Serious lapses on part of senior police officers have come to the fore in an initial probe into gangster Deepak Tinu’s escape from police custody on Sunday. Tinu, the key accused in the Sidhu Moose Wala murder case, managed to flee when he was with Pritpal Singh, incharge of the crime investigation agency (CIA) unit of police in Mansa.
The investigation has revealed that the now-sacked sub-inspector allegedly took Tinu in his private car to his official residence and allowed the gangster to meet his girlfriend while he went into another room. According to sources, he escaped from the house taking advantage of the absence of any kind of security.
Tinu, who was brought on a production warrant from Goindwal Sahib jail in Tarn Taran district in another case, was in touch with his girlfriend and had spoken to her on a few occasions while in CIA custody, sources said.
It has also emerged that Pritpal provided the gangster a mobile phone to facilitate this. “It was during his many conversations with his girlfriend that Deepak planned his escape,” an officer said.
Apart from being sacked, Pritpal Singh has been arrested and named as an accused in the case. He, too, was presented before a district court on Monday and sent to four-day police remand.
Pritpal Singh’s house is in one of the secured areas of Mansa, where residences of many senior district administration officials are located. The gangster escaping from this area has put a question mark over the security set-up as well as raised suspicion that more officials could be involved. A lookout circular has already been issued against Tinu.
Inspector general of police, Bathinda range, MS Chinna and Mansa SSP Gaurav Toora have been camping at the Mansa CIA office to probe Tinu’s escape. Pritpal’s alleged role in the incident has also raised questions on the ongoing investigation into Moose Wala’s murder. The sacked cop was a prime member of the special investigation team formed to probe the popular Punjabi singer’s killing.
Tinu is among 24 accused charge-sheeted in the Moose Wala murder case. A close aide of gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, Tinu was allegedly involved in the planning of the singer’s murder.
Central agencies, meanwhile, have sent out alerts related to Khalistani activities in Punjab. Sources said a recent alert was raised in the last week of August in view of Gandhi Jayanti that “Khalistani cadres” may try and disturb law and order in the state or damage public property.
The Centre is monitoring the situation in Punjab and is likely to discuss the issue with officials of the state government officials.