The police in the state of Punjab have increased security measures in their efforts to capture Amritpal Singh, the leader of the pro-Khalistan outfit “Waris Punjab De“, who has been declared a fugitive. Police personnel have been deployed outside Singh’s residence in Jallupur Khera village, Amritsar, as part of their ongoing search for him. The outfit’s sympathizer is currently on the run, according to the police.
Jalandhar Commissioner Kuldeep Singh Chahal confirmed on Saturday evening that the radical leader had been declared a fugitive. He also announced that the police had seized two of Singh’s cars and apprehended his gunmen. They are also investigating whether the firearms belonging to his security escorts were procured legally. The police have registered a case and launched a manhunt for Amritpal Singh, with hopes of arresting him soon. As of now, 78 people have been arrested, and further searches and raids are underway.
Singh’s father, Tarsem Singh, claims that the Punjab Police conducted a search at their residence in Amritsar but did not find anything illegal. He expressed that the police should have arrested him before he left the house.
Earlier on Saturday, the Punjab Police conducted a massive state-wide Cordon And Search Operation (CASO) against the elements of Waris Punjab De (WPD), against whom several criminal cases stand registered. During the operation, the police arrested a total of 78 people and detained several others for questioning.
The official spokesperson of Punjab Police shared that the WPD elements are involved in four criminal cases, including spreading disharmony among classes, attempting to murder, attacking police personnel, and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties of public servants. The police have recovered nine weapons, including one .315 bore rifle, seven rifles of 12 bore, one revolver, and 373 live cartridges of different calibres.
The police have requested all citizens not to pay attention to fake news and rumours and have suspended mobile Internet services in several districts of Punjab until 12 noon on Sunday. The police action followed clashes between Amritpal’s supporters and uniformed personnel at the Ajnala police station last month, where they demanded the release of one of Amritpal’s close aides, Lovepreet Toofan, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting and abducting a man.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann responded to the incident, stating that these “1,000 people” do not represent Punjab and alleging that they are “funded by Pakistan” to disrupt peace in the state. The police have assured the public that the situation is stable and that anyone involved in criminal offences shall be dealt with in accordance with the law, with their constitutional rights of legal defence protected.