A fresh FIR has been lodged against fugitive preacher Amritpal Singh and some of his associates in connection with the possession of illegal weapons said a senior police officer on Sunday.
Amritsar Rural Senior Superintendent of Police Satinder Singh said seven of Amritpal’s associates have been arrested under the provisions of the Arms Act.
“We registered a fresh FIR last night under the Arms Act in which Amritpal is the key accused. All seven are also accused in this fresh FIR,” the SSP told reporters in Amritsar.
Police had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him.
However, the hunt is on to catch Amritpal who gave the police a slip when his cavalcade was intercepted in the Jalandhar district on Saturday.
Police had earlier registered an FIR against Amritpal and his associates in the February 23 Ajnala incident.
The SSP said Amritpal’s seven associates, who were part of his convoy, were arrested from a place near Mehatpur in Jalandhar on Saturday evening.
Six illegal 12-bore guns and 193 live cartridges were seized from the possession of the seven accused, identified as Ajaypal, Gurvir Singh, Baljinder Singh, Harminder Singh, Gurlal Singh, Suvereet Singh, and Amandeep Singh, said the SSP.
“We will produce them before a court for police remand,” he said.
The officer said Harminder Singh was caught with a weapon and 139 cartridges.
During questioning, he told police that Amritpal had procured these cartridges through another person named Gurbhej.
Asked whether “any cross-border connection” has come to the fore during their investigation, the SSP said, “I will not be able to comment on this now as investigations are under progress.”
“We are trying to arrest him and we are hopeful of arresting him,” he said.
Asked why it took them so long to register an FIR in the Ajnala incident, SSP said “the FIR was registered the very next day. How we have to act is our internal matter. We have to act keeping in view various things and we have been successful in this.”
He asserted that the law and order situation is under control and peaceful in Punjab. “We appeal to the public not to lend ear to rumours.” The SSP said Amritpal’s house in his native village was also searched as part of the crackdown.
“Two MUVs have been recovered so far,” he said.
Police had on Saturday said that an operation was launched to nab Amritpal and his supporters for being involved in four criminal cases relating to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police personnel, and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties of public servants.
An FIR dated February 24 stands registered against followers of ‘Waris Punjab De’, an organisation headed by Amritpal, for the attack on Ajnala Police Station, police had said.
Last month, Amritpal and his supporters, some of them with swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into the Ajnala Police Station on the outskirts of the Amritsar city, clashing with police for the release of one of Amritpal’s aide.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)