Police started Operation to arrest Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh, Internet suspended in Punjab

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Internet services have been suspended all across Punjab as the police on Saturday launched an operation to arrest Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh and his aides. Radical Sikh leader and Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh has become active in Punjab for the past few weeks as his supporters last month clashed with the police at the Ajnala police station on the outskirts of Amritsar demanding the release of one of Amritpal’s aides. On Saturday, six aides of Amritpal were reportedly detained in Jalandhar, news agency PTI reported.

Some supporters of ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief shared some videos on social media claiming that policemen were chasing them. A video also showed Amritpal sitting in a vehicle and one of his aides could be heard saying policemen were after ‘Bhai saab’ (Amritpal), PTI reported. Officials said internet services will remain suspended in Punjab till Sunday.

As the Internet was suspended, the Punjab Police urged people to maintain peace and harmony and not to spread panic, fake news or hate speech. "Punjab Police is working to maintain law and order," the Punjab Police tweeted. “All mobile internet services, all SMS services (except banking & mobile recharge) & all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except the voice call, in the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab shall be suspended from 18th March (12:00 hours) to 19th March (12:00 hours) in the interest of public safety,” the government said.

Whi is Amritpal Singh, dubbed as ‘Bhindranwale 2.0’?

  1. Amritpal Singh is a controversial Sikh leader who is the chief of Waris Punjab De, formed by Deep Sidhu who was killed in an accident in 2022.
  2. The 29-year-old dresses up like Bhindranwale who was killed during Operation Bluestar. He is called ‘Bhindranwale 2.0 by his supporters.
  3. Amritpal Singh came to India in 2022 and took the reins of Waris Punjab De. Before this, he was working in Dubai.
  4. Amritpal Singh has a huge following and he is seen roaming heavily armed, surrounded by his followers.
  5. Amritpal hails from Jallu-Pur Khaira village falling under Baba Bakala town in Amritsar district.
  6. The Khalistani leader issued a warning to Union home minister Amit Shah. “Amit Shah had said that he won’t let the Khalistan movement rise. I had said that the same was done by Indira Gandhi and if you do the same then you’d have to face consequences. If the home minister says the same to those demanding ‘Hindu Rashtra’, then I will see if he remains home minister,” Amritpal Singh said.
  7. Mr Singh worked in his family-owned transport business earlier. He was made the head of the organisation that Deep Sidhu had formed “to protect the rights of Punjab and raise social issues”.
  8. He claims to be a follower of the Khalistani separatist and terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. He has made controversial speeches in the past few months.
  9. He is married to a UK-based non-resident Indian, Kirandeep Kaur. He moves around with armed men and some of his supporters call him “Bhindranwale 2.0”.

What is Khalistan movement?

The Khalistan movement is a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs by establishing a sovereign state, called Khālistān, in the Punjab region. 

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