A source in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have suggested that the case of Amritpal Singh, the self-styled radical Sikh preacher and head of ‘Waris Punjab De’, may be transferred to the Central probe agency.
“There are possibilities that we might take over the matter. There is a terror link connected to Pakistan’s ISI and therefore the Home Ministry can decide to transfer the case to the NIA,” the source said.
As of now, Punjab Police are looking into the matter. Amritpal is currently on the run and there are speculations that he might have fled abroad.
Punjab Police are planning to book Amritpal under the provisions of National Security Act (NSA), sources privy to the development told IANS.
In the interest of public safety, the Punjab government has extended the suspension of SMS and mobile internet services, except voice call, till Monday noon.
Amritsar Deputy Commissioner of Police, Parminder Singh Bhandal, told the media that the police have set up 100 checkpoints in Amritsar and its outskirts to physically check vehicles. CRPF jawans are accompanying the policemen at the checkpoints.
Anticipating disturbance of peace, a large contingent of paramilitary force has been deployed outside Amritpal Singh’s native village, Jallupur Khaira in Amritsar district.
A special team of police, comprising personnel from seven districts, had followed the separatist leader’s convoy while he was on his way to Jalandhar’s Shahkot tehsil on Saturday.
“Amritpal’s vehicle was chased for 20-25 km. His vehicle was at the front. However, he managed to escape by changing his vehicle,” Police Commissioner Kuldeep Singh Chahal said.
Section 144 has been imposed in many districts of the state. The police have also increased security across Punjab. In addition, all vehicles are being checked on the Punjab-Haryana border.
Meanwhile, Amritpal’s father, Tarsem Singh, has told the media that the police should have arrested him before he left the house.
“We don’t have any information about his whereabouts. They carried out a search at our residence for 3-4 hours, but did not find anything illegal,” he said.
He also termed the police action as “unjustified”, claiming that his son was weaning the youth off drugs.
“Why are the police not acting against criminals and those involved in drugs trade,” he asked.