On Saturday, Amritpal Singh, who is said to be a leader of the Khalistan movement and the chief of Waris Punjab De, was reportedly taken into police custody near Nakodar in Jalandhar, India. This action was taken as part of a police operation against the separatist leader, and earlier, six of his associates had been apprehended in Jalandhar and are currently being interrogated at an undisclosed location. Today, the Punjab Police reportedly pursued Singh and his aides in over 50 police vehicles in an attempt to arrest them after tracing their location to Shahkot.
As a measure to ensure public safety, the Department of Home Affairs and Justice of the Government of Punjab has announced the suspension of all mobile internet services, SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge), and dongle services provided on mobile networks within the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab. This suspension will take effect from 12:00 hours on March 18th and last until 12:00 hours on March 19th. However, voice call services will not be affected by this suspension.
The Punjab Police is reportedly preparing to apprehend self-proclaimed preacher and Khalistan sympathizer, Amritpal Singh, and has already taken into custody six of his associates. As a security measure, internet services have been suspended throughout Punjab until noon tomorrow.
Sources suggest that the state government may have waited for the G20 event to conclude before taking action against Amritpal Singh.
Amritpal Singh is known for being the leader of “Waris Punjab De,” a radical organization established by the late actor Deep Sidhu, who passed away in a road accident last year.
In the meantime, the Punjab Police have appealed to the public to maintain peace and harmony during these uncertain times. In a tweet, they urged citizens not to spread fake news, hate speech or panic, while reassuring them that they are working towards maintaining law and order.
According to a recent report by PTI, last month Amritpal Singh and his supporters, some of whom were reportedly carrying swords and guns, forcibly entered the Ajnala Police Station on the outskirts of Amritsar city, and clashed with the police in an attempt to secure the release of one of Amritpal’s associates. During this incident, six policemen, including a Superintendent of Police rank officer, were reported to have been injured.
In an effort to arrest Khalistani sympathizer Amritpal Singh and his associates, the police have launched an operation in Punjab, resulting in the suspension of internet services across the state. Amritpal Singh, a radical Sikh leader, has recently been active in Punjab, and his supporters clashed with the police at the Ajnala police station near Amritsar last month, demanding the release of one of Amritpal’s aides. As per news agency PTI, six of Amritpal’s aides were detained on Saturday in Jalandhar.
Some supporters of ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief shared videos on social media claiming that the police were chasing them, while another video showed Amritpal sitting in a vehicle with one of his aides claiming that the police were after him. PTI reported that internet services will remain suspended in Punjab until Sunday.