Security has been stepped up across the state of Punjab as searches continue to nab pro-Khalistan outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh, who has been declared a “fugitive”, hours after a massive operation by the police.
During the operation, a total of 78 persons have been arrested so far, while, several others have been detained for questioning, it said. Amritpal Singh and others are on the run and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab them, a police spokesperson said.
The police action came a day ahead of the start of Amritpal Singh’s ‘Khalsa Wahir’ – a religious procession – from Muktsar district.
A heavy deployment of security forces had been made near village Jallupur Khera in Amritsar, the native place of Amritpal Singh, for the operation.
The father of Amritpal Singh said the Punjab Police searched his Amritsar home but found no “illegal” items.
“We don’t have any information about his whereabouts. They carried out a search at our residence for 3-4 hours but did not find anything illegal. Police should have arrested him before he left home,” Tarsem Singh told ANI.
Who is Amritpal Singh?
Amritpal Singh was last year named the head of ‘Waris Punjab De’, which was founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year.
Reports claimed that Amritpal Singh has been maintaining close links with Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and terrorist groups based in foreign countries.
Amitpal Singh, who had even issued a veiled threat to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, saying he would face a similar fate as Indira Gandhi.
Singh said, “if the government of India is actually a secular government, then tell me that has Prime Minister or Home Minister ever said that they will stop people who talk about ‘Hindu Rashtra’. It means there’s discrimination.”
“Sikhs have their aspirations and Hindus have theirs, while they [Hindus] can freely talk about theirs, we can’t. So, I firmly believe that the Khalistan movement can’t be stopped from flourishing,” he was quoted saying by The Hindu.
“Indira Gandhi attempted to stop, what was the result, this government can also try if they want to fulfil their desire. We have our heads on our hands. If we were scared of death, we wouldn’t have chosen this path,” he said.
Amritpal Singh on Saturday claimed that he does “not” consider himself a citizen of India and passport is just a “travel document” as it will not make him an Indian.
I don’t consider myself a citizen of India. I just have a passport, which does not make me Indian. It’s a travel document,” he said.
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