Amritpal arrest:After more than a month, fugitive Amritpal Singh, chief of ‘Waris Punjab de, a terrorist organisation, has been arrested in the Moga district of Punjab. On April 23, Punjab and Delhi Police arrested the absconded radical terrorist near a gurdwara. Meanwhile, a video also surfaced in which Amritpal addressed a gathering in Rodewal Gurdwara in Moga’s Rode village before surrendering. According to reports, Punjab Police had been planning a crackdown on Amritpal since last night before finally catching him this morning.
It is worth noting that Amritpal is booked under the National Security Act (NSA) after intelligence reports of him being connected to the ISI were confirmed. The police started a hunt for him. This led to the arrest of Amritpal various aides.
On March 18th, the Punjab Police detained 78 individuals and initiated a search for Amritpal regarding several criminal cases. This action was taken around three weeks after a group of Amritpal’s followers raided Ajnala police station in Amritsar on February 23rd, demanding the liberation of one of his associates, Lovepreet Toofan.
A hunt that led to the arrest of hundreds
Following that incident, several associates of the extremist have been taken into custody. In a collaborative effort by the Punjab and Delhi Police on April 18th, two more accomplices of the absconding radical preacher and Khalistan leader, Amritpal Singh, were detained in Mohali, Punjab. On April 15th, Joga Singh, a confidant of his, was apprehended by the Punjab Police in the Fatehgarh Sahib district’s Sirhind area. Papalpreet Singh, another close associate of the pro-Khalistani leader, was also arrested by the Punjab Police and its counter-intelligence unit on April 10th.
The police had been pursuing Amritpal through various states after CCTV footage emerged of him fleeing on a motorcycle. As per the police, on the afternoon of March 18th, Amritpal absconded on the Shahkot-Malsian Road in Jalandhar, switched to another vehicle, and went to a “gurdwara,” where he stayed for approximately 45 minutes. While there, he altered his attire before departing on the motorcycle that was subsequently confiscated.
Amritpal arrest: Nepal connections
On March 28, Indian authorities also reached out to Nepal, saying that he was hiding there and planning to flee to another country using his Indian passport. Indian authorities were under pressure as a fugitive had been out for more than a month and forces were not able to catch him.
Just three days ago, Kirandeep Kaur, wife of Amritpal Singh, was stopped by the Punjab Police while attempting to board a flight to London at Shri Guru Ram Dass International Airport in Amritsar. According to police insiders, Amritpal’s spouse was set to depart for Birmingham on the afternoon flight, and she arrived at the airport to board the Amritsar-to-Birmingham flight. However, since she was a subject of a Look Out Circular (LOC), the immigration authorities did not allow her to travel, and she was detained, as per airport sources.
Apparently, the planning for surrender had been going on for many days, which is why Kirandeep Kaur tried to flee to the UK. The way Amritpal is arrested in Rode shows that the police were following the leads and connecting the dots efficiently.
Earlier on Saturday, Amit Shah was asked about arrest of Amritpal, to which he replied, “It may happen sometime. Earlier he used to roam freely, but now he cannot carry on with his activities.”
Amritpal played his last card
According to the police, Amritpal would be taken to Dibrugarh Jail in Assam, where other radical elements detained in this case are being held.
It is interesting to note that the village at which Amritpal is arrested was the birthplace of Jarnail Singh Bhindrewala, who was neutralised in Operation Blue Star and was himself an ISI-linked terrorist. He used Khalistani propaganda to radicalise the Sikhs. Currently, many Khlaistani sympathisers portray him as a Khalistani hero and a Sikh saint.
So, Amritpal being dressed up like him before being arrested and addressing people from a Gurudwara in Rode itself speaks volumes about the message he wanted to convey. It looked like his last card to play. He wanted to garner sympathy for him across the Punjab. However, time will tell whether his trump card was a successful move or just a blunder. For now, there is no such sympathy for him in Punjab, except from some of the radical elements.
People of Punjab know clearly that a person keeping an ISI link can never be a Sikh sympathiser and instead is a Sikh appeaser.
Apart from that, he will never succeed in his motives as long as Indian authorities are vigilant and the people of Punjab believe that they belong to India, and it was Bhindrawale who was the reason for atrocities against Sikhs.
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