In an embarrassment to the Punjab Police, a video clip surfaced on Sunday purportedly showing a group of gangsters lodged in a Tarn Taran jail ”celebrating” the killing of two rival gang members accused in the Sidhu Moosewala murder case inside the prison last week.
Seven prison officials were suspended and five of them, including the jail superintendent, were arrested following the viral clip which also showed the gangsters pointing to the bodies lying on the floor with some on-duty police personnel nearby.
Seven gangsters have been booked in connection with the killings inside the Goindwal Sahib Central Jail in Tarn Taran district last Sunday.
Mandeep Singh alias Toofan of Batala and Manmohan Singh alias Mohna, a resident of Budhlada, who were accused in the singer Sidhu Moosewala murder case, were killed in a clash among inmates.
Initial investigation revealed that the clash took place between members of two gangs led by Jaggu Bhagwanpuria and Lawrence Bishnoi.
In the the more-than-a-minute-long video, allegedly shot by some members of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang lodged in the prison, an inmate who identified himself as Sachin Bhiwani said the slain gangsters were henchmen of Jaggu Bhagwanpuria.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab has been facing opposition parties’ heat over alleged deteriorating law and order in the state.
After the video went viral, the Punjab Police on Sunday suspended seven jail officials and arrested five of them for alleged negligence and connivance with jail inmates in a video leak case, Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill said here.
He identified the five arrested officials as Jail Superintendent Iqbal Singh Brar, Additional Jail Superintendent Vijay Kumar, Assistant Jail Superintendent Harish Kumar, Assistant Sub Inspector Joginder Singh and ASI Harchand Singh. The other two suspended jail officials are Additional Jail Superintendent Jaspal Singh Khaira and Head Constable Savinder Singh.
”A fresh case has been registered under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, Section 52 of the Prisons Act, Sections 506 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Police Station Goindwal Sahib,” the police officer said.
After the killing on Sunday last, Punjab Police had registered a first information report (FIR) on Monday.
”Initially, the case was registered against jail inmates including Manpreet Singh alias Bhau, Sachin Bhiwani alias Sachin Chaudhary, Ankit Latti alias Ankit Sirsa, Kashish alias Kuldeep, Rajinder alias Joker, Hardeep Singh alias Mamma, Baldev Singh alias Nikku, Deepak alias Mundi and Malkit Singh alias Kita,” he said.
He said that after last week’s incident, police and jail authorities have moved the accused persons to different jails in the state.
Gill said that the Punjab Police has strict directions from the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led government that any government employee found negligent in duty should be dealt with strictly.