- The Lashkar commander was staying at Srinagar Central Jail since 2016
- As per policy, all Pakistani terrorists are kept in jails outside Kashmir
- Naveed Jatt, 20, managed court orders for his imprisonment in Srinagar
Gunmen killed two policemen before they whisked away Naveed Jatt, who had been brought to the hospital from jail for treatment. The 20-year-old Lashkar e Taiba commander had been at the Srinagar Central Jail since 2016, two years after was arrested from south Kashmir.
"Definitely someone in the jail is involved. It was a well-planned escape which has been planned inside the jail. It cannot be coordinated without that," said SP Vaid, the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir police.
A special investigation team or SIT is examining what happened. Yesterday, the Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit owned the attack in an audio clip and claimed Naveed had reached south Kashmir.
The police chief said Naveed managed court orders for his imprisonment in Srinagar, even though as a matter of policy, all Pakistani terrorists are kept in jails outside Kashmir.
"We had information about Pakistani terrorists conspiring in the Srinagar Central Jail. We tried to shift him outside Valley but he managed a stay order from the court," said Mr Vaid.
"Now he is not a dangerous to police alone. He is dangerous for everyone, including the judiciary."
The top officer said Pakistani terrorists who come to Kashmir to kill and die take advantage of the system and its weaknesses.
"Naveed's escape is a major security breach," he said.
Naveed personally knows Lashkar chief Zaki u Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and is likely to take over as the terror outfit's chief in Kashmir, the police believe.
On Tuesday, Naveed, along with five other prisoners, was taken to the hospital for a medical checkup. At least two or three terrorists were waiting in the hospital's casualty section. In a scene straight out of a thriller, someone handed a pistol to Naveed, which he used to shoot two policemen before managing to escape through a crowded hospital complex in broad daylight.
A resident of Multan in Pakistan, Naveed was arrested in June 2014 at Yaripora in Kulgam. According to police records, he is involved in several killings.
The police chief said corrective measures were on the way for fortifying the security in jails to avoid such huge lapses.