CHANDIGARH: Punjab Police Thursday flagged a cross-border link and involvement of radical preacher Amritpal Singh in “anti-national” activities as it sounded an alert about the fugitive Khalistan preacher in all the states.
As it happened, a part of a CCTV footage surfaced on Thursday showing Amritpal wearing a shirt and trousers while holding an umbrella in Haryana’s Shahabad to hide from police.
In another development, Haryana Police nabbed a woman for allegedly harbouring Amritpal Singh and his associate Papalpreet Singh at her home in the state’s Kurukshetra district.
Punjab Police had earlier arrested a man who was allegedly part of the private security setup of pro-Khalistan preacher Amritpal Singh.
Tejinder Singh Gill, a resident of Mangewal village in the Khanna area of Ludhiana district, was deputed to the security of Amritpal Singh, said Khanna Deputy Superintendent of Police (Payal) Harsimrat Singh.
Addressing the media here, Punjab Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill said that in their questioning of Tejinder Singh Gill, police got some sensitive material from him which indicate that they were involved in “anti-national” activities.
There is a strong suspicion that Amritpal had a cross-border link too, said the IG.
“At some places, there were videos which show that they were doing firing practice near Jallupur Khera in a firing range. Some footage and pictures show that they have made holograms of Anandpur Khalsa Fauj (AKF). There were some videos of loading and unloading weapons,” Gill said.
Gill said that they have circulated photos of Amritpal with police forces across the country.
He said some associates close to Amritpal were part of the AKF, which indicates that, though very preliminary, he was trying to build some type of armed force.
Amritpal Singh, a Khalistan sympathizer, has been on the run since March 18, when Punjab Police launched a massive crackdown against him and several of his associates for engaging in violence.
“As far as prime accused Amritpal Singh goes, his route is being tracked regularly by the state police,” Gill said.
At one place near a gurdwara in Ludhiana, they took a bike and tried to find a boat to cross the river. When they did not find one, they crossed a bridge near Ladhowal and even went near the Ladhowal railway station, he said.
Gill said police arrested Baljeet Kaur for harbouring Amritpal and his associate Papalpreet Singh on March 19. She has known Papalpreet Singh for more than two and half years, he added.
Kaur’s brother, who works at the office of Sub divisional Magistrate (SDM), Shahbad, had also alerted Haryana Police about the presence of the fugitives at her newly built house on Shahabad-Ladwa road, Gill said.
Asked if the Uttarakhand Police have been alerted about Amritpal, Gill said, “As soon as we came to know he has gone out of Punjab, we immediately alerted other states too.”
Asked how he managed to flee Punjab, Gill said he has changed his appearance, disguised himself behind shades and used different modes of travel.
The IG said so far 207 persons have been detained in the matter, out of whom, 30 are hardcore criminals. The remaining 177 will be released after verification, he said, citing the example of the RPG Mohali attack last year, in which some juveniles who had a very limited connecting role, were let off with warning.
“So, we are taking due care that no member of the public and no youth faces any unnecessary harassment in the case,” he said. There are clear instructions that no innocent will be booked in this matter. Action will be taken only against those who were involved in criminal activities, he said. (PTI)