Last Updated: March 19, 2023, 23:31 IST
Police on Sunday said that the car used by the Khalistan sympathiser and ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh to escape has been seized and that he was chased for 20-25 km. Seven of Amritpal’s associates who were part of Amritpal’s convoy on Saturday and arrested from Jalandhar were remanded in police custody by a Court in Beas, Punjab. The Police registered two fresh FIRs against Amritpal Singh and his associates in connection with the recovery of a weapon from an abandoned vehicle and breaking through police barricades in Jalandhar. Read More
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The senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening today to convey India’s strong protest at the actions taken by Khalistan supporters against the Indian High Commission in London, an official statement read. An explanation was demanded for the “complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises.”
Following the vandalism at Indian High Commission in the UK allegedly by Khalistan supporters, top UK diplomat in New Delhi is being summoned by Ministry of External Affairs, sources said.
Indian High Commission in the UK was allegedly vandalised by Khalistan supporters on Sunday amid the ongoing manhunt in Punjab to arrest Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh. UK High commissioner to India Alex Ellis, in a tweet, “condemns the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the Indian High commission”, and called the incident “totally unacceptable”.
I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London – totally unacceptable.
— Alex Ellis (@AlexWEllis) March 19, 2023
Officials of central intelligence agencies gathering inputs on Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh have claimed that he had been building a “private militia of defiants” at drug de-addiction centres in Punjab to be used to create law and order problem. He also had teams of criminals who used to protect him. READ MORE
Amid a manhunt for “fugitive” radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh, who escaped from the police on Saturday, CNN-News18 has accessed the government dossier on the Waris Punjab De (WPD) chief, which has called him a “drug lord”. READ MORE
Legal advisor of fugitive Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh and his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’, Imaan Singh Khara claimed that Amritpal has been “illegally and forcibly” detained by the police from the Shahkot area of Jalandhar and moved a habeas corpus petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Following the petition, the court issued a notice of motion to the state government for March 21.
According to sources in the government, fugitive Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh is accused of “stockpiling weapons in illegally run de-addiction centres as well as in Jallupur Khera Gurdwara.” Sources have said Amritpal has known linkages to ISI in Pakistan, which help him in illegally running the drug business.
According to government sources, fugitive Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh is allegedly involved with drug mafia. Police investigation has revealed that Singh’s Mercedes car, which was part of his convoy in his car chase on Saturday, was given by drug mafia Ravel Singh. Singh’s car was among two cars abandoned in Jalandhar.
With a search underway for Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh in Punjab, Haryana has intensified checking of vehicles along its border. At the Shambhu border with Punjab, Ambala police have been put on high alert. Additional checkpoints have been set up and a large number of police personnel have been deployed there, they said. In some other districts too, including Kurukshetra, Kaithal and Sirsa, which share borders with Punjab, police are maintaining strict vigil and have intensified checking of vehicles, according to a PTI report.
Inspector General of Police, Sukhchain Singh Gill said Punjab Police always work to maintain law and order, amid the ongoing operation to arrest fugitive Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh. “Further actions regarding the case will also be done under the law, everyone has their legal rights and they can avail of legal remedies. Amritpal Singh is wanted in this case and he has not been arrested yet,” he said.
The Punjab Police registered two more FIRs against Khalistani Leader Amritpal Singh and his associates in connection with the recovery of a weapon from an abandoned vehicle and breaking through police barricades in Jalandhar.
Jalandhar Rural SSP Swarndeep Singh said there is no law and order situation right now and there is nothing to worry amid the ongoing operation to arrest fugitive Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh. “Flag marches are being conducted to assure people this. We have seized the vehicle of Amritpal Singh’s convoy. Probe underway and ISI connection angle also being probe.”
Jalandhar DIG Swapan Sharma said till now, 10 people arrested, 7 illegal weapons and more than 300 bullets have been seized in connection to the crackdown against Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh. “Three cars used by them have been recovered. Cordon and search operation underway,” he said.
At least 21 supporters of radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh were taken into custody as they tried to stage a ‘dharna’ on a road in Ludhiana, police said.
DSP Talwandi, Butta S Gill said 16 pro-Khalistan supporters who raised slogans in the city last night have been arrested and sent to judicial custody in Bhatinda.
The Batala Police in Punjab conducted flag march at various places to maintain law and order. “SSP Batala also urged the public to not believe in fake news or rumours,” the official tweet read.
Batala Police conducted flag march at various places to maintain law & order and build public confidence.
