'Deep Sidhu disliked Amritpal Singh, blocked his phone' : The Tribune India

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'Deep Sidhu disliked Amritpal Singh, blocked his phone'

Mandeep Singh Sidhu says probe his antecedents

'Deep Sidhu disliked Amritpal Singh, blocked his phone'

YouTube/ SagaHits file photo



Tribune News Service

Jupinderjit Singh

Chandigarh, October 7

As the security agencies remain on tenterhooks on developments surrounding the emergence of a new hardline leader, Amritpal Singh, the family of the late actor and activist, Deep Sidhu, has called for an investigation into his antecedents.

Mandeep Sidhu, Ludhiana-based younger brother of Deep Sidhu and advocate, said Amritpal’s appointment as head of Waris Punjab De, which was founded by his brother, was illegal. “An impression is being given that Deep Sidhu had groomed Amritpal and our family is a party to the decision to appoint Amritpal as the head. However, this is not true. In fact, Deep never talked about Amritpal and seemed he disliked him. He had blocked Amritpal’s phone for 15 days in January and February,” he said.

Brother says probe his antecedents

An impression is being given that Deep Sidhu had groomed Amritpal and our family is a party to the decision to appoint Amritpal as the head of Waris Punjab De. This is totally untrue. — Mandeep Singh Sidhu, Brother

Mandeep said the screenshots of the blocked number have been shared on social media. “My brother’s phone is with me. I have the evidence,” he said.

Mandeep said Deep had laid down his life for Punjab and had founded Waris Punjab De after much study and research. “It has been hijacked. We need an inquiry into the issue.” Amritpal was appointed the head of Waris Punjab De via a message on the Facebook page of the organisation earlier this year. After that Amritpal has made two public appearances where, as per critics and the security agencies, he has tried to look like slain Sikh leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Last week, he caught attention at a function in Rode, the native village of Bhindranwale, on the occasion of his “dastar bandhi”. Earlier, he partook of “amrit” at Anandpur Sahib in the presence of a large crowd. In his speeches, Amritpal has asked Sikh youths to return to the Sikh Panth. He said cutting hair and the influence of pop culture and drugs were taking the youths away from the tenets of Sikhism and all Sikhs should wear turbans.

Some retired police officials call Amritpal’s emergence and the tone and tenor of his speeches and attire a well-laid-out script of the 1980s. “It’s the same script. At that time too, religion was the rallying point for hardliners. It remains to be seen if moderate voices and the security agencies are able to check any development leading to a law and order problem,” one of them said.

Interestingly, some foreign-based Sikh journalists have been covering the movement of Amritpal widely while a local journalist has complained that he had received death threats from Amritpal. His complaint is pending with the Mohali police.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) is the only party openly supporting Amritpal. “Seeking sovereignty is a legal right of the Sikhs or any community. However, we do not support any use of violent means to achieve this,” said Prof Mohinder Pal Singh, a spokesperson for the party.

Farmer leader Joginder Ugrahan has criticised Amritpal and the SAD-Amritsar for their speeches. “Amritpal is a nobody. He is just a Class XII passout and has no experience with issues of farming and Punjab. The worst is that he is associated with a party which calls Shaheed Bhagat Singh a terrorist. We did not allow them to hijack our farmer agitation, a peaceful movement, and succeeded because of it.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs has already cautioned the Punjab Government about the Rode function and has asked it for maintaining vigil.

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