Chandigarh: Punjab Police arrested four people Tuesday for allegedly helping radical preacher Amritpal Singh escape their net and released seven photographs of the Khalistan sympathiser, including some in which he is not wearing a turban, to seek public help to nab the fugitive.
The self-styled Sikh preacher managed to give police a slip after changing his vehicle Saturday when police had launched a crackdown against him and his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’.
He was initially in his Mercedes vehicle but later switched to Brezza sports utility vehicle during police action against him Saturday. In a new photo that appeared on social media, Amritpal Singh could be seen riding pillion on a bike wearing a pink turban and black goggles, suggesting that he tried to change his appearance to get away from the eyes of police. In a CCTV footage, he could be seen sitting on the bike.
In another CCTV footage of the Jalandhar toll plaza, which appeared on social media Tuesday, showed Amritpal Singh escaping in the Brezza SUV.
Addressing the media here, Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill said the four arrested persons helped the fugitive escape in a sports utility vehicle. During their questioning, it came to the fore that Amritpal Singh went to a gurdwara in Nangal Ambian village in Jalandhar, police said.
“There he changed his clothes, and wore a shirt and pant, and escaped along with three others on two bikes,” said Gill.
Manpreet Singh alias Manna, Gurdeep Singh alias Deepa, Harpreet Singh alias Happy and Gurbhej Singh alias Bheja have been apprehended for helping Amritpal Singh escape, Gill said.
The SUV has been seized from Manna, he said, adding that a .315 bore rifle, some swords and a walkie-talkie set were found in it.
Releasing seven pictures of Amritpal Singh in different attire, police appealed to people to help them in tracing him.
The radical preacher has remained untraceable ever since he managed to dodge police personnel who were chasing him during a crackdown operation against elements of his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’ Saturday.
The IG said efforts are on to nab him and 154 people have been arrested so far in this connection.
He said the National Security Act has been invoked against Amritpal Singh and a non-bailable warrant has been issued against him.
Gill said Amritpal Singh’s uncle Harjit Singh and driver Harpreet Singh have been booked in a separate case for taking shelter at the residence of Manpreet Singh, the sarpanch of Uddowal village in Jalandhar, at gunpoint.
Harjit Singh, who has been shifted to Dibrugarh jail in Assam, and Harpreet had surrendered before police in Jalandhar.
Gill said the situation is completely peaceful in Punjab and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has been monitoring the situation and taking regular feedback from police officers.
He said the police officials are getting all support from states and central agencies in this case.
The IG said a protest by a group of Nihangs in support of Amritpal Singh near gurdwara Shaheedan in Sohana in Mohali has now ended and the road is open for traffic.
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