A group of armed men, disguised as police broke into Indian jail on Sunday morning and helped as many as six inmates, including Khalistan Liberation Force militant Harminder Singh Mintoo, escape.
At least two police personnel were injured during the jailbreak as the armed militants opened indiscriminate firing on the guards at Nabha Central Jail in Punjab before taking away chief of Khalistan Liberation Force and four other suspects, according to NDTV.
49-year-old Harminder Singh Mintoo has been implicated in at least 10 terror-related cases, including an attack on Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. He was rounded up from Delhi airport, following deportation by Thai authorities, in November 2014 as part of Indian police forces crackdown on pro-Khalistan activities
Harminder Singh Mintu represents the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), a militant organization that claims to be fighting for the ultimate goal of a Sikh National state.
The four other suspects who fled the prison have been identified as Vicky Gondar, Gurpreet Singh Gopi, Neeta Deol and Vikramjit. Gurpreet is a close aide of Mintoo and was arrested with him at Delhi airport.
The armed men, who reached the Nabha prison in two cars, reportedly attacked the first guard with a knife and forced their way into the prison. They fired over 100 rounds in the air and at guards before escaping with Mintoo and the other men.
Sources suggest Mintoo’s plan at the time of his arrest was to strengthen KLF and develop independent contacts with foreign-based supporters and fundraisers; he is said to have, in the process, toured Belgium, Germany, France and other European countries before reaching South East Asia in May 2014. In South East Asia, Mintoo travelled to Cambodia, Laos and Burma, besides Thailand where he established a base.
KLF is part of a wider Khalistan Movement that desires the establishment of an independant Sikh nation state -Khalistan- within the existing borders of India.