Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh Saturday asked fugitive radical preacher Amritpal Singh to surrender before police and cooperate with investigation.
The Jathedar of Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat of Sikhs) also questioned police’s competence, wondering why they have not been able to nab the self-styled Sikh preacher despite having such a big force.
“If Amritpal is out (of police net), then I will ask him to present (before police) and cooperate with (police) investigation,” said the Jathedar.
Singh’s remarks come in the wake of Punjab Police crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh and elements of ‘Waris Punjab De’, an outfit headed by him.
Amritpal Singh has been on the run since March 18, when the police crackdown began.
Several images and videos have shown him taking multiple vehicles to dodge police.
The preacher himself gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district. His whereabouts are still unknown.
The Punjab government has slapped the strictest National Security Act against him and some of his associates.
In a video message on Saturday, the Jathedar said the biggest question in the mind of every Sikh living across the world is how Amritpal Singh could not be arrested despite a big police force in the state. It raises a question over the functioning of the police, he said.
Singh said if the preacher has already been arrested, then police should say so.
The fugitive’s parents had earlier expressed apprehension that their son had already been held by police.
He also asked police to keep in mind that Sikh youths, who have been held in the Amritpal Singh case, have not committed as big crimes as they have been projected to have committed.
Amritpal Singh and his many associates have been booked in several cases by police.
The Akal Takht Jathedar has also called a special gathering of around 60 to 70 Sikh organisations, seminaries and Nihang organisations to discuss the situation in Punjab. No representative of political organisations has been invited.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)