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Business News/ News / India/  Top Sikh body gives 24-hour ultimatum to Punjab police amid Amritpal manhunt

Top Sikh body gives 24-hour ultimatum to Punjab police amid Amritpal manhunt

Amritpal Singh, who is said to be possessing multiple passports with different identities, has been on the run since March 18 when the police launched a crackdown against him. The radical preacher gave the police the slip when his cavalcade was intercepted in Punjab's Jalandhar district.

Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh.Premium
Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the state government to release all Sikh youths who were held during the police crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh and his aides who are still on run. 

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has asked the director general of police to release those who were taken into preventive custody and their involvement in any anti-national activity was not found, according to the news agency PTI. 

Pn the sidelines of an event in Jalandhar, Mann, however, said strict action will be taken against whosoever tries to disturb peace in the state.

Following a police crackdown against Amritpal and his associates, Punjab Police Sunday said it has released 197 persons out of a total of 353 taken into preventive custody on the apprehension of breach of peace and disturbance of law and order. 

The Jathedar also condemned the state government for invoking the National Security Act against a few persons during the police crackdown, PTI reported. 

The Jathedar had convened a special gathering of Sikh organizations, including intellectuals, Sikh lawyers, journalists, and religious and social leaders here to discuss the current situation in Punjab following the March 18 action against elements of 'Waris Punjab De' headed by Amritpal Singh.

Addressing the gathering, the Jathedar gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Punjab government for releasing all Sikh youths in Punjab, saying otherwise the anger of the Sikh community would remain simmering.

He further attacked certain TV channels, accusing them of promoting hate propaganda against Sikhs by describing the youths who have been held as separatists.

The Jathedar asked the state government to revoke the detention of some persons under the NSA and demanded that those who have been sent to Dibrugarh jail in Assam should be brought back to Punjab so that law can take its own course.

He said it would be wrong to say that there was a threat to national security due to the Sikhs who have been detained, as per PTI reports.

Without naming anyone, Singh said the NSA should also then be invoked against those who speak about ‘Hindu Rashtra.’ The Jathedar said it would extend all help to the "innocent Sikhs" who have been held in this matter.

The Jatehdar claimed that around 400 Sikh youths had been "arrested" and 198 had been released. But the Sikh community wanted release of all arrested Sikhs, he said. He also asked the police to release the impounded vehicles of the Sikhs.

The Punjab Police had last week launched a crackdown against elements of 'Waris Punjab De,' headed by Amritpal.

The elusive preacher himself, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Jalandhar district.


(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 28 Mar 2023, 11:43 AM IST
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