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Officials behind Burail jailbreak: police

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, Apr 2 (UNI) A connivance of jail officials in the Burail jailbreak conspiracy hatched by Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) activists-- Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Bheora-- and a criminal Devi Singh could not be ruled out, police sources said here today.

''It was unbelievable that the militants dug four tunnels at different places without the connivance of jail officals. We have taken this evidence on record and will further investigate into the roles of jail officals and other,'' SSP (Operations) Dinesh Bhatt said.

During interrogations by the Chandigarh police, Bheora, who was arrested by the Delhi police last month and brought here on production warrants for the Burail jail break case, had admitted that they had dug two more tunnels in addition to the two found before.

The Chandigarh police officers and forensic experts yesterday visited the Burail jail and verified Bheora's claims. This has now given a serious twist to the case in which the court had dropped all charges against the then jail authorities except of negligence.

Hawara, Bheora and Tara are the main accused in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh. While Hawara and Bheora are in custody, Tara alongwith Devi Singh is still absconding.

One of the two newly revealed tunnels was about 35 ft deep and dug in the kitchen of barrack number seven. The second one was about 10 ft deep and dug in the gurdwara barrack, where the BKI ultras were first lodged.

The terrorists' first attempt to dig their way out from gurdwara barrack went unsuccessful after the tunnel caved in. Their second attempt, which has come to light now, failed when they were shifted to small cells called 'Bis Chakki' after a fight with the then Deputy Jail Superintendent Dalbir Singh.

Hawara and his associates had gone on a hunger strike against the attitude of the jail staff and were again shifted to barrack seven.

The third tunnel, which was dug in the kitchen of the barrack, had to be abandoned after digging almost 35 ft, as they found it unfeasible due to technical reasons.

They miscreants succeeded finally in their fourth attempt on January 11, 2004, after digging 108 ft long tunnel.

UNI HS CS HT1410

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