2 Convicted and 14 Acquitted in Burail Jail Break

Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora convicted in Burail Jail break case.

More than 11 years after the Burail jailbreak, a Chandigarh trial court on Tuesday acquitted 14 accused barring Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora.

The court convicted Hawara and Bheora and said that they had already undergone their sentence.

The case fell flat as several witnesses, including jail staff, turned hostile and failed to support the prosecution’s version.

Besides Jagtar Singh Tara and Devi Singh, the 21 accused include six police officials and two personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). A Pakistani spy, who was convicted in the case, was deported after he served his sentence. One accused died during the trial.

Hawara, Bheora, Tara and Devi Singh had escaped Chandigarh’s Burail Jail in January 2004 by digging a tunnel. While Hawara and Bheora were re-arrested within the next two years, Tara, a proclaimed offender (PO) in this case, was arrested from Thailand in January this year, while Devi is still believed to be hiding in Pakistan. He has also been declared a PO.

Tara was accused of conspiring the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995. Beant Singh was killed by a human bomb — Dilawar Singh, a Punjab Police constable — outside the Punjab secretariat.

Those accused were Hawara, Bheora, Tara, Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh, Naseeb Singh and Navjot Singh.

The trial court had in July 2007 convicted five persons, including Hawara and Bheora, for the assassination on August 31, 1995.

Via Hindustan Times

Tags punjab

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