SSP Batala also urged the public to not believe in fake news or rumours.#YourSafetyOurPriority pic.twitter.com/l65SRFSqhv
— Batalapolice (@BatalaPolice) March 19, 2023
Amritpal Singh’s father, Tarsem Singh, had told reporters that police did not find anything illegal in their house after conducting raids for around four hours. “We don’t have correct info about him (Amritpal Singh). Police conducted searches for 3-4 hours at our house. They didn’t find anything illegal…Police should have arrested him when he left from the house,” he said. According to reports on Sunday, police found ‘AKF’, meaning Akali Khalistan Force written on the walls of his house in Amritsar.
Seven people arrested in Ajnala FIR were remanded to police custody till March 23, SP Amritsar Rural Jugraj Singh said. Ajaypal, Gurvir Singh, Baljinder Singh, Harminder Singh, Gurlal Singh, Suvereet Singh, and Amandeep Singh, who were part of Amritpal Singh’s envoy on Saturday, were arrested under the provisions of the Arms Act.
According to reports, AKF, Akali Khalistan Force, was found written on the gate and walls of Amritpal Singh’s house in Amritsar and on a jacket that was seized by the police from his house. ‘AKF’ was also found written on the weapons seized by the police yesterday.
Seven associates of fugitive Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh who were arrested in Jalandhar on Saturday were produced before a court in Beas, Punjab. Six illegal 12 bore guns and 193 live cartridges were seized from the possession of the seven accused, identified as Ajaypal, Gurvir Singh, Baljinder Singh, Harminder Singh, Gurlal Singh, Suvereet Singh, and Amandeep Singh during who were part of Amritpal Singh’s convoy, were arrested from a place near Mehatpur in Jalandhar on Saturday.
A ‘massive’ manhunt has been launched to arrest Amritpal Singh and his supporters, who are on the run, Punjab police said on Saturday.
So far, at least 78 members of an outfit headed by Amritpal Singh have been arrested, while some others have been detained for questioning.
While the elusive preacher himself has been declared a fugitive, police have seized two of his cars and nabbed his gunmen and Daljeet Singh Kalsi, the man who handles Amritpal Singh’s finance. Kalsi was arrested from Haryana’s Gurgaon.
“‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh declared a fugitive. His two cars were seized and gunmen nabbed. The legality of their weapons being checked. Further probe is on”, Jalandhar Police Commissioner told news agency ANI.
A security blanket has been thrown over Punjab since Saturday as police launched a major crackdown against Amritpal Singh. He, however, eventually gave Punjab police’s special team, comprising personnel from seven districts, a slip.
He escaped the police’s dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district, even as authorities stepped up security at several places and suspended internet and SMS services in the state till Sunday noon. Amritpal was last seen speeding away on a motorcycle while fleeing, as per officials.
The police said it has launched a “massive state-wide cordon and search operations (CASO)” in the state against elements of the ‘Waris Punjab De’ (WPD), headed by Amritpal Singh, against whom several criminal cases had been registered.
The police action came a day ahead of the start of Amritpal Singh’s ‘Khalsa Wahir’ – a religious procession – from Muktsar district.
The police action against Amritpal Singh came on the eve of singer Sidhu Moosewala’s death anniversary, and a day after the conclusion of G20 meetings in Amritsar. As per sources, the state government waited for the G20 event to get over to initiate action against him.
A heavy deployment of security forces had been made near village Jallupur Khera in Amritsar, the native place of Amritpal Singh, for the operation.
Speaking to reporters, his father Tarsem Singh said he was not aware whether his son has been arrested or not. Singh said he cooperated with the police who came to his house and carried out a search operation.
He called the police action “unjustified” and said his son was weaning the youth off drugs. Why the police were not acting against criminals and those involved in drugs, he asked.
On Saturday, some supporters of ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief shared some videos on social media claiming that policemen were chasing them. A video also showed Amritpal sitting in a vehicle and one of his aides could be heard saying policemen were after “Bhai saab” (Amritpal).
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, the police said.
Security has been tightened at many places in Punjab with security forces conducting vehicle checking.
According to a police spokesperson, WPD elements 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 also stands registered against WPD elements for the attack on Ajnala Police Station, he added.
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, and clashed 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.
In February this year, a man complained at Ajnala Police Station alleging he had been kidnapped and beaten by the associates of the radical preacher. An FIR was registered against Amritpal Singh and six of his associates. Police later arrested one Lovepreet Singh Toofan, a close associate of Amritpal, in the matter.
The arrest of Toofan prompted Amritpal to issue a warning to the police to revoke the case against him, and the matter turned ugly when hundreds of his supporters broke through police barricades and stormed the police complex, armed with automatic guns and sharp weapons.
Toofan was released under pressure but only after the police informed the court that they would be investigating the matter further.
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