Punjab On Alert As Cops Chase Amritpal Singh; Internet, SMS Services Suspended Till Monday Noon


Section 144 has been imposed in many districts of the state. The police have also increased security in the state.

Punjab govt extends suspension of internet, SMS services till Monday noon; Amritpal Singh remains elusive.

Chandigarh: In order to prevent any untoward incident in case of the arrest of absconding Sikh radical preacher Amritpal Singh, head of ‘Waris Punjab De‘, who has been declared a ‘fugitive’, the police along with CRPF personnel on Sunday conducted flag marches across Punjab. In the interest of public safety, the government extended the suspension of SMS and mobile Internet services, except the voice call, till Monday noon.

“All mobile internet services, all SMS services (except banking & mobile recharge) & all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except the voice call, in the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab suspended till March 20 (12:00 hours) in the interest of public safety: Dept of Home Affairs & Justice, Govt of Punjab,” news agency ANI tweeted.

The Punjab government on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with the police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him. Punjab Police are planning to book Amritpal Singh under the provisions of the National Security Act (NSA), sources privy to the development told the news agency IANS. Amritsar Deputy Commissioner of Police Parminder Singh Bhandal told the media that the police have set up 100 checkpoints in Amritsar and city outskirts to physically check vehicles. CRPF jawans were accompanying the policemen at checkpoints.

Officials told IANS the flag marches are being conducted in towns and cities in all districts. Anticipating a disturbance of peace, a large contingent of the paramilitary force was deployed outside Amritpal Singh’s native village, Jallupur Khaira, in the Amritsar district.

A special team of the police, comprising personnel from seven districts, had followed the separatist leader’s convoy while he was on his way to Jalandhar’s Shahkot tehsil on Saturday. They zeroed in on his vehicle two to three times but Amritpal Singh managed to escape. Section 144 has been imposed in many districts of the state. The police have also increased security in the state. In addition, all vehicles are being checked at the Punjab-Haryana border. Dubai-returned Amritpal was last year anointed 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.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

Published Date: March 19, 2023 12:00 PM IST

Updated Date: March 19, 2023 12:36 PM IST


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