In a stern message, the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Saturday asked the fugitive radical preacher Amritpal Singh to surrender before the police and cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
The Jathedar of Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat of Sikhs) also questioned the police's competence, wondering why they had been unable to nab the Waris Punjab De chief despite having such a big force.
"If Amritpal is out (of police net), then I will ask him to present (before police) and cooperate with (police) investigation," said the Jathedar.
Singh's remarks come in the wake of Punjab Police crackdown against Amritpal and elements of his outfit. Amritpal Singh has been on the run since March 18, when the police manhunt began.
Amritpal Singh still on the run
Several images and videos have since emerged showing him taking multiple vehicles to dodge police.
The preacher himself gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district. His whereabouts are still unknown.
Many people have been criticising Amritpal Singh for his actions against the police investigation, including some who are saying that "real Sikhs never run."
NSA against Amritpal Singh and his associates
The Punjab government has slapped the strictest National Security Act against him and some of his associates.
In a video message on Saturday, the Jathedar said the biggest question in the mind of every Sikh living across the world is how Amritpal Singh could not be arrested despite a big police force in the state. It raises a question over the functioning of the police, he said.
Singh said if the preacher has already been arrested, then police should say so. The fugitive's parents had earlier expressed apprehension that their son had already been held by police.
He also asked police to keep in mind that Sikh youths, who have been held in the Amritpal Singh case, have not committed as big crimes as they have been projected to have committed.
Amritpal Singh and his many associates have been booked in several cases by police.
The Akal Takht Jathedar has also called a special gathering of around 60 to 70 Sikh organisations, seminaries and Nihang organisations to discuss the situation in Punjab. No representative of political organisations has been invited.
(With inputs from PTI)
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