Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh's main aide Joga Singh (yellow turban) | Photo: PTI
Chandigarh/Amritsar: The Punjab Police has arrested a key aide of radical preacher Amritpal Singh for allegedly providing shelter and other assistance to the absconding Khalistan sympathiser in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit.
Joga Singh, a resident of Ludhiana and the in-charge of a "dera" in Pilibhit, was arrested from Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib after he crossed over to Punjab from Haryana, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Border Range) Narinder Bhargav told reporters.
"We have arrested Joga Singh, an aide of Amritpal Singh," Bhargav said, adding that a joint operation of the Amritsar Police (Rural) and the Hoshiarpur Police led to the arrest.
He said Joga Singh provided shelter to Amritpal Singh and his aide Papalpreet Singh in Pilibhit and also arranged vehicles for them.
"Joga Singh was in direct contact with Amritpal Singh. He arranged their shelter in Pilibhit and vehicles for them. He brought them back to Punjab," the officer said.
He added that the accused will be quizzed and police will act according to the leads provided by him.
Asked whether Amritpal and Papalpreet came to Phagwara from Pilibhit in a vehicle, the officer answered in the affirmative.
"On March 28, there were four people -- Amritpal, Papalpreet, Joga and Gursant -- in Hoshiarpur," he said.
Barring Amritpal, the three others have been arrested, he added.
Amritpal and Papalpreet fled Punjab on March 18 following a police crackdown. They returned to the state on March 28.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Amritsar Rural, Satinder Singh said it was Joga Singh who brought Amritpal to Punjab again.
Asked whether charges under the National Security Act (NSA) have been invoked against Joga Singh, Bhargav answered in the negative.
A case under the relevant sections, including 212 (harbouring offender), of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Arms Act was lodged against Joga Singh on March 28.
Police launched a major crackdown last month against Amritpal and the members of his "Waris Punjab De" outfit.
The Khalistan sympathiser escaped the police net in Jalandhar district on March 18 by switching vehicles and changing appearances.
Amritpal and his associates have been booked in several criminal cases related to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police personnel and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duty by public servants. PTI