A massive search operation by the Punjab Police was launched in a Hoshiarpur village late on Tuesday night in the wake of a high alert after radical preacher Amritpal Singh escaped its dragnet. The operation came after some suspects abandoned their vehicle following a chase.
A police team was chasing a car from Phagwara after it suspected that fugitive Amritpal and his aide could be travelling in that vehicle, sources said.
The occupants of the vehicle abandoned the car near Gurdwara Bhai Chanchal Singh in Marnaian village here and fled, they said.
A cordon and search operation has been launched in and around the village while checkposts and barricades have been raised on the roads to nab the suspects.
Amritpal Singh remains untraceable since a police crackdown against him and members of his pro-Khalistan 'Waris Punjab De' outfit on March 18, about three weeks after he and his supporters stormed into the Ajnala police station near Amritsar to secure the release of an arrested man.
The preacher escaped the police dragnet in Jalandhar district on March 18, switching vehicles and changing appearances.
He and his associates have been booked under several criminal cases related to spreading disharmony among classes, attempts to murder, attacking police personnel and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duty by public servants.
A new video of Amritpal Singh with his key aide Papalpreet Singh surfaced on social media on Tuesday, showing the pro-Khalistan preacher without a turban and wearing a mask.
The updated CCTV footage said to be from a market in Delhi, showed the fugitive walking down a street wearing dark glasses. Behind him, Papalpreet Singh could be seen walking with a bag.
There is no official word from jab Police on the fresh footage.
A senior Delhi Police official said they are probing whether the persons seen in the video are Amritpal Singh and his aide.
Release youth Sikhs
Meanwhile, the Jathedar of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, Giani Harpeet Singh on Monday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the state government to release all Sikh youths who were held during the police crackdown against Amritpal Singh and his aides.
Following a police crackdown against Amritpal and his associates, Punjab Police Sunday said it has released 197 persons out of total 353 taken into preventive custody on apprehension of breach of peace and disturbance of law and order.
(with PTI inputs)