Amritpal Singh still absconding, NSA slapped on four of his aides

Chandigarh : Khalistan ideologue and ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh is still absconding while so far 114 people have been arrested in connection with the March 18 crackdown, Punjab Police’s Inspector General Sukhchain Singh Gill said here on Monday.

In a major development, the National Security Act (NSA) has been imposed on four aides of Amritpal Singh. Amritpal Singh’s uncle Harjit Singh, who was arrested on early Monday, is also likely to be booked under the stringent law.

While the four aides of Amritpal Singh — Daljeet Singh Kalsi, Bhagwant Singh, Gurmeet Singh, and Pradhanmantri Bajeka — have been kept in Assam’s Dibrugarh jail, his uncle is also being taken there.

Addressing the media, Gill clarified that Amritpal Singh continued to be absconding and a manhunt was on to arrest him at the earliest. He, however, did not rule out imposing the NSA on Amritpal Singh, against whom the police slapped six cases.

A total of 10 weapons and four vehicles, including the radical leader’s Mercedes, had been seized. Punjab Police suspect the involvement of the ISI and foreign funding for the ‘Waris Punjab De’, which is being investigated.

“We have strong suspicion of involvement of Pakistan’s ISI besides foreign funding. The accused were using hawala channels also. We have evidence that the accused were forming ‘Anandpur Khalsa Fauj’ (AKF) of close associates of Amritpal,” the IG said.

The six FIRs lodged against Amritpal Singh and his associates include causing disharmony and obstruction in police working and attack on police, besides possessing illegal weapons.

The police have also found a walkie-talkie set from one of the vehicles used by Amritpal Singh, the IG said. Besides, bulletproof jackets and rifles that have been recovered. The gate of the house of Amritpal Singh had AKF inscribed on them.

Gill clarified that there was total normalcy in Punjab and the cordon and search operation is underway.