Amritsar (Punjab): Punjab police on Tuesday shut down a drug de-addiction centre run by ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh in the State’s Amritsar district.
The facility was operating in Jallupur Khera in Amritsar. Gurmukh Singh, the caretaker of the centre said, “Police arrived here and conducted a search. They asked us to shut down the centre. Seventy people who had arrived to receive treatment were sent back.”
The caretaker claimed that the police had found nothing at the centre and that only de-addiction treatments were given at the facility.
“Amritpal used to come here, and people came to treat their problems. Nothing wrong is going on here and whatever is being said about the place is all wrong,” the caretaker said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the international borders with Nepal, Pakistan among others were alerted after the Centre circulated a message to the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) considering the possibility that Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh might flee the country.
The MHA has asked chiefs of both the BSF and the SSB to direct their forces deputed on the international borders to be on alert amid the ongoing hunt against the pro-Khalistani Amritpal Singh whose hunt entered the fourth day on Tuesday, said top government sources.
All the key Border Outposts at International Borders with Nepal, Punjab and Bangladesh and the frontier units of the BSF and the SSB positioned there have been alerted with a message to be on high alert with intelligence input that Amritpal Singh may escape the country to avoid his arrest, said a source, requesting anonymity.
Pictures of Amritpal Singh have also been circulated on these key exit points at the International Borders so that the radical self-styled Sikh preacher could not leave the country, said the source.
A senior official said the two paramilitary forces had already sent all required inputs to their field units with photographs of Amritpal Singh – with and without a turban.
The move came amid a massive crackdown by the Punjab Police against Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh entered the fourth day on Tuesday. The Punjab Police has declared Amritpal Singh a fugitive. While Amritpal Singh’s uncle Harjit Singh and driver Harpreet Singh have surrendered before the Jalandhar police, the radical preacher is still on the run.
The Punjab government also extended the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services.
The Punjab government on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with the police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him.
The police action comes a day before the start of Amritpal’s ‘Khalsa Wahir’ – a religious procession – from Muktsar district.
The elusive preacher, however, gave the police the slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district, even as authorities stepped up security at several places in Punjab.
An FIR was lodged against Amritpal and his supporters for breaking through a police checkpoint and another related to the recovery of a firearm in the vehicle found in a Jalandhar village.
Punjab Inspector General of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill has said they strongly suspect an ISI angle and foreign funding in ‘Waris Punjab De’.
He has also said a total of 114 people have been arrested so far since the crackdown has launched.