HC slams Punjab govt for failing to arrest Amritpal Singh; seeks status report from police

HC slams Punjab govt for failing to arrest Amritpal Singh; seeks status report from police

“You have 80,000 cops, how did Amritpal Singh escape?” the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the Punjab government on Tuesday and termed it as intelligence failure of the state’s police.

The court also asked Punjab police to submit a status report on the operation against radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh.

The court’s remarks came even as the police is taking action against members of Amritpal Singh’s outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’.

Also read: Crackdown on Amritpal Singh: Forces working against India won’t be spared, says Punjab CM

Amritpal Singh, however, has managed to evade an arrest do far. He gave the police a slip and was last seen speeding away on a motorcycle on Saturday evening in Jalandhar.

Punjab crackdown

The Punjab government had launched a major operation against the separatist preacher and have arrested a large number of his supporters so far.

Amritpal Singh’s uncle Harjit Singh and two other aides were flown to Assam on Tuesday. On Sunday, his other four arrested associates were also taken to Dibrugarh Central Jail. The seven men have been charged under the National Security Act (NSA), which allows the police to detain suspects in any prison across the country.

The operation was reportedly a coordinated effort between Punjab government, the Centre, and Assam government. According to various reports, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had discussed the plan to arrest Amritpal Singh with Home Minister Amit Shah in a meeting on March 2.

Home Ministry sources told NDTV that Amritpal Singh was planning to launch a state-wide procession to baptize the youth to carry out suicide attacks and was using de-addiction centres to stockpile weapons illegally sourced from Pakistan.

The centre seems to be moving in to take over the case as a terror investigation with a fresh FIR citing the Arms Act against Amritpal Singh.

Mann’s warning

Meanwhile, Bhagwant Mann said that strict action will be taken against those who have been trying to disturb peace and harmony in the state.

“Punjab’s peace and harmony, and country’s progress is our priority. We will not spare any force working against the country. People of this state want peace and progress,” Mann said, adding, “no incident of violence has been reported after the crackdown against the Khalistani leader.”

The suspension of mobile internet and SMS services will continue in parts of Punjab — Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Moga, Sangrur and Amritsar’s Ajnala — till Thursday noon. Haryana also is on high alert.

Also read: Punjab: Mobile internet services partially restored, Amritpal’s uncle moved to Dibrugarh jail

The massive crackdown against the Khalistani leader comes a month after Amritpal Singh and his supporters broke into a police station in Ajnala with swords and guns for the release of one of his aides. Six policemen were injured in the clash.

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