Alleging connivance of the Parkash Badal Government in the daylight Nabha jailbreak in which dreaded Khalistani terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo escaped, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday said the incident had exposed a complete breakdown of law and order in the state, while triggering fears of revival of terrorism ahead of the Assembly elections.
Amarinder asserted that the shocking manner in which the gangsters walked into the high-security jail and freed a Khalistani terrorist along with other convicts clearly shows complicity at the highest levels.
Talking to mediapersons, Amarinder said the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated to unprecedented levels under the Badal regime, especially in the run-up to the Assembly polls.
"The rescue of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo, accused in 10 terror-related cases, clearly suggested an active effort from across the border to revive terrorism in Punjab," Amarinder said reiterating his fears of terror attacks and other violent incidents in the state ahead of the polls.
"The gangsters seemed to have driven fearlessly to the prison, entered in police fatigues and escaped with Mintoo and the others, all hardcore gangsters, without being stopped, clearly indicating that it was a pre-planned assault managed with the complicity of the highest authorities," he added.
Expressing grave concern over the incident, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief said Khalistani terrorists were being fed across the border, in Lahore, by the Pakistani government, which was waiting for its chance to unleash mayhem in Punjab.
He further accused the Badal government of playing into the hands of the enemies of the nation and allowing the situation to come to such a pass where terrorists could walk out of high-security prisons so effortlessly.
Captain Amarinder said such incidents were not only detrimental to Punjab's interests but also lower the morale of the police, which has been completely politicized under the Badal rule and demanded the beefing up of security across the state to prevent recurrence of such incidents and strong measures to catch Mintoo and the others gangsters.
Mintoo, who was arrested in New Delhi in 2014, was accused of masterminding the 2008 attack on Sirsa Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, and was allegedly involved in planting of IED explosives at Halwara Air Force station in 2010.
Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal said a Special Task Force has been set up and are constantly tracking Mintoo and four other prisoners who escaped from Punjab's Nabha Jail and assured that prisoners would be caught soon.
Badal further said that the Director General of Police of the jail have been suspended whereas Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of the jail have been dismissed.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that a separate Additional Director General of Police-led team has been tasked to assess the incident that led to jail break.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)