Punjab: 78 aides of 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh arrested after hours of chase

Punjab: 78 aides of 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh arrested after hours of chase

The reported detention of the close associates of self-styled radical leader Amritpal Singh was subsequent to a high-level operation of Punjab police launched across the state on Saturday.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Saturday, March 18, 2023, 10:45 PM IST
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Chandigarh: At least 78 supporters of the radical leader and the head of the organisation "Waris Punjab De (WPD - meaning heirs of Punjab)" Amritpal Singh, were arrested by Punjab police following hours of hot chase near Jalandhar in Punjab on Saturday.

However, even though reports were also rife about Amritpal Singh’s arrest on different media platforms, there was no official confirmation about it, till the time of filing this report.

The arrest of the aides of Amritpal, a self-styled preacher and Khalistan sympathiser, was subsequent to a high-level operation of Punjab police launched across the state since early Saturday morning in which over 100 police vehicles and a heavy police deployment were used. The phone Internet services were also simultaneously suspended across the state till Sunday noon (12 O Clock).

78 arrested so far

An official release said Saturday night that the Punjab police had launched a massive state-wide Cordon And Search Operations (CASO) in the state against elements of WPD against whom several criminal cases had been registered and that during the operation, a total of 78 persons had been arrested so far, while, several others have been detained for questioning.

It said that several activities of WPD were intercepted by the police at the Shahkot-Malsian Road in Jalandhar district and seven persons were arrested on the spot. Several others including Amritpal Singh are on the run and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab them, it added.

During the state-wide operation, nine weapons, including one .315 bore rifle, seven rifles of 12 bore, one revolver and 373 live cartridges of different caliber have been recovered so far.

Accused involved in 4 criminal cases

The release said that WPD elements were involved in four criminal cases relating to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police persons and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties of public servants. This was also beside the February 24, 2023, case against WPD supporters for the attack on Ajnala police station in Amritsar.

However, the official release details, notwithstanding, the reports from the districts said that the police had swung into action in Moga district and chased his cavalcade upto Nakodar area in Jalandhar when Amritpal was on his way to Shri Muktsar Sahib in the cavalcade with his supporters. The police teams began to cordon off his cavalcade near Mehatpur area near Nakodar, separating vehicles from it and detaining some of his aides. There were also reports that a few vehicles of the police and Amritpal’s cavalcade had thus collided with each other.

How cops caught all the accused

Noticing the interception of some of the vehicles by police and sensing the subsequent police action, Amritpal reportedly changed vehicles and succeeded in evading his arrest.

Even as the reports about the police operation began to come out in the afternoon, the state police appealed to the people – also using its official Twitter handle – for maintaining peace and harmony. Meanwhile, there were reports about groups of Nihangs holding protests against the police action at some places in Ludhiana, Mehatpur and Mohali, besides a few other places.

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