Tribune News Service
Patiala, April 18
Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo died under mysterious circumstances at the Central Jail here on Wednesday. He was accused of having links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and was facing trial in at least 15 cases of terror and other crimes.
Jail officials claimed Mintoo, 50, suffered a cardiac arrest in his barrack. Since Mintoo was an undertrial, a judicial probe under a court-deputed magistrate would be conducted.
Additional DGP (Prisons) IPS Sahota has asked IG (Prisons) Roop Kumar Arora to oversee the proceedings.
Mintoo, sources said, was being treated for a heart ailment for the past three years and was to be taken to the PGI for a checkup on April 20.
Mintoo was grilled by multiple agencies over the past few years. He attended proceedings from the jail premises via video conferencing in a court case in Jalandhar at 2 pm on Wednesday. After he returned to his cell, he complained of chest pain and uneasiness around 4.15 pm.
“The doctor confirmed that Mintoo had suffered a cardiac arrest and we shifted him to Government Rajindra Hospital, where he was declared brought dead,” said Jail Superintendent Rajan Kapur.
“Since Mintoo was an ‘A’ category accused, he used to undergo trial through video conferencing,” he said.
A post-mortem would be conducted on Thursday.
In November 2014, Mintoo was arrested by Punjab Police from the IGI airport on his return from Thailand. At the time, he was accused of involvement in 10 terror cases. Mintoo had used Thailand as a base to mobilise funds to enlist support for Khalistan and radicalise youth.
He travelled across Europe and South-East Asia on a fake Malaysian passport and frequented Pakistan.
In November 2016, Mintoo escaped from the Nabha jail along with five others, including gangster Vicky Gounder who was killed in an encounter earlier this year. Mintoo, with a trimmed beard and moustache, was arrested the next day.
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