Internet lockdown in Punjab extended until Tuesday noon

NewsCitiesChandigarhAmritpal Singh Case Live Updates: PIL Appeal to Punjab and Haryana High Court Against Internet Ban Amritpal Singh Case Live Updates: Harjit Singh, Uncle of Waris Punjab De Chief Amritpal Singh, was arrested along with his driver on the intervening night between the Arrested March 19-20 Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel flag march amid crackdown on Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh and his aides in Jalandhar, Monday March 20, 2023. (PTI Photo )

Amritpal Singh case live updates, March 20: A petition has been filed in Punjab and Haryana High Court against the suspension of internet services in Punjab amid ongoing violence against Amritpal Singh, the head of Waris Punjab De. Taking into account the law and order, the Punjab government had extended the suspension of internet services in the state by a further 24 hours until Tuesday noon. Police today warned against cracking down on those who disrupt peace and communal harmony in the state, adding that Amritpal is still on the run and efforts are being made to catch him.

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In the latest development in the case, Punjab Police said they had invoked the strict National Security Act (NSA) against five members of “Waris Punjab De”, four of whom have already been sent to Dibrugarh and the fifth – Amritpal Singhs Uncle Harjit Singh – is taken to Dibrugarh. Punjab Police Inspector General Sukhchain Singh Gill shared the news during a news conference at noon today. Harjit Singh, Amritpal’s uncle, was arrested along with his driver on the night of March 19-20.

Meanwhile, pro-Khalistan protesters in different countries have started holding demonstrations and demanding harsh criticism to show their support for Amritpal. Khalistan supporters rallied outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra today to protest the police crackdown on Amritpal and its Punjab allies. Pro-Khalistan separatists lowered the Indian flag outside the Indian High Commission in London yesterday. Another group of pro-Khalistan protesters attacked and damaged the Indian consulate in San Francisco on Sunday.

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Amritpal Singh case live updates: NSA subpoenaed against 5 members of Waris Punjab De; Punjab internet lockdown extended until Tuesday noon; Day 3 of the operation continues, Amritpal remains elusive. Follow the latest updates from Punjab here

When members of Quami Insaf Morcha protested against the crackdown on Amritpal Singh, heavy police presence was deployed at the protest site. (Express File Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Timing, they say, is everything. And two days after celebrating its first year in power, Bhagwant Singh Mann’s government appeared to have finally decided that this was the case. On the eve of the first anniversary of the death of controversial Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, the Punjab government launched a nationwide crackdown on Amritpal Singh – the self-proclaimed preacher whose open separatist agenda went virtually unchallenged for eight months – and members of his group Waris Punjab De.

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The much-maligned Punjab police publicly followed and filmed Amritpal on Saturday, busting the myth of the “brave heart,” at least for now.

While confusion over whether he managed to escape has fueled much speculation, as some Sikh organizations abroad are drawing the attention of human rights organizations and expressing fears about Amritpal’s fate, both the state and the Government breathe a sigh of relief that there are hardly any counter-reactions to the measures taken on Saturday.

Authorities cleared the decks for police action against Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh more than two weeks ago and police were preparing a meticulous plan to arrest him en route to Rampura Phul, where the self-proclaimed preacher died on Saturday, a day after Three G20 meetings scheduled for an event are over in Amritsar.

On February 28, the Punjab government applied to the Union Home Office for 120 companies of the central armed forces for the state. Sources said it had a plan to take immediate action against Amritpal, whose supporters stormed Ajnala police station near Amritsar on February 23 to free one of his associates from custody.

But the government, sources said, decided to wait as G20 meetings were held in Amritsar from March 15-17 and they wanted them to be over. Two more work-related meetings are planned for Sunday and Monday in Amritsar.

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First published on: 03/19/2023 at 2:00 PM IST

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