NEW DELHI: As many as ten armed men attacked high-security Indian
Punjab jail on Sunday and freed Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF)
chief Harminder Singh alias Mintoo.
The attackers were dressed in Indian police uniform who fired more than 200
rounds before fleeing with Mintoo and four others from the Nabha jail in Patiala district of Punjab.
The 49-year-old Harminder Singh’s arrest in 2014 was hailed as a huge
success by Indian security forces, which battled Sikh insurgency for
almost three decades till early 1990s.
Moreover,according to Indian media reports, security has been stepped up and an
alert sounded in Punjab and neighbouring states following the audacious jail break.
Singh and his aide Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi were arrested in November 2014
at the New Delhi airport on his arrival from Thailand. The KLF chief was also
wanted in at least 10 terror offences, Punjab’s top police officer Sumedh Singh Saini
had said after his arrest. His aide Gopi was also tasked with executing targeted killings
of Hindu leaders in 2013, which the Punjab Police foiled.
Indian media also claimed that Singh had spent time in Pakistan before his arrest.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Khalistan Liberation Force was
founded after the 1984 Operation Bluestar when the Indian Army stormed
the holiest Sikh shrine the Golden Temple in Amritsar, triggering widespread anger.
The KLF remained among the most dreaded of the Sikh organisations fighting
for a separate homeland of Khalistan till 1993 when several of its frontline
militants were killed in a ruthless anti-terrorist campaign led by Punjab Police chief KPS Gil.