The Punjab Police has arrested Balbir Kaur, a Patiala resident for allegedly sheltering fugitive radical preacher Amritpal Singh and his aide.
Police officials told the media on Sunday (March 26) that Amritpal and his aide Papalpreet Singh had allegedly stayed at Balbir Kaur’s residence in Patiala’s Hargobind Nagar on March 19.
Kaur allegedly sheltered Amritpal and Papalpreet for five to six hours before they moved to Shahabad in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district, the police said. Amritpal has been on the run since March 18, when the police launched a manhunt to track him down and people linked to Waris Punjab De, an outfit headed by him.
The elusive preacher himself gave the police the slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Punjab’s Jalandhar district.
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On Saturday, CCTV camera footage purportedly showing Amritpal, dressed in a jacket and trousers and speaking on a mobile phone, emerged in Patiala. In the footage, the Waris Punjab De chief could also be seen holding a bag with a white cloth covering his face. Papalpreet could also be seen in the footage.
In a second footage from the same spot, a sunglass-wearing Amritpal could be seen speaking on the phone while walking on the street. Kaur is the second woman to be arrested for allegedly sheltering Amritpal. Earlier, a woman identified as Baljit Kaur was nabbed for allegedly harbouring Amritpal and Papalpreet at her home in Shahabad.
The police in Khanna also arrested on Saturday a man identified as Balwant Singh for allegedly sheltering Amritpal’s associate Tejinder Singh Gill alias Gorkha Baba.
Deputy superintendent of police (Payal) Harsimrat Singh said Singh, a resident of Khuli Khurd village, has been booked under Section 212 (harbouring offender) of the Indian Penal Code.
Also read: HC slams Punjab govt for failing to arrest Amritpal Singh; seeks status report from police
Gill, who was part of Amritpal’s private security setup, was arrested on Wednesday. He was sent on police remand till March 27. The Punjab Police had said a phone recovered from Gill contained pictures of the flag, emblem and currency of Khalistan and videos of firearms practice by young men allegedly chosen for the radical preacher’s Anandpur Khalistan Fauz.
The incriminating material showed the sinister designs of the nascent militia force and the enormous threat it would have posed for peace and harmony in Punjab and national security, the police had said.
With the Khalistan sympathiser continuing to remain untraceable, the police said efforts are underway to nab the fugitive.