Crackdown on Amritpal Singh ordered after Centre's 'assurance' to Punjab Govt : The Tribune India

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Crackdown on Amritpal Singh ordered after Centre's 'assurance' to Punjab Govt

Crackdown on Amritpal Singh ordered after Centre's 'assurance' to Punjab Govt

Supporters of Amritpal Singh being produced in a court in Amritsar on Sunday.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 19

Crackdown against pro-Khalistan activist Amritpal Singh came following an assurance given by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann during a recent meeting and deployment of 50 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the state, officials said today.

Central intelligence agencies had long been warning the Punjab Police about Amritpal Singh’s meteoric rise with the backing of Pakistan’s ISI, they said.

The officials said the first alert was issued when Amritpal was anointed the chief of ‘Waris Punjab De’ that was earlier led by Deep Sidhu. When he landed in India in September 2022, the agencies warned the Punjab Police that he could pose threat to law and order in the state, they added.

They said the security setup in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) from the very beginning suspected that Amritpal, who has styled himself after Sikh militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, might have been “planted” in Punjab by Pakistan’s ISI and groomed to make statements that find a consonance with pro-Khalistan elements and invoke separatist sentiments.

They said in view of the programmes regarding the G20 summit organised in Amritsar from the March 15 to 17, the MHA, particularly after the meeting between the Union Home Minister and the Chief Minister, extended full support to the border state. At the request of the state government, the Centre sent 50 teams of paramilitary forces to Punjab.

The additional deployment provided by the Centre included 10 CRPF, eight RPF, 12 BSF, 10 ITBP and 10 SSB units. Besides, the MHA also sent eight specialised anti-riot squads of the CRPF to Punjab.

The troops that reached Punjab on March 6 were instructed to stay till March 16. Their further deployment was continued in view of the crackdown against Amritpal Singh in consultation with the state government, the officials said.

Sources in the intelligence agencies said the pro-Khalistan activist is believed to be a close associate of UK-based separatist Avtar Singh Khanda. Khanda is believed to behind Amritpal’s meteoric rise, they added.

Khanda is a trusted lieutenant of leader of the banned Babbar Khalsa International Paramjit Singh Pamma, who often holds theoretical training classes for the Sikh youth, they said, adding that the trio have been aiming to destabilise Punjab.

ISI backing Amritpal: Intel

Central intelligence agencies had long been warning the Punjab Police about Amritpal Singh’s meteoric rise with the backing of Pakistan’s ISI, officials said.

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#amit shah #Amritpal Singh #bhagwant mann


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