The Punjab and Haryana High Court today slammed Punjab police and asked them to submit a status report in their operation against Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh.
"You have 80,000 cops. What were they doing? How did Amritpal Singh escape?" the High Court asked Punjab government. The court remarked that this is an intelligence failure of the state's police.
The court's remarks come amid the Punjab Police action against the Khalistan leader and members of his outfit 'Waris Punjab De'.
The Punjab police told the court that they launched a major crackdown against Amritpal Singh on Saturday, and have managed to arrest 120 of his supporters.
The elusive preacher, however, gave them the slip and again escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district. Amritpal Singh, whom the government describes as a Khalistani-Pakistan agent, was last seen speeding away on a motorcycle on Saturday evening in Jalandhar.
Singh has been active in Punjab for the last few years and is often seen escorted by armed supporters. He claims to be a follower of Khalistani separatist and terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and is known as "Bhindranwale 2.0" among his supporters.
Earlier today, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said strict action will be taken against those trying to disturb peace and harmony in the state.
"We will not spare any force working against the country. People of this state want peace and progress," Mr Mann said, adding that no incident of violence has been reported since the operation to arrest the Khalistani leader began.
The crackdown comes a month after Amritpal Singh and his supporters broke into a police station with swords and guns for the release of one of his aides. Six police officials were injured in the clash.