Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Amritpal’s mentor Papalpreet helped him escape police

The brains behind pro-Khalistan fugitive Amritpal Singh’s escape from the police dragnet was 38-year-old Papalpreet Singh, who was in close contact with Pakistan’s ISI and was taking instructions from it, officials said on Wednesday.
They said Papalpreet Singh is considered one of Amritpal Singh’s mentors who had been advising him on various issues. Papalpreet had been working with Amritpal closely since he returned to India last year and took over the reins of ‘Waris Punjab De’, an organisation founded by actor Deep Sidhu, who died in a road accident in 2021.
Papalpreet was seen 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 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.
The officials said the interrogation of four people arrested by the Punjab Police on Tuesday provided insight into the role of Papalpreet in Amritpal dodging the police.
They said Papalpreet took the motorcycle arranged by Manpreet Singh and Gurdeep Singh, famously known as ‘Manna and Deepa’ who run local gangs in the state, and escorted Amritpal to a gurdwara at Nangal Ambian village in Jalandhar where he changed his looks, put on a pink turban and black goggles before fleeing.
Papalpreet faces some criminal cases, including that of a murder attempt.
Police, in the meantime, have circulated pictures of Papalpreet throughout Punjab and in neighbouring states. They have also released a combo of seven pictures of Amritpal Singh’s different looks.
Bike used in escape seized but Amritpal Singh still at large
The motorcycle on which Khalistani ideologue and fugitive Amritpal Singh fled has been found by Punjab Police, officials said, as the massive manhunt for the self-styled preacher continued on the fifth day.
The Bajaj Platina motorcycle was found abandoned near a canal in the Darapur area, some 45 km from Jalandhar city.
Before fugitive Amritpal Singh’s uncle Harjit Singh and associate Harpreet Singh surrendered, they had forcefully entered the house of the sarpanch of Udhowal village near Mehatpur and stayed there after threatening him.
Sarpanch Manpreet Singh told the police his brother Kamalpreet Singh was at their home when two persons came in a Mercedes car and threatened his brother to open the gate.
“They forced my brother to open a room for their stay. They also forced our family to stay within the house and threatened not to inform the police,” he said.
Explaining how fugitive Amritpal Singh is still absconding while 154 people have been arrested in connection with the March 18 crackdown, Punjab Police’s Inspector General Sukhchain Singh Gill said on Tuesday that he escaped by changing clothes in a gurdwara and fled on a bike. The car he earlier used has been recovered by police.
“We have recovered the car which was used by Amritpal to escape. After escaping, Amritpal went to a gurdwara in Nangal Ambian, where he changed his attire and left on a bike.
“This came to be known in questioning of the four people who have been arrested,” he said.
He said a lookout circular and non-bailable warrant has been issued against Amritpal Singh. The National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against him.
Police have also arrested four people — Manpreet Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Harpreet Singh and Gurbhej Singh — for facilitating Amritpal Singh’s escape.
IG Gill said the police have also arrested and detained Kulwant Singh Raoke and Gurinderpal Singh under the NSA.
The police have launched massive search and cordon operations in the state against activists of Amritpal Singh’s ‘Waris Punjab De’.

Amritpal Singh

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