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'Won't surrender,' says Amritpal Singh in fresh audio message

The radical preacher urges Akal Takht to call 'sarbat khalsa'

Amritpal Singh Amritpal Singh

Even as the security agencies continue their manhunt to nab Amritpal Singh, the radical Sikh preacher released another audio clip on Thursday dismissing speculation that he is planning to surrender. Amritpal, who has been evading arrest ever since the Punjab Police launched a crackdown on him on March 19, reiterated his request to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to summon a sarbat khalsa congregation.

The Waris Punjab De chief had released a video on Wednesday in which he had termed the police action against him as an attack on the Sikh community. He had also urged Akal Takht to hold a meeting on the occasion of Baiskahi “to break the fear created by the government in the minds of the people.”

"I have urged the jathedar (chief) to call the sarbat khalsa. Call the sarbat khalsa, and prove that you are the jathedar,” he said in the new audio clip. Akal Takht is the highest temporal body of Sikhs.

Calling for unity among Sikh bodies, he said it's high time the entire community came together. “If we are going to play politics even today, doing the same things we used to do earlier, then what's the point of being a jathedar in the future?,” he asked.

Amritpal also dismissed media reports that he had put conditions for his surrender and said has not even spoken to anyone over offering arrest.

Punjab Police launched its crackdown on Amritpal on March 18, nearly three weeks after scores of his supporters broke through barricades and barged into a police station at Ajnala in Amritsar to protest against the arrest of one of his aides.

The elusive preacher, however, gave the police the slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Punjab's Jalandhar district on March 19. Ever since then, he remains untraceable even as reports suggested that he had fled to Uttarakhand and then to Nepal.

The government has invoked the stringent National Security Act against him. Some men, believed to be his key associates, have been booked under the same law and lodged at the Dibrugarh Central Jail in Assam. 

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