CHANDIGARH: Amritpal Singh, a radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathizer, was arrested by the Punjab Police after a dramatic chase. Amritpal is the leader of “Waris Punjab De,” a radical organization started by actor and activist Deep Sidhu. Police had prior information of Amritpal’s visit to Jalandhar’s Shahkot tehsil, and a special team of the state police comprising personnel from seven districts had followed his convoy.
The police had closed all roads and set up huge barricades in Shahkot to prevent any disturbance. The internet was suspended across the state until 12 pm tomorrow as Amritpal’s associates started circulating frantic videos appealing to supporters to reach Shahkot.
Request all citizens to maintain peace & harmony— Punjab Police India (@PunjabPoliceInd) March 18, 2023
Punjab Police is working to maintain Law & Order
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Amritpal has been active in Punjab for a few years and is often seen escorted by armed supporters. He was at the center of a massive protest on February 23 against the arrest of his key aide, kidnapping accused Lovepreet Singh. His supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into a police station in Ajnala on the outskirts of Amritsar city, extracting an assurance from the police that Lovepreet Singh would be released.
After the Ajnala incident, the BJP demanded Governor’s rule in the state, and the Punjab Congress sought the arrest of Amritpal Singh and his supporters for attacking police personnel. The Punjab Police were heavily criticized for dragging their feet in taking action regarding the incident.
Reacting to the police action today, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu criticized Amritpal Singh, saying, “the man who used to talk about taking up arms for Khalistan is today running away fearing the police.” He further added, “He is running around in the streets like a gidad (jackal). I used to say earlier, too, that he has come to get our children killed. He is a man of (intelligence) agencies.”
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had recently said that his government was committed to maintaining law and order in the state, and no one would be allowed to disturb the hard-earned peace.
The arrest of Amritpal Singh is a significant development, and it remains to be seen how it will impact the radical Sikh movement in Punjab. The state has witnessed a resurgence in separatist sentiments in recent years, and the police and the government have been working to prevent any violent outbreak. The arrest of Amritpal Singh is a step in that direction.