No torture on surrender: Bhagwant Mann to Amritpal as police deploy drones : The Tribune India

Alert sounded in HP

No torture on surrender: Bhagwant Mann to Amritpal as police deploy drones

No torture on surrender: Bhagwant Mann to Amritpal as police deploy drones

Bhagwant Mann Punjab Chief Minister. File photo

Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, March 30

Amid reports that pro-Khalistani activist Amritpal Singh could surrender at Akal Takht in Amritsar, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today said the state police were prepared for it or any other similar situation.

“We assure him nobody will be tortured. The police will function within their legal limits,” Mann said in response to a query whether the fugitive had placed any conditions for surrender. This even as the police deployed drones at a village in Hoshiarpur district where some suspects had abandoned their car following a chase two days ago. The police suspected that Amritpal and his accomplice Papalpreet Singh may have been travelling in the car. Police intelligence teams unsuccessfully searched for a white Swift car (registration number ‘8196’) and a mobile phone that they suspected were used by the duo. An alert has been sounded in Himachal Pradesh with the neighbouring state’s police beefing up surveillance at entry points.

Questioned on the Punjab Police’s “failure to catch Amritpal for the second time” in a fortnight, Mann said, “Our teams are at it.” The Chief Minister chose not to respond to a query on SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami asking him to apologise to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh over a tweet that the latter was “provoking people”.

Amritpal remains untraceable since the police crackdown against him and members of his pro-Khalistan ‘Waris Punjab De’ outfit began on March 18, about three weeks after he and his supporters stormed into the Ajnala police station near Amritsar to secure the release of an arrested aide. Facing charges under the stringent National Security Act, he escaped the police net in Jalandhar on the day of the crackdown, switching vehicles and changing appearances. The Chief Minister was in Lok Sabha bypoll-bound Jalandhar today to flag off a ‘shobha yatra’ (religious procession) on the occasion of Ram Navami. He was accompanied by Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Mittal and state ministers Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Inderbir Singh Nijjar.

Leader of Opposition Partap Bajwa too attended the event along with Congress MLAs Raj Kumar Chabbewal, Rana Gurjit Singh and Vikramjit Chaudhary, party’s bypoll candidate Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary and former legislator Sushil Rinku.

Fugitive live on FB

A day after he released a video statement, fugitive Amritpal on Thursday went live on Facebook, calling for Sarbat Khalsa. The Facebook Live came hours after he released an audio message.

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