Jail superintendent among 5 officials arrested, 7 suspended in jail video leak

| | Chandigarh
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Jail superintendent among 5 officials arrested, 7 suspended in jail video leak

Monday, 06 March 2023 | PNS | Chandigarh

Taking strong note of the viral video in which gangsters lodged in Goindwal Central jail were seen claiming the responsibility of killing the two inmates in clashes between two groups past week, the Punjab Police on Sunday arrested five jail officials, including the Jail Superintendent.

The action came after a video clip — purportedly shot by the jail inmates belonging to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang — in which they could be seen celebrating the murder of Mandeep Singh alias Toofan and Manmohan Singh alias Mohna (members of Jaggu Bhagwanpuria gang) inside the jail with other inmates in February 26 clashes. In the video, laced with abusive language, the bodies of Toofan and Mohna were also seen lying on the floor.

Acting tough against the negligence on the part of law and order, Punjab police have placed under suspension the services of total seven jail officials, of which five have been arrested, for negligence and alleged connivance with jail inmates in a video leak case.

The video surfaced a week after the deadly clashes took place inside the central jail among the members of the two gangs, leaving two dead and several injured. The two murdered gangsters — Toofan and Mohna, and one Keshav who sustained serious injuries — were allegedly involved in the murder of Punjabi rapper and singer Sidhu Moosewala.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Headquarters, Sukhchain Singh Gill, addressing the media in an emergent press briefing at Punjab Police Headquarters on Sunday evening, said that five jail officials have been identified who were suspended and arrested…They include Jail Superintendent Iqbal Singh Brar, Additional Jail Superintendent Vijay Kumar, Assistant Jail Superintendent Harish Kumar, ASI Joginder Singh, and ASI Harchand Singh.

The other two suspended jail officials are Additional Jail Superintendent Jaspal Singh Khaira and Head Constable Savinder Singh.

IGP Gill said that an FIR 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. “Initially, the case was registered against jail inmates including Manpreet Singh alias Bhau, Sachin Bhiwani alias Sachin Chaudhary, Ankit Latti alias Ankit Sersa, Kashish alias Kuldeep, Rajinder alias Joker, Hardeep Singh alias Mamma, Baldev Singh alias Nikku, Deepak alias Mundi and Malkit Singh alias Kita,” he added.

“Following the investigations, Police have nominated jail officials in this FIR for their negligence and apparent connivance with the jail inmates after video, which was shot on the day of incident, got leaked a few days later. Accused jail inmates will be brought on production warrant for further investigations,” he added.

The Tarn Tarn police had already registered an FIR earlier for murder after this incident.

IGP Gill said that after this incident in the jail, Police and Jail authorities have already segregated the accused persons and shifted them to various different jails in the state.

“Punjab Police have strict directions from the State Government that if any government employee found negligent in duty should be dealt with iron hands,” he added.

Meanwhile, Punjab Police will further increase the vigil at Jail premises and surprise checkings will be conducted by the senior rank officers in the jails to prevent this kind of incident in future, he added.

The Tarn Tarn police had already registered an FIR earlier for murder after this incident.

Arrested jail official Harish — Assistant Jail Superintendent — was in-charge of the zone inside the jail where clash between the two gang members took place and the gangsters shot the video on mobile and the two arrested ASIs — Joginder and Harchand — could be seen in the viral video but they did not take any action, said IGP Gill.

IGP Gill said that there was a big negligence from the jail officials as to how the mobile entered inside the jail and how it was used despite there being three high security zones. “When the gangsters locked in Zone I and II were released in the open area on February 26, the gangsters of Zone I had attacked Zone II inmates,” he added.

“After this incident, all these jailed gangsters have been segregated in different jails and regular surprise checkings are being carried out in jails, even by the district police to keep a close watch on jail inmates,” he said.

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