While Amritpal Singh remained untraceable, his father, Tarsem Singh, has said that the family doesn’t know the current whereabouts of the ‘Warris Punjab De’ head. Tarsem also claimed that the Punjab Police conducted searches at their house for three-four hours but didn’t find anything illegal.
The Punjab government on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal Singh, a radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathiser, with police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him.
“We don’t have correct information about him (Amritpal Singh). Police conducted searches for three-four hours at our house. They didn’t find anything illegal… The police should have arrested him when he left the house in the morning,” Tarsem to news agency ANI.
Tarsem also told reporters that the police have asked the family to tell Amritpal to surrender. He called the police action “unjustified” and said his son was weaning the youth off drugs. Why the police were not acting against criminals and those involved in drugs, he asked.
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“We are concerned that something may happen to him,” The Indian Express quoted Amritpal’s father as saying.
“Police are after Amritpal but doing nothing against drug smugglers. Amritpal came to Punjab just a few months back. What were they doing about the crime before he came?” said Tarsem.
“Amritpal is working against drugs. It is the reason that there is political pressure to arrest him. This action against Amritpal is unjustified. There are drugs in every home. But there is no focus on that issue. If someone is trying to end the drug menace, he is being stopped,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Massive crackdown to arrest Amritpal Singh
Despite the Punjab Police’s massive crackdown against Amritpal Singh, the elusive preacher himself gave the cops a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district, even as authorities stepped up security at several places and suspended internet and SMS services in the state till Sunday noon.
The police said it has launched a “massive state-wide cordon and search operations (CASO)” in the state against elements of the ‘Waris Punjab De’, headed by Singh, against whom several criminal cases had been registered.
The police action came a day ahead of the start of Amritpal’s ‘Khalsa Wahir’ – a religious procession – from Muktsar district.
Some supporters of Waris Punjab De chief shared some videos on social media claiming that policemen were chasing them. A video also showed Amritpal sitting in a vehicle and one of his aides could be heard saying policemen were after “Bhai saab” (Amritpal).
During the state-wide operation, nine weapons, including one .315 bore rifle, seven rifles of 12 bore, one revolver and 373 live cartridges of different caliber have been recovered so far, the police said.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)