Sikh mil­i­tant com­man­der re­cap­tured af­ter jail­break

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A TOP Sikh mil­i­tant com­man­der was re­cap­tured by po­lice in the In­dian cap­i­tal Delhi yes­ter­day, a day af­ter he was freed in a dra­matic jail­break by a gang wear­ing po­lice uni­forms.

Har­min­der Singh Min­too, who heads a Sikh sep­a­ratist group, was ar­rested on the out­skirts of Delhi some 200 kilo­me­tres from the high-se­cu­rity prison in Pun­jab where he had been re­manded on ter­ror charges.

Four other in­mates who also es­caped dur­ing the break­out – mem­bers of a lo­cal crim­i­nal gang jailed for mur­der – are still at large, AS Cha­hal, a se­nior lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cial, said.

Mr Min­too, leader of the Khal­is­tan Lib­er­a­tion Force (KLF), a mil­i­tant group fight­ing for a Sikh home­land in Pun­jab, was in jail await­ing trial for ter­ror­ism of­fences.

He was freed in an early morn­ing raid on Novem­ber 27 by at least 10 armed men wear­ing po­lice uni­forms. They stabbed one guard and opened fire be­fore flee­ing with the pris­on­ers in cars. Three po­lice­men were in­jured in the as­sault, which prompted a mas­sive hunt for the fugi­tives.

A woman was killed on a high­way a few miles from the prison when po­lice opened fire on her car af­ter the driver al­legedly failed to stop at a check­point.

Po­lice later said she had no con­nec­tion with the es­capees. Three top prison of­fi­cers were sacked or sus­pended fol­low­ing the jail­break.

This was the sec­ond ma­jor prison break in In­dia in less than a month.

In Oc­to­ber eight Is­lamist mil­i­tants es­caped from a jail in cen­tral Mad­hya Pradesh state. They were gunned down hours later in a shootout.

The Sikh sep­a­ratist in­sur­gency in Pun­jab largely waned in the late 90s, but sev­eral groups re­main com­mit­ted to the Khal­is­tan move­ment and dozens of al­leged Sikh mil­i­tants are in prison. –

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