Amritpal Singh escaped after police chased him for 20-25 kms; aides arrested, Punjab on high alert

Amritpal Singh escaped after police chased him for 20-25 kms; aides arrested, Punjab on high alert

The Punjab government had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him, officials said.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, March 19, 2023, 12:53 PM IST
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Amritpal Singh escaped after police chased him for 20-25 kms; aides arrested, Punjab on high alert |

A manhunt is still on to nab radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathizer Amritpal Singh, police have said. Amritpal Singh managed to escape an arrest by the Punjab police in a very close shave on Saturday night. Police couldn't nab him in the attempt but recovered several weapons and seized his cars.

"Amritpal was chased by police for about 20-25 kms but he managed to escape. We've recovered a number of weapons & two cars were also seized. Search is underway & we'll arrest him soon. Law & order will be maintained," said Jalandhar CP KS Chahal while addressing the media.

According to TV reports, one of his close aide Balbir was nabbed by the police near Gurugram on Saturday. Daljeet Singh Kalsi alias Sarabjeet Singh Kalsi, an alleged advisor and financer of 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh, has been arrested, confirmed Central Agency sources to news service ANI.

As a result security has been beefed up in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Police are on their feet to nab the Khalistan preacher as he has been avoiding arrests since two days.

Amritpal has been termed as fugitive

"He (Amritpal Singh) is now a fugitive and we are looking for him and we will soon arrest him," Jalandhar Police Commissioner Kuldeep Singh Chahal told reporters near Nakodar in Jalandhar late Saturday night. Chahal said six to seven gunmen of Amritpal Singh have been arrested.

The Punjab government had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him, officials said.

The elusive preacher himself, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district. As the operation went underway, authorities stepped up security at several places and suspended internet and SMS services in the state till Sunday noon.

Police on Saturday launched a "massive state-wide cordon and search operations (CASO)" in the state against the members of the 'Waris Punjab De' group, headed by Singh, against whom several criminal cases have been registered.

Internet suspended till March 20

All mobile internet services, all SMS services (except banking & mobile recharge) & all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except the voice call, in the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab suspended till March 20 (12:00 hours) in the interest of public safety told Department of Home Affairs & Justice, Government of Punjab.

78 people arrested yet

Seventy-eight persons have been arrested so far, while several others have been detained for questioning, they said.

The police action came a day ahead of the start of Amritpal Singh's 'Khalsa Wahir' - a religious procession - which was to start from Muktsar district.

During their state-wide operation, police seized one .315 bore rifle, seven 12 bore rifles, one revolver, and 373 live cartridges of different caliber, they said. Security has been tightened at many places in Punjab with an intensive vehicle checking.

A police spokesperson said that the followers of 'Waris Punjab De', or WPD, are involved in four criminal cases relating to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police personnel, and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties of public servants.

An FIR dated February 24 stands registered against WPD elements for the attack on Ajnala Police Station.

About Ajnala violence

Last month, Amritpal and his supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into the Ajnala Police Station on the outskirts of the Amritsar city, clashing with police for the release of one of Amritpal's aide.

After the incident, in which six policemen including a Superintendent of Police rank officer had suffered injuries, the AAP government in the state had faced severe flak and was accused of kowtowing to extremists.

Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh was last year anointed the head of 'Waris Punjab De', which was founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year.

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