‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh (Right) and DIG Jalandhar (Left)
Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh changed his route, staged crashes into motorcycle riders to throw police off his trail and escape during the car chase on a one-lane link road, DIG Jalandhar Swapan Sharma said on Sunday. The Punjab police have declared Singh a fugitive and a fresh FIR was lodged against the ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief and his associates in connection with possession of illegal weapons.
Speaking to the media, DIG Sharma revealed details of the high-speed car chase that took place on Saturday and said the ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief’s car crashed to several motorbikes in a bid to divert the attention of the police and escape. “While outrunning us he crashed into 5-6 motorbike riders, some were with the motive to divert us from the chase,” he told ANI.
DIG Sharma said during an interception in the Mehatpur area of Jalandhar, one person in the car at the front took a leap during the chase.
Seven armed guards of Singh were in two cars running in front of the convoy were arrested by the police, but Amritpal Singh, present in the third car, managed to speed away from the spot. According to sources, four people, including Amritpal Singh, were there in the Mercedez car, which Singh’s paternal uncle was driving. All four are still untraceable.
According to reports, Singh ditched his Mercedes in a village near Nakodar along with his phone in the car and is believed to have escaped from there on a motorcyle. The police suspect Singh is hiding around the Sarinh village of Nakodar where the Jalandhar Commissioner of Police reached on Saturday night to lead the operations.
DIG Jalandhar Swapan Sharma confirmed that they recovered the two cars and recovered illegal weapons.
“They had some Pakistan-ISI links,” he added. Intel documents have suggested the Khalistani sympathiser on the run was brought to the state from Dubai by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The police are also investigating how the vehicles were financed. “Some phones have been recovered”, he said, adding the technical analysis of the items are underway.
Seven Associates Arrested, Remanded to Police Custody
Amritsar Rural Senior Superintendent of Police Satinder Singh on Sunday said seven of Amritpal’s associates have been arrested under provisions of the Arms Act. “We registered a fresh FIR last night under the Arms Act in which Amritpal is the key accused. All seven are also accused in this fresh FIR,” Amritsar Rural Senior Superintendent of Police Satinder Singh said.
Six illegal 12 bore guns and 193 live cartridges were seized from the possession of the seven accused, identified as Ajaypal, Gurvir Singh, Baljinder Singh, Harminder Singh, Gurlal Singh, Suvereet Singh, and Amandeep Singh, who were part of Amritpal Singh’s convoy and arrested near Mehatpur in Jalandhar on Saturday.
On Sunday, the seven associates were produced before a court in Beas.
Police had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Singh, arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him and said a “massive manhunt” is on to arrest him for being involved in four criminal cases relating to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police personnel, and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties of public servants.
Police suspended internet connection in the state till Sunday noon to maintain law and order. Officials have said that the situation is peaceful in the state and held flag marches in several districts in Punjab. They also appealed to the public not to lend ear to rumours and said authorities are monitoring the situation, and warned of strict actions against the spread of fake news and hate speeches.
Punjab Police on Sunday came across an abandoned car in Jalandhar district with a rifle and several dozens of live cartridges inside it. Police seized the ammunition and said the black-coloured multi-utility car was most likely part of Amritpal’s convoy on Saturday.
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