The driver of a motorised cargo rickshaw who gave a ride to Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh on Saturday told NDTV that he did not know who the passenger was at that time.
Lakhveer Singh, the driver of the rehra - a noisy motorised rickshaw with a small trailer for carrying cargo - told NDTV he was heading towards village Mehatpur, about 5 km from his village Udhowal in Punjab's Jalandhar district, when he saw two men standing on the side of the road with a motorcycle.
"They told me they have a flat tyre. I saw the rear tyre was punctured. They asked me to take them to a tyre-repair shop and loaded the motorcycle on the trailer," Mr Singh told NDTV, pointing at his three-wheeler parked outside his house.
"I didn't know who they were at that time, never seen them before," said the driver who frequents between villages Udhowal and Mehatpur for a living.
"I told them there's a shop in another village nearby for which we need to drive back towards the side from where the two came. But they said there was no need to go towards that side. So we went onwards to Mehatpur. They got down at a puncture shop on the outskirts of Mehatpur," Mr Singh told NDTV.
Mr Singh said he couldn't recall the colour of the clothes the two men were wearing. "Only after the police talked to me I came to know who they were," he said, adding he asked for a fee for taking them to the tyre-repair shop and they paid him Rs 100.
"I had headphones plugged in and this open vehicle makes a lot of noise, so can't recall hearing anything they were talking. Police also asked me about the day and I told them everything. They did not harass me," Mr Singh told NDTV.
Amritpal Singh had changed five vehicles in 12 hours to escape arrest on Saturday. He is still on the run. The other man on the Bajaj Platina motorcycle whose tyre got punctured has been identified from CCTV footage as Pappal Preet, a close aide of the Khalistani leader.