Chandigarh: After it was reported that Sikh hardliner Amritpal Singh surrendered himself to the police on Sunday morning at Moga district’s Rode village, the Punjab police in a media briefing denied this claim.
Inspector General of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill told the media that the police had maintained extreme pressure on Amritpal ever since he had evaded arrest on March 18. All wings of the Punjab police were tracking him continuously under a coordinated operation, Gill said.
As a result of this, police got specific operational inputs about Amritpal’s presence in Rode village.
Gill then said based on the input, a joint team of the Amritsar police and Punjab intelligence wing surrounded the whole village. There was heavy presence of security forces. Amritpal was surrounded in a way that he had nowhere to escape.
“Since he was inside the Gurdwara sahib, the police did not enter inside to maintain the sanctity of the place. As he knew that he had nowhere to go now, he was arrested as soon as he came out of the gurdwara,” said Gill.
The police stand is contrary to what Jasbir Rode, former head of the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of Sikhs) and brother of slain Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had said after Amritpal’s arrest.
According to Rode, the police will of course present its own narrative. But the reality is that Amritpal has surrendered to the police. “He had arrived last night here after which he put on traditional Sikh attire. He then addressed the Sikh Sangat inside the village gurudwara, where he briefed them on the past happenings and why he was forced to escape,” Rode said. He said that one can clearly see in the videos of his address inside the gurudwara that Amritpal had himself surrendered to the police.
NSA slapped, on way to Assam
Meanwhile, Gill told the media that National Security Act (NSA) warrants had been issued against Amritpal ever since he had escaped police action last month.
“Those warrants have been executed this morning after his arrest,” said Gill. The NSA is a stringent Act which allows security agencies to detain any accused for 12 months without charge.
Gill then said that he was arrested around 6:45 am on Sunday in Rode.
“Immediately after his arrest, he was taken to the air force station in Bathinda district, from where he was flown to Dibrugarh in Assam,” he said. He will be kept in the central jail of Dibrugarh under tight security. Several of his accomplices are already lodged there.
Gill, while thanking people for maintaining law and order, said that a warning has been issued against those elements trying to jeopardise peace and harmony in the state. He said the state has been peaceful and would remain so.
“The law will take its own course now and further details will be shared in due course,” he added.