Papalpreet Singh, the brain behind radical preacher and pro-Khalistan supporter Amritpal Singh, has been served a notice by the Income Tax department to explain the source of Rs 4.48 lakh credited into his account, officials said in Chandigarh on Friday.
Papalpreet, who has been on the run along with Amritpal since the Punjab police launched a crackdown on March 18, faced the I-T department action under section 147 of the Income Tax Act, under which an assessing officer has discretionary powers to reopen the proceedings when there are reasons to believe that some of the income has escaped assessment.
The Income Tax notice was recovered from the house of Baljeet Kaur at Shahabad in Kurukshetra in Haryana where Papalpreet and Amritpal had taken shelter on March 19 and 20 before fleeing from there after changing their looks and leaving behind the sacred "Siri Sahib", the officials said, adding a devout Sikh would not leave behind his kirpan.
Papalpreet and Amritpal had told the woman that "someone would be collecting the bag" left behind by them, but the plan failed as the Haryana police raided the house and recovered it.
The Income Tax notice, issued on March 14 this year, had asked Papalpreet to submit his reply by March 20.
He has not filed his response as he has been guiding the radical preacher since March 18, the officials said.
The I-T department informed Papalpreet that his assessment had been flagged as high risk-case related information upload and asked him to explain the unaccounted income of Rs 4.48 lakh.
An internal note of the I-T department stated that Papalpreet is a journalist based out of Amritsar who runs the website "Punjab Shield", which is essentially a Khalistani propaganda site.
Rejecting his reply of February 14 where Papalpreet had stated that he earned approximately Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 per month from Youtube and Rs 15,000 from dairy business," the Income
Tax department asked him to submit credit transactions along with documents supporting his claim.
The Income Tax department made it clear that Papalpreet had not submitted his returns for the financial year of 2019-20 during which he had a credit entry of Rs 4,48,868 in his bank account and that needed to be explained.
Papalpreet, who is alleged to be in close contact with Pakistan's ISI and was taking instructions from it, has been one of Amritpal Singh's mentors who had been advising him on various issues.
The first images of Papalpreet were seen him driving a motorcycle with Amritpal riding pillion. The two-wheeler was found deserted at Phillaur in Jalandhar.
The officials said Papalpreet Singh was taking instructions from the ISI to raise the bogey of Khalistan in Punjab and was working to plunge the state into the dark days of terrorism.
They said it was on Papalpreet's instructions that Amritpal changed his appearance from a radical Sikh preacher to an ordinary person and finally abandoned the motorcycle at a canal in Phillaur.
Papalpreet faces four criminal cases, include one under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and for the Ajnala police station incident.