IG ‘hand’ in jailbreak
IG ‘hand’ in jailbreak

IG ‘hand’ in jailbreak

S. Sivadas

Allegations of corruption against a senior Uttar Pradesh Police officer has been levelled by the Punjab police which stated that he has accepted a bribe to release a key accused in the sensational Nabha jailbreak case last year involving a Khalistani terrorist.

The UP Inspector General of police had allegedly accepted Rs. 45 lakh to secure the release of Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi Ghyanshyampura, who was detained and released subsequently. This comes as a huge embarrassment for the Uttar Pradesh government. It had to spring into action with the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, dialing the DGP Sulkhan Singh and the Principal Home Secretary, Arvind Kumar, to order a high-level probe.

The Punjab police have submitted an audio recording as ‘proof’ of the alleged deal the IG had made. The IG heads one of the special agencies in Uttar Pradesh. ‘The government has taken note of the media reports and a high-level inquiry headed by an Additional Director General of Police has been ordered,’ Arvind Kumar said. The Punjab police claimed that Gopi was let off after the IG-rank officer struck a deal for his release, which was facilitated by a person named Sandeep Tiwari alias Pintoo, a native of Sultanpur who had contested the Assembly elections in 2012 on a Congress ticket.

During the negotiations, the officer is said to have demanded Rs 1 crore but the deal was finally clinched at Rs 45 lakh and Gopi walked free. In that sensational jailbreak, a group of armed men stormed the Nabha jail in Patiala district in police uniform and freed six prisoners - Harminder Singh Mintoo and Kashmir Singh, both terrorists, and gangsters Dhothian, Vicky Gounder, Gurpreet Sekhon and Neeta Deol - on November 27.

Gurpreet Singh reportedly hid at different places in Uttar Pradesh, including at Lucknow and Shahjahanpur. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested three persons, Sandeep Tiwari alias Pintoo, Amandeep Singh and Harjinder Singh, on September 15 from the state capital. The trio had reportedly struck a deal with the IPS officer in question for Rs 45 lakh to free Gurpreet, official sources said. As the controversy erupted, the Special Task Force (STF) issued a clarification stating that these reports were ‘misleading’.