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Amritpal changed cars twice before fleeing on bike to escape arrest, say Punjab Police

From Mercedes car, he hopped on to Isuzu & then to Brezza before taking bike. Amritpal along with three associates was last seen in gurdwara in a village in Shahkot, says senior cop.

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Chandigarh: Even as Khalistan activist Amritpal Singh continued to play a game of cat and mouse with the cops for the fourth day, the Punjab Police said that the self-styled preacher changed cars twice before fleeing away on a bike.

Talking to the media Tuesday, Inspector General (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill said that Amritpal along with three of his associates was last seen in a gurdwara in village Nangal Ambian in Shahkot.

Gill said that the self-styled preacher changed his clothes and wore a pant-shirt and the four got onto two motorcycles and sped away. Unverified videos of Amritpal shifting from the Brezza vehicle to the motorcycles have since gone viral.

The IG urged the public to help the police nab the absconding Khalistani sympathiser and his associates, after releasing the pictures of his various looks including one with a completely shorn face.

Gill said that the National Security Act was invoked against Amritpal Saturday and arrest warrants were issued by the court Monday.

Amritpal abandoned the Mercedes car he was travelling in on Saturday after his cavalcade was stopped at a ‘naka’ (checkpoint) in Shahkot, the senior police officer said.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Jalandhar Rural, Swarandeep Singh told ThePrint that Amritpal first shifted from his Mercedes into a black Isuzu belonging to a supporter which was a part of his cavalcade. He then abandoned that Isuzu at Saleman village  from where it was recovered on Monday with a kirpan and firearms. “From the Isuzu, he shifted into a Brezza to escape,” the SSP said.

Gill said that Amritpal along with three associates managed to call his supporters who then brought a Brezza car in which they travelled to the gurdwara at Nangal Ambian in Shahkot where they managed to procure bikes to escape.

The abandoned Brezza has been recovered, he said, adding that four persons who helped Amritpal procure the car were arrested Tuesday morning. The arrested people were identified as Manpreet Singh Manna, Gurdeep Singh Deepa, Harpreet Singh Happy and Gurbhej Singh Teja.

A .315 bore rifle was recovered from the vehicle and a fresh case was registered against them and Amritpal at Shahkot, said Gill.

Another case was also registered at the Mehatpur police station against Amritpal’s uncle Harjit Singh and their driver Harpreet Singh for allegedly taking forced shelter at gunpoint while they were in hiding, he said. The case has been registered on the complaint of sarpanch Manpreet Singh of village Uddowal in Mehatpur, Jalandhar.

Both Harjit and Harpreet Singh had surrendered Monday, after which Amritpal’s uncle was immediately shifted to a jail in Dibrugarh in Assam under the National Security Act (NSA).

Gill said police teams have also arrested and detained Kulwant Singh Raoke of Raoke village  in Moga and Gurinderpal Singh alias Gur Aujla of Kapurthala under the NSA. The arrested duo are members of the core team of Waris Punjab De and joined Amritpal on his arrival from Dubai last year.

A total of 154 people were arrested following Saturday’s crackdown.

In related developments, Gill also informed that the protest at Mohali has also been lifted and now there was no protest anywhere in Punjab over action against Amritpal. He said that 37 persons have been taken into preventive custody.

Internet services in several districts were resumed Tuesday, barring some of the more sensitive districts of Tarn Taran, Moga, Sangrur, Ajnala and parts of Mohali where it has been continued till Wednesday.

Also Read: ‘This is what Amritpal looks like’: Punjab cops release photos, seek help to catch radical preacher

Court slams Punjab govt

Meanwhile, during the hearing of the Habeas corpus petition filed by the Waris Punjab De,  the Punjab and Haryana High Court pulled up the Punjab government for failing to arrest Amritpal despite the police claims of having hundreds of policemen on the ground.

“Your claims seem dubious,” Justice N. S. Shekhawat said, questioning Punjab advocate general Vinod Ghai about the operation. “You have arrested more than hundred people and you had thousands of policemen on the ground and the only person you could not arrest was him?”

The Punjab Police has filed two affidavits in the case reiterating that Amritpal was indeed on the run and had not been arrested illegally by the police.

“He (Amritpal) has been professing radical ideology and raised the demand for secession of Punjab from India. He has been actively abetting/instigating/provoking/ motivating/conspiring to wage war against the State for a separate nation by the name ‘Khalistan’. He has been acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State and maintenance of public order,” states one of the affidavits.

The Punjab Police also informed the court that detention orders under the NSA against Amritpal were sought from the district magistrate on 17 March and were granted 18 March. In its affidavit, the police said that non bailable warrants were issued by the court against Amritpal on 20 March.

The high court has sought a status report from the Punjab government and listed the matter for hearing on 28 March.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: Radical preacher Amritpal in hiding, Punjab cops say his car ‘hit motorcyclists but didn’t stop’

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