Days before Nepal put fugitive Amritpal Singh on its surveillance list, intelligence agencies have found that he was in Delhi. According to sources, a second-year Delhi University student purportedly provided shelter to him and his associate Papalpreet at her rented flat in East Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar.
A senior officer from the Delhi Police has confirmed the same. Intelligence agencies, along with Punjab Police, are now questioning the woman.
Amritpal has been on the run since March 18 when Punjab Police launched a crackdown on him and his outfit, Waris Punjab De.
Intelligence agencies have also found CCTV footage from March 21, from Sai Chowk in Madhu Vihar, that purportedly shows Amritpal and his aide walking on the streets after leaving her house. In the footage, a man who is purportedly Amritpal is seen sporting a different look — his hair hanging loose, with no turban and his face covered with a mask. The man is wearing a jacket and glasses and is walking ahead of another man who is wearing a turban, glasses and mask.
Sources told The Indian Express that the woman allegedly met Papalpreet during the farmers’ protest in Delhi and he had visited her house twice earlier. They said she is from an area near his village.
“The woman told police during her questioning that on March 20, around 8.20 pm, the two men, in disguise, reached her house. She had never met Amritpal before, and Papalpreet requested her to provide them shelter for a night. She offered them food and they slept at her house,” a source said.
Officers said they left after lunch on March 21. “Intelligence agencies got to know about this input, and they have verified the same after coordinating with the Delhi Police. Punjab police were also informed; they are questioning the woman before taking legal action against her,” a source said.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government Tuesday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that they were coordinating with several agencies and were close to catching Amritpal, the assertion coming after the pro-Khalistan preacher’s counsel claimed he was being held in illegal custody. The HC took up for hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Advocate Imaan Singh Khara, which claimed that Amritpal was in “illegal custody” of Punjab Police.
Punjab Advocate General Vinod Ghai, however, told the court that Amritpal has not been arrested yet and they were coordinating with multiple agencies to nab him. Upon this, the bench of Justice NS Shekhawat asked Khara to file an affidavit to produce evidence that Amritpal was in police custody and pointed out that the state’s stand was that the preacher had not been arrested. If provided evidence, Justice Shekhawat said, the court would direct the relevant officials to conduct a raid and provide relief to the petitioner.
The court, while fixing March 29 as the next date of hearing in the case, directed the Punjab government to file an affidavit, through the Inspector General of Police concerned.