An order to detain radical preacher Amritpal Singh under the stringent National Security Act was issued by the Amritsar district magistrate on Saturday, said a police officer's affidavit which also described how the Waris Punjab De chief gave the cops the slip.
The affidavit, which was filed in the Punjab and Haryana high court, was in response to a habeas corpus petition filed by petitioner Imaan Singh Khara, seeking the ”release” of Amritpal from alleged police custody.
During the hearing of the petition on Tuesday, the state government said that Amritpal was neither detained nor arrested by the police.
The Punjab police on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal and members of his outfit, Waris Punjab De.
According to the affidavit of senior superintendent of police (Amritsar Rural), Satinder Singh, a non-bailable warrant was also issued against the Khalistan sympathiser on Monday.
Amritpal was acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State and maintenance of public order, said the affidavit, adding that the petitioner had levelled vague, false, misleading and frivolous allegations.
It said Amritpal, resident of Jallupur Khera village in Amritsar, has been professing radical ideology and raised the demand of secession of Punjab from India.
”He has been actively abetting/provoking/motivating/conspiring to wage war against the State for a separate nation by the name of 'Khalistan'. He has been acting in manner prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order,” said the affidavit.
It also mentioned how Amritpal and his supporters stormed the Ajnala police station on February 23, besides stating that so far six FIRs have been registered against the preacher and his associates.
On the police action, the affidavit said the operation to arrest and detain Amritpal and others was launched on March 18.
”During this operation, one 'naka' (check post) was set up by a police party of Khilchian police station, District Amritsar (Rural). Amritpal Singh and his associates were travelling in a Mercedes car along with a caravan of three more vehicles,” it said.
”They were directed by the police party to stop at the 'naka', but instead of stopping their vehicles the cavalcade broke and escaped from the 'naka'. Then all the adjoining police stations and districts were alerted to locate his vehicles," the affidavit said.
It said Amritpal and his associates, while being on the run, were spotted driving rashly and negligently near a government school, village Salema, Mehatpur in Jalandhar in one chocolate-coloured Isuzu pickup car.
”Amritpal was carrying one .315 rifle and brandishing the same with an objective of creating fear amongst the public. He and others abandoned the car and fled from the spot,” said the affidavit.
A detention proposal for Amritpal was prepared and sent on March 17 to the Amritsar district magistrate, who considered the same and issued detention orders under section 3(2) of the National Security Act, 1980 for detaining the radical preacher on March 18, said the affidavit.
It said despite conducting raids, Amritpal could not be detained so far and is absconding and concealing himself.
The judicial magistrate first class Baba Bakala, Amritsar, issued non-bailable warrants against Amritpal on March 20, it added.
The police rejected the petitioner's allegations that Amritpal was detained in the Shahkot area in Jalandhar.