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Amritpal Singh abandoned car, changed clothes, escaped on bike: Punjab Police preliminary probe
Chandigarh: Punjab Police said on Tuesday that they were receiving full cooperation from central agencies and other states in their efforts to arrest 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh and noted that according to preliminary probe he visited a Gurdwara in Jalandhar district while on the run and escaped on a motorcycle after changing clothes.
Punjab Police IG (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill said that Amritpal Singh, a Khalistani sympathiser, has not been arrested yet. According to CCTV visuals, Amritpal Singh was seen escaping in an SUV in Jalandhar on March 18. He is still on the run.
"We are making all efforts to arrest him. We're hopeful that we'll arrest him soon...It is difficult to say that. Punjab Police is receiving full cooperation from other states and central agencies," the IGP said.
He was asked if Amritpal Singh had fled to any other state. "In the preliminary investigation, it was found that they went to Gurdwara Sahib in Nangal Ambian where Amritpal changed his clothes and they escaped on two motorcycles. Teams are working, further investigation is underway," the senior police official told ANI.
He said a total of 154 people have been arrested and taken into custody so far.
"Around 12 weapons, including rifles and revolver, recovered".
A local villager in Jalandhar said they got know on Tuesday that Amritpal Singh and his accomplices came to the village on March 18.
"We got to know today morning when the police came that Amritpal along with his associates was here in the village on March 18. He changed clothes at local gurudwara, had food and then went away on motorcycle. Babaji who's being questioned by police now had admitted that Amritpal came here," the villager said.
Locals of the Jalandhar village claimed Amritpal Singh's presence in their village on March 18. A CCTV video has emerged sourced from the local villagers. Punjab police have not officially confirmed this.
The video shows a car and men waiting on a bike near a field. Another bike is parked nearby and as the first bike moves with three riders, the other also readies to leave.
Police have recovered the car in which 'Waris Punjab De' leader Amritpal Singh fled.
Gill said that they have arrested four people who helped the fugitive pro-Khalistani leader. He said weapons from recovered from vehicle in which Amritpal Singh was travelling.
"We have arrested four more people in this case - Manpreet, Gurdeep, Harpreet, and Gurpej. These four people had helped Amritpal Singh escape in a Brezza vehicle from the Naka point. We recovered the vehicle, one rifle, and other equipment. Arms Act has been invoked," he said.
Addressing a press conference earlier, Gill said the four have been arrested under the Arms Act.
As part of its efforts to arrest Amritpal Singh Punjab Police released his pictures.
"There are several pictures of Amritpal Singh in different attires. We are releasing all of these pictures," Gill said.
One of the pictures shows Amritpal Singh as clean-shaven.
"Arms Act has been invoked against the four people who helped him. An important fact has come to light that Amritpal Singh, after fleeing, visited the Gurudwara in Nangal Ambian village (in Jalandhar district) and changed his clothes before fleeing again. This came to be known in questioning of the four people who have been nabbed," Gill said at the press conference.
He said National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against Amritpal Singh.
"A non-bailable warrant has been issued against him on March 18. Police are working as per law. People have suspicions, but the prime accused (Amritpal Singh) has not been arrested yet. As soon as the arrest is made, we will inform you," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Punjab government told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against Amritpal Singh.
Punjab Advocate General Vinod Ghai told the High Court in a hearing that a search for the Waris Punjab De leader is on.
"We were armed but we refrained from using force. Some matters are so sensitive, that can't be explained in court. We are doing a good job in action against Amritpal. NSA has been imposed on him," the AG told the court.
Amritpal's lawyer told the court that Amritpal Singh's father Tarsem Singh was present in court. To this, the court said that since Singh's father was not a party before it he cannot be heard and if he wanted to submit something, he should file an application.
The court was adjourned till the next hearing slated after four days. It also sought a fresh affidavit from the government.
Punjab Police on Saturday launched an operation against Amritpal Singh and his aides.
The police said that a total of 114 arrests have been made in the case so far, and there is a strong suspicion of ISI angle and foreign funding. (ANI)