Punjab police cancel gun licence of Amritpal Singh’s aide, opposition mocks Mann govt
The police chase of Waris Punjab De vehicles in the villages of Jalandhar district was documented by live-streaming and short videos uploaded on Twitter and Facebook by Amritpal’s associates before the Punjab government at noon suspended all mobile internet services, SMS services and dongle services in the state till noon on Sunday. The order to suspend internet services was dated March 17 this year.
Many district administrations in Punjab, including those in Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Fazilka, Muktsar and Faridkot, imposed CrPC Section 144 as they were worried about a deterioration in the law and order situation.
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The police said it had launched a massive state-wide cordon-and-search operation against Waris Punjab De on Saturday and arrested 78 persons till the evening. It had also “detained several others” for questioning.
Amritpal’s associates were intercepted on the Shahkot-Malsian road in Jalandhar district and seven persons were arrested on the spot, said the police. “Several others, including Amritpal Singh, are on the run and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab them,” the official police spokesperson said.
It is learnt that senior police officers, including Jalandhar police commissioner Kudeep Singh Chahal, DIG Swapan Sharma, Amritsar Rural SSP Satinder Singh and AGTF DSP Bikram Brar were part of the operation on the ground in Jalandhar’s rural areas.
Arms seized during hunt for Amritpal
The police listed four criminal cases against Waris Punjab De associates, who are described in the statement as “elements”, for the attack on Ajnala police station in Amritsar a day earlier. This is the first time the police have revealed that an FIR was filed in that case against Amritpal and his supporters. The three remaining cases are related to spreading disharmony, attempted murder, attack on police personnel and creating obstruction in the lawful discharge of duties by public servants.
On Saturday, news of the impending arrest of Amritpal spread online, with videos from Amritpal’s associates urging his supporters to gather at Shahkot, Jalandhar , as the police were trying to arrest Amritpal.
Amritpal had been scheduled to travel to Muktsar to start the second leg of his “Khalsa Wahir (caravan)” on Sunday.Punjab additional chief secretary (home) Anurag Varma issued the order to suspend mobile internet, dongle and SMS services in Punjab, citing a request from Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav, who held that there was a threat to public order and incitement of violence by “certain sections”.
The order mentioned that “these sections” were widely using social media platforms for spreading inflammatory material and false rumours to provoke mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators, and to mobilise manpower and resources for their ‘anti-national’ activities. Amritpal’s father Tarsem Singh said on Saturday evening that the police had searched his house and urged him to advise his son to surrender. Jallupur Khera has been cordoned off by Punjab police and central paramilitary personnel and Amritpal’s supporters were not allowed to gather at the village. The police also surrounded Bulandpuri Dera, early afternoon but the cordon was lifted later.
Police urged people not to believe fake news and rumours. Anyone indulging in mischievous activities to disturb peace and harmony in the state shall be dealt with strictly, the cops warned.