Ludhiana, March 19
At least 21 supporters of radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh were taken into custody as they tried to stage a 'dharna' on a road here to protest the police crackdown against him, officials said on Sunday.
They were apprehended near Boparai Klan town here.
The Punjab government on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him.
The elusive preacher himself, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in the Jalandhar district. As the operation went underway, authorities stepped up security at several places and suspended internet and SMS services in the state.
The manhunt was still on and Amritpal has been declared a fugitive. Also, the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services in Punjab have been extended till Monday noon Inspector General of Police (Ludhiana range) Kaustabh Sharma said police did not allow them to hold the 'dharna' and were taken into custody.
Flag marches were taken out in Nawanshahr, Dakha and Sidhwan in Ludhiana, police said, adding, "There is complete peace."
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