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Haryana woman who harboured Amritpal, aide nabbed

March 23, 2023 16:25 IST

Haryana Police have arrested a woman who allegedly harboured Amritpal Singh and his associate Papalpreet Singh at her home in Kurukshetra district, an indication that the pro-Khalistan preacher might have fled Punjab.

IMAGE: Security personnel deployed at Baba Bakala court, where seven associates of 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh were brought, near Amritsar, Thursday, on March 23, 2023. Photograph: PTI Photo

Haryana Police said the woman has been nabbed from Shahabad area.

"We have nabbed the woman, Baljit Kaur, who harboured Amritpal and his associate Papalpreet Singh at her home in Shahabad on Sunday. The woman has been handed over to Punjab Police," Kurukshetra Superintendent of Police Surinder Singh Bhoria told PTI over phone.


In another development, Punjab police arrested a man who was allegedly part of the private security setup of Amritpal.

Tejinder Singh Gill, a resident of Mangewal village in the Khanna area of Ludhiana district, was deputed in the security of Amritpal.

Gill used to display weapons in pictures and videos on social media without having an arms licence.

A first information report (FIR) against him has been registered under Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Khanna Deputy Superintendent of Police (Payal) Harsimrat Singh.

Officials said their investigation has revealed that Gill was also involved in the Ajnala incident and Ajnala police will separately take action against him.

A number of supporters of Amritpal Singh had stormed the Ajnala police station near Amritsar with swords and guns last month to secure the release of an associate of the radical preacher, raising fears about the return of pro-Khalistan militancy to the state that borders Pakistan.

Last week, Punjab police launched a crackdown against Amritpal Singh and his outfit.

Several of his supporters have been detained or arrested during the police action and the government has invoked the stringent National Security Act against some of them, including Amritpal Singh, who has managed to dodge the police net so far.

Photographs and CCTV footage, that have emerged on social media, have shown the fugitive using several vehicles, including a Mercedes, a Brezza SUV, and a motorbike, to escape with some of his aides.

Police said they have recovered the motorbike near a canal in Jalandhar and efforts are on to nab the Khalistan sympathiser.

The state government had suspended mobile internet and SMS services in parts of Punjab after the police crackdown began.

While it has lifted the restrictions gradually in most areas such as Moga, Sangrur, Ajnala sub-division and Mohali, the restrictions are still in place in some other areas.

On Thursday, the state home affairs department said the curbs have been extended in Tarn Taran and Ferozepur districts till Friday noon 'in the interest of public safety, to prevent any incitement to violence and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order'.

Broadband services have not been suspended to allow banking facilities, hospital services and other essential services to continue without disruption, said the order. 

Meanwhile, the seven associates of Amritpal, including his uncle, who are lodged in Dibrugarh Central Jail are kept in separate cells under round-the-clock CCTV surveillance, a senior official said on Thursday.

The security of the entire jail campus has been intensified and the health of the seven 'Waris Punjab De' (WPD) members are being regularly checked, he said.

The seven have been provided with beds and mattresses and television sets in their cells, the official said.

Four additional CCTV cameras have been installed within the jail premises while all other faulty cameras were either replaced or repaired, the official said.

A jail official said a team of the elite Black Panther Assam Police commandos have been entrusted with the task of securing the outer perimeter of the jail, while the CRPF, Assam Police personnel and prison guards have been given the responsibility of inner security.

The entire outer boundary of the jail has also been fitted with CCTVs, he said.

Inspector General of Police (law and order) Prasanta Bhuyan reviewed the security arrangements of the jail on Wednesday.

Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner Biswait Pegu said on Wednesday that the security system for NSA detainees is different compared to other prisoners.

A multi-tier security arrangement was made at the jail since March 19, when initially four members of the outfit were shifted here by the Punjab police.

On Tuesday three others, including the preacher's uncle Harjit Singh, were detained under the NSA and brought to Dibrugarh, around 2,500 km away from Punjab.

The other members of 'Waris Punjab De' lodged in the jail are Daljeet Kalsi, Basant Singh, Gurmeet Singh Bhukanwala, Bhagwant Singh alias 'Pradhan Mantri' Bajeka, Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal and Gurinder Pal Singh.

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