Amritpal Singh, a radical preacher, is still at large and being sought by authorities: Police
Amritpal Singh, a militant Sikh preacher and supporter of Khalistan, is still being sought for, according to the police.
Late Saturday night, Jalandhar Police Commissioner Kuldeep Singh Chahal told reporters near Nakodar, "He is now a fugitive and we are hunting for him and we will soon capture him.
Six to seven of Amritpal Singh's gunmen, according to Chahal, have been detained.
Police detained 78 members of an organisation led by Amritpal as part of a broad crackdown on him that the Punjab government initiated on Saturday, according to sources.
As his cavalcade was stopped in the Jalandhar area, the elusive preacher himself managed to escape the police's clutches. Authorities increased security at various locations and shut down internet and SMS services in the state until Sunday noon as the operation got under way.
A "major state-wide cordon and search operation (CASO)" against the members of the "Waris Punjab De" gang, led by Singh, against whom many criminal complaints have been filed, was started by police on Saturday across the state.
They said that so far, 78 people have been held for interrogation and 78 others have been arrested.
A day before Amritpal Singh's "Khalsa Wahir," a religious procession that was scheduled to begin from the Muktsar area, the police took action.
Police confiscated one during their statewide operation.
They said there were 315 bore rifles, seven 12 bore rifles, a revolver, and 373 live rounds in various calibres.
Several locations in Punjab have tightened security and have increased vehicle inspections.
A police spokeswoman said that four criminal cases including the promotion of class strife, attempted murder, assaults on police officers, and obstructing the proper performance of public employees' responsibilities include the adherents of "Waris Punjab De," or WPD.
For the assault on the Ajnala Police Station, WPD members are named in a FIR from February 24.
In an altercation with police last month, Amritpal and his supporters—some of whom were armed with swords and firearms—broke past security barriers and stormed the Ajnala Police Station on the outskirts of Amritsar. They were demanding the release of one of Amritpal's assistant.
After the event, in which six police officers, including one with the rank of Superintendent of Police, were hurt, the state's AAP administration came under heavy criticism and was accused of caving in to radicals.
Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh was appointed the organization's leader last year. Waris Punjab De was started by actor and activist Deep Sidhu, who passed away in a car accident in February of that year.