Last Updated: March 23, 2023, 20:47 IST
Amritpal Singh was spotted outside a house in Shahbad in Kurukshetra district in Haryana on the afternoon of March 20 where he had stayed the earlier night (Source: News18)
On Thursday, Punjab Police said that Amritpal Singh was last spotted in Punjab at 9:40 pm on the night of March 18. He was later spotted outside a house in Haryana’s Kurukshetra
Fugitive pro-Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh has managed to cross the Punjab border to enter Haryana, dodging heightened police vigil in the state. On Thursday, Punjab Police said that 30-year-old Amritpal –a secessionist preacher who demands an independent country for Sikhs – was last spotted in Punjab at 9:40 pm on the night of March 18 when he took an auto near Hardy’s World amusement park in Ludhiana. Follow Live Updates Here.
He was later spotted outside a house in Shahbad in Kurukshetra district in Haryana on the afternoon of March 20 where he had stayed the earlier night. The Shahbad location is nearly 200 km away from the spot in Jalandhar where he was first intercepted on March 18.
Police have taken into custody the woman, identified as Baljeet Kaur, who had sheltered Amritpal and his aide Papalpreet Singh. He was seen driving the motorcycle on which Amritpal rode a pillion while escaping the police crackdown on his outfit on Saturday last week.
ALSO READ: Who is Baljit Kaur? Woman Who Sheltered Amritpal Singh, His Aide at Her Haryana House
But how did Amritpal manage to escape to Haryana?
According to a PTI report, Punjab Police’s apparent miscalculation allowed the radical preacher to evade arrest.
A cavalcade of five vehicles, including a high-end Mercedes, carrying Amritpal started from his village on March 18.
The convoy had to cross the Sutlej river, and the crack team of Punjab Police commandos were waiting at Harike barrage. A vehicle acting as a convoy pilot had spotted a large posse of armed policemen waiting on the barrage.
The driver of the vehicle then returned to inform Amritpal about the police movement. Amritpal immediately changed course and instead crossed the Sutlej river at Govindwal Sahib, where only a few district policemen were there.
The PTI report said Punjab Police were confident that the preacher would cross only at Harike barrage. No alternative arrangements were made to catch the pro-Khalistan preacher on other routes.
Amritpal, police said, crossed the bridge at Govindwal Sahib and even spoke to the small picket of police officers who assured him that the deployment had nothing to do with him.
But, the radical preacher didn’t buy the police officers’ response and his convoy then made a U-turn and headed towards Shahkot. In the meantime, a crack team of Punjab police commandos also started chasing him.
To intercept the police, the last two vehicles in the convoy came to a screeching halt. They stood perpendicular to each other to stop the police team and to give time to Amritpal to flee.
The Khalistani leader then abandoned his Mercedes and switched cars, which was also subsequently left at a village in Jalandhar before he took a motorcycle.
According to police, Amritpal after changing his appearance at Phillaur, he and his mentor Papalpreet Singh crossed over to Haryana and took shelter at the residence of Baljeet Kaur.
Before reaching her residence, the duo hijacked a third motorcycle at gunpoint when their vehicles malfunctioned, the report said.
(With PTI inputs)
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