Punjab Police’s Epic Chase of Separatist and Radical Preacher Amritpal Singh: A 37-Day Journey Across 10 Cities and 9 Arrests

New Delhi, April 23:
After 37-day chase that spanned 10 cities, separatist and radical preacher Amritpal Singh finally surrendered to Punjab Police at a gurudwara in Punjab’s Moga. The police had launched a massive crackdown against Amritpal Singh and members of his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’ on March 18, in response to his supporters storming the Ajnala police station in February demanding the release of one of their outfit members.
Amritpal Singh had managed to evade the police on two occasions – in Jalandhar on March 18 by switching vehicles and then again on March 28 in Hoshiarpur when he returned to Punjab along with his key associate Papalpreet Singh. Papalpreet, who is considered to be Amritpal Singh’s mentor and who has allegedly been in contact with Pakistan’s ISI, has been arrested. The separatist and his associates are facing several criminal charges, including an attempt to murder and attacking police personnel.
Despite being sighted in several CCTV footage and photos with changed appearances at many places, including Patiala, Kurukshetra, and Delhi, Amritpal Singh, who the government describes as a Khalistani-Pakistan agent, continued to stay out of the police fishnet. While on the run, two videos and one audio clip of Amritpal surfaced on social media. In one of his two videos, which surfaced on March 30, Amritpal Singh asserted that he was not a fugitive and would soon appear. The separatist had claimed that he was not like those who would flee the country.
Ahead of Baisakhi, which was celebrated on April 14, there were rumours that Amritpal Singh may surrender at Takht Damdama Sahib gurudwara in Bathinda during the celebration. But that did not happen. Tight security arrangements during the Baisakhi festival at Talwandi Sabo, however, earned the wrath of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh who accused the Punjab government of trying to create panic. Police claimed that security was deployed for the convenience and safety of devotees. The Jathedar of Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat of Sikhs) asked the fugitive preacher to cooperate with the police and surrender. The appeal, however, fell on deaf ears.
The search for the fugitive was then widened – and police searched his probable hideouts in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Wanted posters were put up at several railway stations announcing that an appropriate reward will be given to anyone who provides credible information about Amritpal Singh’s whereabouts.
On April 15, police managed to arrest Amritpal’s close aide Joga Singh from Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib. According to them, Joga Singh was in direct contact with Amritpal and had even arranged a shelter and vehicles for him in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit. It was Joga Singh who brought Amritpal and his aide Papalpreet back to Punjab on March 28.
Eight of Amritpal’s aides – Daljit Singh Kalsi, Papalpreet Singh, Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, Varinder Singh Johal, Gurmeet Singh Bukkanwala, Harjit Singh, Bhagwant Singh and Gurinderpal Singh Aujla – have been charged under the National Security Act (NSA) and are being held at the Dibrugarh central jail.
Following Joga Singh’s arrest, Punjab Police conducted multiple raids across Punjab to track down Amritpal. They were assisted by the Uttar Pradesh Police, who also conducted raids in Pilibhit and other locations. The police also interrogated several of Amritpal’s associates and family members in their efforts to locate him.
Finally, after 37 days on the run, Amritpal Singh surrendered at a gurudwara in Punjab’s Moga on April 24. He was subsequently transferred to the central jail in Assam’s Dibrugarh. Amritpal and his associates are facing several criminal charges, including attempt to murder and attacking police personnel.
Despite being sighted in several CCTV footage and photos with changed appearances at many places, including Patiala, Kurukshetra, and Delhi, Amritpal Singh, who the government describes as a Khalistani-Pakistan agent, continued to stay out of the police fishnet. While on the run, two videos and one audio clip of Amritpal surfaced on social media. In one of his two videos, which surfaced on March 30, Amritpal Singh asserted that he was not a fugitive and would soon appear.
The separatist had claimed that he was not like those who would flee the country. Ahead of Baisakhi, which was celebrated on April 14, there were rumors that Amritpal Singh might surrender at Takht Damdama Sahib gurudwara in Bathinda during the celebration. However, that did not happen. The search for the fugitive was then widened, and police searched his probable hideouts in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
The arrest of Amritpal Singh and his associates is a significant victory for the Punjab Police, who have been cracking down on radical elements in the state. The crackdown was launched in response to the preacher’s supporters storming the Ajnala police station in February, demanding the release of one of their outfit members. The police have been successful in arresting several members of Amritpal Singh’s outfit ‘Waris Punjab De,’ including his mentor Papalpreet Singh, who is alleged to have been in contact with Pakistan’s ISI.
The Jathedar of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, had appealed to the fugitive preacher to cooperate with the police and surrender. The appeal, however, fell on deaf ears. The tight security arrangements during the Baisakhi festival at Talwandi Sabo had earned the wrath of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, who accused the Punjab government of trying to create panic. The police claimed that security was deployed for the convenience and safety of devotees.

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