As radical preacher Amritpal Singh continued to be on the run, Punjab Police on Sunday came across an abandoned car in Jalandhar district with a rifle and several dozens of live cartridges inside it. Police seized the ammunition and said the black-coloured multi-utility car was most likely part of Amritpal's convoy on Saturday.
The same car was also captured a day earlier in a video, they said. A rifle, 57 live cartridges, a sword, and a registration number plate were among the articles recovered from the vehicle, police said.
The vehicle was found in an abandoned state in Salema village in Jalandhar's Shahkot, said Jalandhar Rural Senior Superintendent of Police Swarandeep Singh.
Interacting with reporters on the spot where the vehicle was found, Singh said, "we came to know that an abandoned vehicle had been found in Salema village." "The key of the vehicle was also lying there. A private walkie talkie, a .315 bore rifle and 57 live cartridges were found," he said.
The Punjab government on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him, officials said. The preacher himself, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district.
On Saturday, police had said it had launched a "massive state-wide cordon and search operations (CASO)" in the state against elements of the 'Waris Punjab De' (WPD), headed by Amritpal, against whom several criminal cases have been registered.
A police spokesperson said that the WPD elements are involved in four criminal cases relating to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police personnel, and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties of public servants.
An FIR on February 24 was registered against WPD elements in connection with the attack on Ajnala Police Station. Last month, Amritpal and his supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into the Ajnala Police Station in the outskirts of the Amritsar city, clashing with police for the release of one of Amritpal's aide.
Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh was last year anointed the head of 'Waris Punjab De', which was founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year.