Jalandhar, March 20
Despite the relatively less Doaba connect to Amritpal’s Waris Punjab De organisation, the police action against Amritpal and his aides has had a considerable impact on Doaba region as much of the operation and chase on Saturday was based here. Doaba first woke up to Amritpal’s influence in December 2022 during the course of his previous Khalsa Vaheer in the region.
Amritpal Singh’s supporters took out furniture from Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Model Town where they broke sofas and chairs, taking them outside and setting them on fire. A gurdwara at the Biharpuria village in Kapurthala was also similarly vandalised on December 9. The incidents took place during his previous Khalsa Vaheer which passed though Doaba and was welcomed as it passed.
During that phase of his Khalsa Vaheer in Doaba, he had passed through Kapurthala, Kartarpur, Jalandhar, Kukkar Pind, Talhan and Phagwara. At Kapurthala, he also addressed a gathering at a school and visited a popular local godman. He also visited the Talhan Sahib Gurdwara in Jalandhar. In the present leg of his Khalsa Vaheer, he was to head to Muktsar – where all his supporters were gathering for the second phase.
However, leaders said even though the Waris Punjab De group was also known for de-addiction activities, these ‘nasha chudau’ activities were primarily in Majha and Malwa. Basant Singh, one of the five arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) and sent to Assam, was the in-charge of two de-addiction centres – one of which was at Amritpal’s native village Jallupur Kehra and another at Barnala.
Farm leader Nirmal Singh based in Shahkot, Jalandhar, said, “I have several villages under me. We do not know any Khalsa Vaheer activity planned by Amritpal at anytime. While he got some support among the youths, he had no great base in Doaba. In our area, Waris Punjab De has a very limited support base. However, the operation has had a considerable impact on villages. On the day of the operation, many closed shops early and until now, there are stringent checks in the villages. Cops also regularly check vehicles. While people are aware that something big has happened, the internet ban has also impacted us and made us cancel some meetings. Other than that, everything is going on normally.”
Sikh activist Sukhdev Singh Phagwara said, “During the Doaba leg of Amritpal’s visit, he was welcomed at big pandals. At Phagwara, his event saw a gathering of 8,000 to 10,000 people. However, the de-addiction activities of Waris Punjab De were centred in Majha and Malwa. Basant Singh was the in-charge of two centres in Jallupur Khera and Barnala. But in Doaba, the group had no de-addiction centre. Also, all the five supporters of the group arrested by the police are also based in Malwa and Majha.”
All arrested five supporters of Amritpal Singh also hail from Majha or Malwa. Uncle Harjit Singh is a native of Amritpal’s native village Jallupur Khera, associate Daljit Kalsi was arrested from Gurugram and Basant Singh is the in-charge of de-addiction centres. And Facebook influencer Pardhan Mantri Bajeke and Gurmeet Singh Bhukhanwala, a furniture trader, both hail from Moga.
Visited Talhan Sahib Gurdwara
- During that phase of his Khalsa Vaheer in Doaba, he had passed through Kapurthala, Kartarpur, Jalandhar, Kukkar Pind, Talhan and Phagwara. At Kapurthala, he also addressed a gathering at a school and visited a popular local godman.
- He also visited the Talhan Sahib Gurdwara in Jalandhar. In the present leg of his Khalsa Vaheer, he was to head to Muktsar – where all his supporters were gathering for the second phase.
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