet Singh Sekhon to help them with the task.
Then Sekhon asked his person Palwinder Singh who hails from Jalandhar to master mind the escape, Palwinder was arrested on Sunday by Uttar Pradesh police from Kairana in Shamli was on his way to Nepal.
A few days back another gangster Navdeep Chadha was arrested by the police and it was discovered that he was in touch with these the Deols and Gondar, as he had also made a few WhatsApp calls to them.
The other serious lapse was that the superintendent of the jail Paramjit Singh Sandhu and deputy superintendent Karanjit Singh Sandhu who have been dismissed by the state government were not present in the jail on Sunday as they along with few other jail staff had gone to attend a social function of a colleague and had not given any intimation in this regard to higher officials, sources said. The jail had 200-odd staff and some 550 prisoners.
“Interestingly as this high security prison is fitted with jammers, the question is how the mobiles phones were made available to these gangsters. This is a lapse on the jail authorities," said an officer.
According to the source, the men used the phones inside the jail and ran their gangs also hatched the conspiracy to run from there. They had also planned the killing of another gangster and these gangsters were also active on social media from the jail, he added.
Sources said that after the police tracked the Facebook account of one of the accused gangster Gurpreet Singh Sekhon who had escaped from the Nabha high security jail, the last post he put on the Facebook wall was on Saturday afternoon in which he posted his picture from the jail and wrote in the status column “Kaam aisa kro K naam ho jaye”. While another gangster Neeta posted his picture from the jail on his Facebook wall on November 23, three day before the escape and got some 900 likes.
In May this year, Gondar who was in the same jail posted a claim on Facebook of killing another gangster Jaswinder Singh alias Rocky in Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh, and challenged Bathinda senior superintendent of police P Swapan Sharma to take action. The murder was reportedly executed by gangster Jaipal on instructions of Gondar and Deol.
Alleging a deep-rooted conspiracy, which had deepened with the arrest of Khalistani terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo, Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh demanded handing over of the Nabha jail break case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).