Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Three more Amritpal associates including preacher’s uncle brought to Assam’s Dibrugarh jail

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Three more associates of radical preacher Amritpal Singh, including his uncle Harjit Singh, have been brought to the high-security Dibrugarh jail on Tuesday, an Assam Police official said.

Altogether seven members linked to Amritpal Singh’s ‘Waris Punjab De’ (WPD) have been brought here since March 19, including Harjit Singh who was brought in the early hours of Tuesday.

Two WPD members identified as Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal and Gurinder Pal Singh were brought here by a flight from Delhi and whisked to the Dibrugarh Central Jail amidst tight security later in the day, the official said.

Harjit Singh was flown to Assam a day after he surrendered to the Punjab Police on Monday.

A cavalcade of seven security vehicles took Harjit Singh from the Guwahati airport to the Dibrugarh Central Jail where he was lodged at 7.10 am, the official said.

Harjit Singh, who officials say helped his nephew gain control over the accounts of WPD, is among the five people slapped with the National Security Act (NSA), which allows the preventive detention of anyone who could threaten national security or public order.

Earlier on Sunday, four WPD members were brought to the Dibrugarh Central Jail after the Punjab government on Saturday began a major crackdown on the outfit, headed by Amritpal Singh, who is wanted in connection with several criminal cases.

The four WPD members are Daljit Singh Kalsi, Bhagwant Singh, Gurmeet Singh and ‘Pradhanmantri’ Bajeka.

Heavy security has been deployed at the Mohanbari airport in Dibrugarh, fuelling speculation that more WPD members could be brought to the BJP-ruled state from Punjab, around 2,500 km away.

Harjit Singh along with driver Harpreet Singh surrendered before the police near Bullandpur gurdwara in Jalandhar’s Mehatpur area.

Punjab’s Deputy Inspector General of Police (Border Range) Narinder Bhargav was among the officers who were present at the spot.In a video, Harjit Singh was seen producing his licensed 32-bore pistol and cash amounting to Rs 1-1.25 lakh that he was carrying in a car.

The vehicle was later seized and the two men were taken away by the Amritsar Rural police, officials said.

Assam’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Prashanta Bhuyan reviewed the security arrangements in Dibrugarh on Monday.

Refusing to share details, Bhuyan said, “These are sensitive matters related to the internal security of the state.” The Punjab Police crackdown on WPD began weeks after Amritpal Singh and his supporters stormed the Ajnala police station near Amritsar to secure the release of an arrested associate.

Amritpal Singh was last year anointed the head of WPD, which was formed by singer-activist Deep Sandhu who died in February 2022.

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