A woman from Patiala has been arrested by the Punjab Police for allegedly harbouring a fugitive Khalistani sympathiser, Amritpal Singh, and his aide, Papalpreet Singh. According to officials, the self-styled chief of ‘Waris Punjab De’ had taken refuge at her property for nearly six hours. This is the second arrest of a woman who has been accused of providing shelter to the radical preacher. Earlier, Baljit Kaur of Shahbad was also arrested for allegedly harbouring Amritpal Singh.
Senior police officials have revealed that Amritpal and Papalpreet had stayed at the residence of Balbir Kaur in Patiala’s Hargobind Nagar on March 19 while the Punjab Police were in pursuit. Kaur had allegedly sheltered the two fugitives for five to six hours before they moved to Shahabad in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district.
This is the second arrest related to the case, with the police having arrested Tejinder Singh Gill earlier and booking him under Section 212 of the Indian Penal Code. The police recovered a phone, a flag, emblem, and currency of Khalistan from Gill.
Amritpal Singh has been on the run since March 18, and despite a massive manhunt by the Punjab Police, he has managed to evade capture. Intelligence agencies have reported that the Khalistani separatist may try to escape through Nepal, and Nepal border posts are on high alert. Amritpal Singh has been caught on CCTV cameras across the state, with one footage showing him walking down the street in sunglasses and speaking on the phone. According to sources, he fled on a motorcycle after changing vehicles, and also changed his clothes, turban, and covered his beard with a cloth.
Meanwhile, as many as 197 people who were earlier detained, have been released by the Punjab Police.