Reported By: Aman Sharma
Edited By: Shilpy Bisht
Last Updated: April 23, 2023, 09:53 IST
New Delhi, India
It will also be probed if Amritpal Singh got some outside help during his 36-day long escape and if anti-India forces helped him with logistics during his run to various states before returning to Punjab. (Screengrab via PTI)
The dramatic arrest of Amritpal Singh from a gurdwara in Rode village in Punjab on Sunday, which is the native village of Khalistani leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, is a major breakthrough for the Punjab Police. The central agencies would now want to know from Singh how he was backed by the ISI to come to Punjab from Dubai where he was working for his family business.
Singh was on the run for almost 36 days before his arrest from the Rode village in Moga district early on Sunday morning. Singh reached the village gurdwara in the wee hours of Sunday, spoke briefly to the devotees there and said he wanted to surrender here. This village is where Bhindranwale was born and also where in a ceremony held on September 29 last year, Singh was appointed as the next chief of the outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’ by his supporters. His presence in the Rode village at the time of his arrest shows Singh wanted to make a statement as he had modelled himself on Bhindranwale and was trying to become a separatist leader with similar appeal in Punjab. But his bumbling escape had worked against his image.
Government sources told News18 that the top priority now is to interrogate Singh on his links with the Pakistan ISI and expose the entire conspiracy on how he had been supported by the ISI to come to Punjab from Dubai with the objective of stirring trouble. He is being flown to Assam’s Dibrugarh jail by a special aircraft and had been booked earlier under the National Security Act (NSA). A key development leading to his arrest was the questioning of his wife, Kirandeep Kaur, on April 20 when she was trying to fly out to for London from the Amritsar airport.
There had been reports earlier that Singh could surrender on the occasion of Baisakhi earlier this month at the Talwandi Sabo Gurudwara but the police had ramped up security and vigil there then. The Punjab police is probing Singh’s intention behind arriving in the Rode village. The agencies would also question Singh on his involvement in drug trade as well as weapon trade as drone sightings from across the border had increased ever since Singh’s return to Punjab last August and it is suspected he was dealing in drugs and arms.
When Singh was arrested, he was back in his baptised Sikh attire of long white robes — a departure from his look during his escape when he started wearing jeans and shirts and tried to hoodwink the police by changing his appearance.
Agencies would now quiz him about his criminal connections to the drugs mafia and gun dealers and his attempts to create law and order problems and trying to disturb social harmony. His earlier act of taking the holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, to the Ajnala Police station had earned him the displeasure of the Sikh clergy and a committee inquiry by the Akal Takht.
The agencies had earlier cited how the de-addiction centre run by Amritpal Singh in his village near Amritsar had actually become a centre for radicalising youth and convert them into a private militia for Amritpal Singh. The agencies would question him on his intentions behind building this private militia and giving them arms training. It will also be probed if he got some outside help during his 36-day long escape and if anti-India forces helped him with logistics during his run during which Amritpal travelled to various states before returning to Punjab.
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Reported By: Aman Sharma