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Why Didn't Mann Govt Act All This Time? Political Analysts Speak On Crackdown On Amritpal

"Several others including Amritpal Singh are on run and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab them," police said, adding they have made 78 persons so far.

Amritpal Singh

Image: Twitter

Update at 9 pm: In a statement, Punjab Police said that 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh is still on the run. 

"Several others including Amritpal Singh are on the run and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab them," police said, adding that they have so far made 78 arrests.

After the Punjab Police, on Saturday, launched a crackdown against Waris Punjab De chief and radical preacher Amritpal Singh in Jalandhar, allegations have been levelled against the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government over the timing of the action, which comes as delegates from all across the world are in Amritsar for the G20 summit. 

While speaking to the Republic, political analyst, Ramnik Mann, questioned the timing of the crackdown, and claimed, "If we go back in time, in 2000 when former US president Bill Clinton visited India, the Chittisinghpura massacre happened. When Donald Trump visited India in 2020, the Shaheen Bagh riot took place. Now, when G20 is happening in the heart of Punjab, Amritsar, this fiasco happens. The Punjab police could have arrested him at his home, as the police had his live location at 6 am itself. It appears to be taking Amritpal to a global stage and taking Khalistan narrative to a global stage." 

He further alleged, "The arrest could have been done right after the Ajnala incident. But it happens when the G20 summit is happening in the state. The intent of the Punjab government is doubtful. The arrest takes place when the G20 delegates are here. It could have been done much earlier." 

Meanwhile, another political analyst, Parminder Singh Sethi, backed the police crackdown and stated that his arrest was in the national interest. He said, "Earlier, people were saying why is he not getting arrested. Everyone was repeating the same line. When he has been arrested now, the people again have the same problem with his arrest." 

Who's backing and funding Amritpal? 

While stepping up his attack, Ramnik Mann accused the Punjab government of backing the radical preacher by allegedly providing arms licenses to his supporters. He also went on to claim that Amritpal Singh is allegedly funded by Pakistan-based terror outfits.

He stated, "It has been one year since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took the power in the state and everyone can see the nightmare they have created in the state." 

The crackdown on Amritpal on Saturday comes days after he and his supporters broke through the police barricades and stormed the Ajnala Police Station with weapons. The supporters clashed with police personnel, demanding the release of one of his aides, Lovepreet Toofan. He was released soon after the clash, as the Punjab Police negotiated with Amritpal Singh. 

According to sources, the Punjab police have also suspended internet services in most areas to curb the spread of misinformation following the Saturday crackdown. An order by Punjab’s Department of Home Affairs and Justice read, "All mobile internet services, all SMS services (except banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except voice call, in the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab shall be suspended from March 18 (12:00 hours) to March 19 (12:00 hours) in the interest of public safety." 

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