After being in hiding for more than a month, the fugitive preacher Amritpal Singh surrendered this morning in Moga, Punjab.
Amritpal Singh, who the government accuses of being a Khalistani-Pakistan agent, addressed a gathering at a Gurdwara in the Moga district’s Rode village before turning himself in.
According to officials, he was taken into custody in the Gurdwara. Moga is the native village of Khalistani separatist and terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Amritpal Singh is referred to among his followers as “Bhindranwale 2.0” and declares to be one of them.
Eight of his aides are already being detained in Assam’s Dibrugarh jail under the National Security Act, where he is now being sent.
“He is an NSA subject and will be taken to Dibrugarh,” said the officer on the arrest of Amritpal.
Since Punjab Police initiated a significant search against him and the members of his “Waris Punjab De” outfit on March 18, Amritpal has been hiding out. His surrender comes days after his wife Kirandeep Kaur was barred from boarding a flight to London at the Amritsar airport.
Following Amritpal’s arrest, Punjab police have urged the public to uphold peace and harmony and avoid spreading any fake news.
Nearly three weeks after the radical preacher and his supporters entered the Ajnala police station brandishing weapons in exchange for the release of one of his aides, a massive crackdown against Amritpal Singh was initiated. The altercation injured six police officers.
According to officials, the ‘top secret’ operation was the result of a coordinated effort by the BJP-ruled Assam government, the Centre, and Punjab’s Aam Aadmi Party government. According to sources, on March 2, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Home Minister Amit Shah met to discuss the strategy for apprehending Amritpal Singh.
Amritpal Singh was allegedly promoting “gun culture” among youth and attempting to create a communal divide in Punjab.
Amritpal Singh, according to Home Ministry officials, was preparing to lead a nationwide procession to prepare young people for suicide bombings. Through Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence, the radical preacher was obtaining weapons from Pakistan illegally and stockpiling them in de-addiction facilities.
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