CHANDIGARH: Punjab police has reportedly launch a massive crackdown on radical preacher Amritpal Singh on Saturday, even as the Punjab government has suspended internet services to maintain law and order in the state.
Unofficial reports of Amritpal’s arrest have also been pouring in, but a word from police was still awaited.
While an official confirmation on the police action was still awaited, a number of videos shared on social media by supporters of ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief claimed that police were chasing them.
Amripal’s cavalcade was reportedly intercepted by police in Mehatpur village in Jalandhar district on Saturday. Though he managed to escape, six of his supporters were learnt to have been detained.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police asked people to maintain peace and harmony. “Request all citizens to maintain peace & harmony. Punjab Police is working to maintain Law & Order. Request citizens not to panic or spread fake news or hate speech,” it said in a tweet.
“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 shall be suspended from 18th March (12:00 hours) to 19th March (12:00 hours) in the interest of public safety,” said the Department of Home Affairs & Justice, Punjab.
Amritpal Singh had emerged as a major challenge for the Bhagwant Mann government a year after it got a big mandate in Punjab elections. Singh attacked the AAP government saying he is not running a parallel government but people voted for AAP due to a vacuum and had no other option.
Last month, Amritpal and his supporters barged into the Ajnala Police Station in the Amritsar city, and clashed with police for the release of one of Amritpal’s aide.