Nabha prison break: Court convicts 22, acquits six
Seven years after the sensational Nabha Maximum Security prison break, a daring act of gangsters which rocked the nation, the district court has convicted 22 accused while acquitting six.
Patiala: Seven years after the sensational Nabha Maximum Security prison break, a daring act of gangsters which rocked the nation, the district court has convicted 22 accused while acquitting six.
Eight, including two escapees, four executors and Hong Kong-based Romi are still at large.
On November 27, 2016, the gangsters, totalling 15 in number, dressed as police officials infiltrated the high-security jail and managed to free four gangsters and two militants, including Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo while firing indiscriminating.
Mitoo, gangsters Gurpreet Singh Sekhon, Neeta Deol, and Amandeep Dhotian were arrested again, while notorious gangster Vicky Gounder was killed in an encounter. Another militant Kashmir Singh remains at large. Mintoo died due to cardiac arrest in 2018.
A total of 28 arrests were made in the case, including four escapees, 11 executors and 13 other persons who helped the gangsters involved in this jailbreak.
Nine jail officials and other private individuals, who were booked earlier, have been found innocent during the investigation and the police discharged them from the FIR.
Following a six-year-long trial, the court has held the 22, including main accused Gurpreet Sekhon, Kulpreet Singh Neeta Deol, Amandeep Dhotian and others guilty.
The others convicted are Bikar Singh, Sukhchain Singh, Manvir Singh alias Mani Sekhon, Gurpreet Singh Khorra, Harjot Singh alias Jot, Bikkar Singh, Rajvinder Singh alias Raju Sultan, Palwinder Singh alias Pinda, Gurjeet alias Ladda, Ravinder Singh alias Geyana, Sulkhan Singh alias Babbar, Jagmeet Singh, Sukhchain Singh alias Sukhi, Jagatveer Singh alias Jagta, Kiranpal Singh alias Kirna, Manjinder Singh, Sunil Kalra and Aman Kumar.
The court has held them guilty under sections 120 (B), 395, 307, 353, 186, 148, 468 and 471 of the IPC.
The police had invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, against the accused, but the court dropped this section while framing the charges.
Those acquitted include Tajinder Sharma alias Happy, Ranjeet Singh, Mohmad Asim, Varinder Singh alias Ricky Sahota, Naresh Narang and Jatinder Singh alias Toni. “The police have charged them for harbouring and aiding the gangsters, but this could not be proved,” said accused advocate Sumesh Jain.
As per the police theory, Romi provided funds while gangsters Gurpreet Singh Sekhon and Neeta Doel, who were close to Mintoo, took up the challenge to break into the jail.
During the planning stage, thrice videos of the jail security were made and sent outside. The planners also did the recce before infiltrating the jail on November 27, 2016. Police couldn’t even fire a single bullet. Sulakhan Singh Mattewal, Prema Lahoria, and Gurpreet Gopi were dressed as policemen and opened fire and freed the accused, while others provided covering fire, officials said.
The court of additional district session judge HS Grewal will pronounce the quantum of the sentence on Thursday.