18 Mar 2023

Punjab: Nearly 80 Aides of Waris Punjab De Chief Amritapal Held In Major Crackdown

Jalandhar: Punjab Police launched a crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh on Saturday detaining nearly 80 of his supporters and aides. Raids are being conducted to arrest Amritpal, chief of Waris Punjab De. Some early media reports said that Amritpal had been arrested. But now it is clear that he has not been arrested do far. Internet services were suspended across Punjab till 12 noon on Sunday as a precautionary measure.

Among those arrested include Amritpal's father and uncle. They have been charge for attempt to murder, attacking police station and causing disruption in government work.
There were some reports suggesting that the Amritpal Singh too had been detained near Nakodar but no official confirmation has come in this regard so far.

Amritapal and aides had attacked police station last month

Amritpal and 80 of his associates were arrested by the Punjab Police from different places on Saturday. These arrests were made in the case related to the attack on Ajnala police station.

On February 23, 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, and clashed with police for the release of one of Amritpal's aide. During the incident, six policemen including a Superintendent of Police rank officer had suffered injuries.

Amritpal's aides held while on way to Moga

Amritpal's companions were caught on Saturday afternoon while going from Jalandhar towards Moga. As the Punjab Police cordoned off the area, Amritpal escaped in his car. 

The police gave him hot chase. However, Amritpal managed to escape. But the police have laid siege to his village and efforts continue to nab him.  

Meanwhile, mobile internet services were suspended in Punjab for 24 hours due to apprehension of worsening of the situation. Mobile internet and bulk SMS services will remain suspended in the state till 12 noon on Sunday.

Protests held against arrest

On the other hand, protest against the arrest of Amritpal were organized in Mohali. Here on the Chandigarh-Mohali border, about 150 Nihangs belonging to the Insaaf Morcha came out on the roads carrying swords and sticks.
There are 3 cases registered against Amritpal, the chief of pro-Khalistan organization 'Waris Punjab De'. Two cases are registered in Ajnala police station of Amritsar district.

Amritpal, supporters were coming to attend a programme

On Saturday, Amritpal organized programs on the Jalandhar-Moga National Highway in Shahkot-Malsian area and Rampura Phool in Bathinda district. In the Shahkot-Malsian area, supporters had started gathering since morning for his programme.
Even before this programme, the Jalandhar and Moga police had chalked out a strategy to arrest Amritpal secretly in a joint operation. For this, the police force was called from many nearby districts overnight. Heavy blockade was also imposed on the Jalandhar-Moga National Highway since morning.

Police laid a cordon

As soon as Amritpal's convoy reached near Mehatpur town of Jalandhar at around 1 pm on Saturday, the police laid a cordon. 6 people traveling in the 2 vehicles running at the forefront of the convoy were caught. Amritpal's Mercedes car was at number three in the convoy. Seeing the police, his driver drove away by turning the car towards the link road. Jalandhar and Moga police followed him.

Police appeal to maintain peace

Meanwhile, Punjab Police asked people to maintain peace and harmony. 'Request all citizens to maintain peace & harmony Punjab Police is working to maintain Law & Order. Request citizens not to panic or spread fake news or hate speech,' police said in a tweet.


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