Fugitive Khalistani separatist leader Amritpal Singh's Mercedes SUV gifted by drug boss
New Delhi: Waris Punjab De leader Amritpal Singh, who is currently on the run to evade police arrest, amassed a large number of weapons, ran deaddiction centre to brainwash the Sikh youth, and used a Mercedes SUV gifted by drug boss Ravel Singh, media reported.
The Khalistani separatist leader used the Mercedes SUV to flee the police but later ditched the vehicle and rode a bike to escape the chase.
Amritpal Singh often went around driving the SUV and waved to people from its sunroof, NDTV reported citing officials.
Amritpal Singh is referred to by his supporters as the new version of Khalistani separatist and terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
The leader of Waris De Punjab has been active in Punjab for a few years after he was made the chief of the radical organisation founded by actor and Khalistan sympathiser Deep Sandhu.
The self-styled radical Sikh preacher was always accompanied by armed supporters.
Singh, aged around 30, previously worked as a truck driver in Dubai. However, he was reportedly radicalized by the ISI, with the assistance of Khalistan supporters residing outside of India.
The radical Sikh preacher made open statements about declaring secession from India and creating Khalistan, while also threatening Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann.
He also referred to the assassinations of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Chief Minister Beant Singh by terrorists to warn the ministers and law enforcers.
Since being active in India, Amritpal Singh incited Sikh youths to engage in armed rebellion against democratically elected governments, citing discriminatory treatment as the reason, in order to achieve the ‘ultimate goal’ of creating Khalistan.
Allegedly he was raising a "private militia" of young Sikh men, who had sought help at his drug deaddiction centres, to disturb law and order problems or organising violent protests, media reported.
Reports also said citing officials that the so-called deaddiction centres were allegedly used to hoard illegally-sourced weapons from Pakistan.
The Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) not only placed him in Punjab to foment separatist violence but also helped him run the drugs business.
Waris Punjab De (WPD) outfit tried to pump a radical, violent way of thinking into the youth at the drug-deaddiction centres, said the NDTV report citing sources.
Surprisingly, there were no doctors at the centres which were meant to cure addicts, and if the inmates did not agree to follow his orders, they were subdued with torture, they added.
Amritpal Singh sourced low-quality, cheaper antidotes of drugs, which lengthened a person's dependence on drugs, making them more submissive.
Meanwhile, the Centre registered a fresh FIR against Khalistani separatist leader Amritpal Singh, who has been declared "fugitive" by the Punjab Police, and is likely to take over the investigation as a case of terrorism, media reports said.
The case is likely to be probed by the country’s top anti-terror organisation National Investigation Agency (NIA). The agency will probe Amritpal Singh and seven of his aides over the charge of possessing illegal arms - Arms Act cases are included in the NIA Act, reported NDTV.
The Khalistani leader has been named "Accused Number one" in the new case.