Patiala, June 26: The SIT has arrested three more Nabha jail inmates for the murder of dera follower Mohinder Pal Bittu, the key accused in the Bargari sacrilege case. Harpreet Singh Happy and Lakhbir Singh Lakha, who were presented in the local court, were sent to police remand till June 27. The SIT also procured the remand of Nihal Singh, accused of allegedly murdering sacrilege accused Balwinder Kaur of Ghawaddi village in 2016.
“All were in regular touch with the two main accused, Maninder Singh and Gursewak Singh, who attacked Bittu with iron rods on June 22,” the police said. Sources say the decision of the Jail Department to shift Bittu to a district jail has put senior officials in the dock.
“We are trying to establish the contacts of each of the four accused. At least one of them have had links with a gangster in the past,” a senior official said.
Bittu was shifted from the Patiala Central Jail in October 2018 since more than 30 gangsters were lodged there. Curiously, he was moved to the Nabha jail which is ill-equipped to house an undertrial facing death threats.
“We need to know why he was shifted to a jail where his security was compromised,” said Bittu’s family members. “He had no escort inside the jail. Yet jail officials are not being held accountable,” they claimed. The Nabha jail has no solitary cell to isolate an undertrial from other inmates. It has 90 cells, each housing two or three undertrials.
Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said Bittu was deliberately shifted to Nabha as other jails in the state had hardened criminals.