CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal on Sunday demanded immediate dismissal of Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and a probe by a sitting judge of the High Court into the escape of three prisoners from Amritsar's high-security Central jail.
Former minister and senior SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said the Amritsar incident had come in the wake of various other incidents taking place in Punjab jails, which have shaken the confidence of people in the government.
He said besides ordering an independent probe into the incident, the government should tell what action it has taken in other cases and why the jail administration has "collapsed."
Asking the chief minister to fix accountability at the very top, the opposition party leader said the "jails minister should be asked to resign immediately till the pendency of the probe".
"Prison security is the primary responsibility of the jails minister. He cannot shirk away from this responsibility," he said in a statement here.
Rejecting the magisterial inquiry ordered by the chief minister into the incident, Cheema said a magistrate "could not do justice" in the case.
"The magistrate will not be able to probe the role of the jails minister in weakening prison security," he said.
The SAD leader said since the prisoners' escape took place in the wake of several incidents of the use of mobile phones in jails, it is necessary to "hold an independent inquiry into the functioning of the Punjab jails administration".
Three undertrials had escape escaped from the high-security Amritsar Central Jail by scaling the boundary walls on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, prompting Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order a review and revamp of the prison security across the state.