Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday pulled up Punjab Police over its failure to apprehend separatist leader Amritpal Singh. “You have a force of 80,000 police. How he has not been arrested? The high court asked Punjab Police.
“The entire police is after him. If he (Amritpal Singh) has escaped, this is intelligence failure...,” the high court observed.
“When there were five-six FIRs and you are saying there are five-six criminal cases against him, then how did he manage to escape? What were 80,000 cops doing?” Justice NS Shekhawat said while referring to the state’s submission in this matter.
Advocate General Vinod Ghai said sometimes this happens. “G20 was also going on,” Ghai told the high court.
The high court has directed Punjab Police to file a status report in this matter and has appointed advocate Tanu Bedi as Amicus Curiae in the case. The matter will now be heard on March 28.
The high court’s observation came on a plea filed by Imaan Singh Khara, who claims to be the legal advisor of Khalistani organization ‘Waris Punjab De’. Amritpal Singh, who heads this organization has been on the run from the police since March 18.
Since Saturday, the police are on a massive search operation to capture Singh who has been on the run. 78 of his associates have been arrested so far. The entire state is almost at a standstill as the Punjab government has imposed an internet shutdown since Saturday. Twitter handles of several journalists and Sangrur MP, Simranjit Mann have been temporarily withheld on a legal request made by the Indian government to Twitter.
Amritpal spreading radical ideology: Punjab Police to HC
Punjab Police on Tuesday told the high court that Amritpal Singh has been professing radical ideology and raised demands for Punjab’s secession from India. The affidavit said Singh has been “actively” conspiring to wage war against the State for a separate nation by the name ‘Khalistan’.
To date, six FIRs have been filed against Singh and his associates.
The Punjab government added that it has invoked provisions of the National Security Act (NSA) against Amritpal Singh. The state is also probing his role in five criminal cases.
“Amritpal Singh is absconding from the law”, the reply said. Raids have been conducted to apprehend and detain him… it added.
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