Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh arrested from Punjab’s Moga 

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Amritpal Singh, a pro-Khalistan propagandist and the leader of the Waris Punjab De organisation, was detained on April 23 in Moga by Punjab Police on National Security Act allegations. Amritpal’s arrest comes less than a month after the police initiated a big crackdown on him and his organisation.

Sukhchain Singh Gill, Inspector-General of Police Headquarters, said Amritpal was apprehended today at roughly 6.45 a.m. from Rode village in Moga district, following a 35-day special operation. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the militant leader assassinated in 1984, was born in Rode.

Amritpal Singh was the subject of NSA warrants, which were carried out this morning. Amritpal was apprehended by police at 6:45 a.m. on April 23 in Rode village, Moga district. “Law will take its own course,” Gill remarked at a press conference here.

Amritpal had been missing for about a month, according to Gill. “A special operation was launched by Amritsar Police and the Punjab Police Intelligence Wing to apprehend him.” Based on operational data received by the police, he was located in Rode village. The village was then encircled. He was inside a Gurdwara, but the cops did not enter to protect its sanctity. “When Amritpal realised he couldn’t flee, he was apprehended and taken to Dibrugarh (Assam) under NSA,” Gill explained.

Gill stated, amid rumours of Amritpal’s surrender, that “Amritpal Singh was arrested based on operational inputs.” There was no way for him to flee. He was apprehended.”

Amritpal rose to prominence last year after being appointed as the leader of the ‘Waris Punjab De,’ a social organization founded by actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, who actively participated in the year-long farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws drafted by the Centre and raised Punjab-centric issues. He was killed in a car accident in February of last year.

The NSA has imprisoned nine of Amritpal’s assistants, including Daljit Singh Kalsi, Papalpreet Singh, Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, Varinder Singh Johal, Gurmeet Singh Bukkanwala, Harjit Singh, Bhagwant Singh, Basant Singh, and Gurinderpal Singh Aujla, in Dibrugarh, Assam.

On March 18, the Punjab Police initiated an investigation into Amritpal and members of his organization. The Punjab Police had used the harsh National Security Act NSA to prosecute the Khalistan sympathiser. The protest came nearly three weeks after Amritpal’s followers stormed Amritsar’s Ajnala police station on February 23, demanding the release of one of his aides, Lovepreet Toofan. As a shield, the demonstrators brought a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book.

The Punjab government fell in to the demand, but the incident served as a catalyst, prompting the Punjab police to undertake a coordinated operation on pro-Khalistan propagator Amritpal Singh.

Amritpal is facing charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for causing discord among classes, attempting to murder, attacking police officers, and obstructing the legal exercise of duty by public workers. He had been on the run for more than a month after fleeing police on March 18 when his cavalcade was stopped in Jalandhar district. At least a half-dozen criminal cases have been filed against the 30-year-old.

The year-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) administration in Punjab has been chastised for the poor state of law and order and is perceived as being on the back foot after the police failed to apprehend Amritpal following the crackdown on him and all others attempting to disrupt the law.

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