As Cops Search For Separatist Amritpal Singh, A Petition Comes Up In Court

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court Sunday issued a notice to the Punjab government on a habeas corpus petition seeking “release” of radical preacher Amritpal Singh from the alleged illegal custody of police.The development comes amid the Punjab Police action against the Khalistan sympathizer and members of his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’.Petitioner Imaan Singh Khara, an advocate, claimed that Amritpal has been “illegally and forcibly” detained by the police from the Shahkot area of Jalandhar.Khara, who is the legal advisor of Amritpal and his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’, apprehended threat to Amritpal’s life.The petitioner prayed for the appointment of a warrant officer to visit the spot if the detenue is found in illegal custody.Khara further prayed that the habeas corpus petition be allowed for the “release” of Amritpal Singh from the alleged custody of police.  Being a holiday, the hearing took place at the residence (camp office) of Justice N S Shekhawat.Following the petition, the court issued a notice of motion to the state government for March 21.The Punjab government had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with the police arresting 78 members of the outfit headed by him, officials said.The elusive preacher, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district, even as authorities stepped up security at several places in the northern state.      Police Sunday said Amritpal is yet to be arrested.