Punjab: As hunt for Amritpal Singh intensifies, his 4 close aides flown to Dibrugarh Jail in Assam
New Delhi: The Punjab Police has declared Khalistani separatist leader Amritpal Singh a ‘fugitive’ and the government is fast closing his escape routes and financial resources. The latest move in this direction is the transfer of four of his top arrested aides to Dibrugarh in coordinated action between the Centre, Punjab, and Assam governments.
The four close associates of the radical Sikh preacher have been flown to upper Assam by a special air force aircraft, top police sources said, reported NDTV.
They will likely be kept in the high-security Dibrugarh Central Jail.
A team of around 30 members from the Punjab Police, including the Inspector General of Prisons, escorted Amritpal Singh’s aides to Assam, the report said.
They were flown from Amritsar to Dibrugarh in an Indian Air Force AN32 aircraft, and reached their destination via Assam’s Jorhat. Dibrugarh and Jorhat are both major bases of the Indian Air Force.
Dibrugarh Central Jail has a long history of operation in northeast India. It is heavily fortified and has been used in the past to detain top militants during the most intense periods of ULFA militancy in Assam.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said it was just a "police-to-police" cooperation. "There were arrests in Assam as well when we sent people to Bihar's Bhagalpur jail for security reasons. Maybe the Punjab Police feels the prisoners should be held in Assam for a few days," he said, according to NDTV.
According to officials, 78 individuals associated with Amritpal Singh's group 'Waris Punjab De' have been arrested by Punjab Police, and several others have been detained for interrogation. Amritpal Singh's father has also been detained for questioning. A large number of police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed outside his village, Jallupur Khaira, in Amritsar.
The police have also arrested Daljeet Singh Kalsi, who manages Amritpal Singh's finances, in Haryana's Gurgaon.