Amid a massive crackdown on pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh, Haryana Police on Thursday arrested a woman who allegedly harboured the fugitive and his associate Papalpreet Singh at her home in the state's Kurukshetra district. The woman was identified as Baljeet Kaur.
"We have nabbed the woman, 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.
According to the PTI report, officials said that the woman knew Papalpreet Singh for at least two years. A CCTV footage surfaced on the internet showing the area near the house in Kurukshetra where Amritpal Singh stayed on the night of the crackdown that began Saturday. He escaped the next day.
#WATCH | CCTV visuals near the house in Kurukshetra, Haryana where Amritpal Singh stayed the night of 19th March. Punjab IGP says that Singh stayed here on the night of 19th & left the next day. One woman, Baljeet Kaur has been arrested in this regard.— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2023
(CCTV visuals from 20th… pic.twitter.com/H6kQcnc4kn
In another development, Punjab police said they have arrested a man who was allegedly part of the private security setup of the radical preacher. Tejinder Singh Gill, a resident of Mangewal village in the Khanna area of Ludhiana district, was deputed to the security of Amritpal Singh, they said.
Earlier, officials identified Papalpreet Singh, who was considered one of Amritpal Singh's mentors and had been working closely with the radical preacher. He was seen driving the motorcycle on which Amritpal Singh rode pillion while escaping the police action against his outfit on Saturday. The two-wheeler was found later abandoned near a canal in Jalandhar.
Meanwhile, photographs and CCTV footage emerged on social media showing the fugitive using several vehicles, including a Mercedes, a Brezza SUV, an Isuzu pick-up, a motorbike and a motorized cart, to escape with some of his aides.
Police are on the lookout for Papalpreet Singh and several other of Amritpal’s aides. He faces some criminal cases, including that of a murder attempt.
On Tuesday, Punjab Police arrested four people for allegedly helping the fugitive escape their net. They were interrogated by the Punjab Police yesterday which provided some insight into the role of Papalpreet in Amritpal dodging the police, officials told PTI.
They said Gill, who was part of the security setup of Amritpal Singh, used to display weapons in pictures and videos on social media without having an arms licence.
An FIR against him was registered under IPC Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
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.