In 2023, CAT ordered cancellation of Puja Khedkar’s IAS selection

NEW DELHI: UPSC and DoPT must answer how...

Chinese companies subverting PM Modi’s strict import regulations

NEW DELHI: It is very easy to identify...

Changing Dynamics of UK Parliament

LONDON: Labour MP Clive Lewis protested against...

Worries mount as neo-Khalistani Amritpal roams free

NewsWorries mount as neo-Khalistani Amritpal roams free

‘The entire pretence of Amritpal being the next Bhindranwale can be ended within hours if the security apparatus does its job.’

NEW DELHI: The seemingly long rope being given to Amritpal Singh Sandhu—who at best is being described as “a wannabe” neo-Khalistani and an “imitator” of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and someone who is soaking in the media attention that he has been getting—has raised questions about the intent of the official apparatus in Punjab and at the Centre with the responsibility to tackle such a “nuisance”.
Why Sandhu was being allowed to roam free along with armed escorts when he had committed multiple crimes for which he can be put behind bars for a long period of time, is something that has raised uncomfortable questions within the intelligence gathering apparatus.
An official from an intelligence gathering organization, who is monitoring the situation, said that while there was enough evidence to say conclusively that Sandhu was a supporter of the “Khalistan myth” and that he was approached by people who work for Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI while he was based in Dubai, the media, while presenting him, is not taking into account—mostly because of a lack of knowledge and understanding—that the concept of “Khalistan” does not have any traction on the ground in Punjab. The official, while speaking to The Sunday Guardian said that Sandhu’s “force” at the most was of 200-300 unemployed youth who were sticking with him primarily because they had nothing better to do.
As per the assessments of these officials, Singh is a local law and order situation and the entire pretence of he being the next Bhindranwale can be ended within hours if the security apparatus responsible for containing such elements, does its job.
Another official told The Sunday Guardian that not letting the law and order machinery handle Sandhu may lead to a very dangerous situation in the coming months as he is likely to continue to present himself as a “pillar” of Khalistani sentiments in India which will attract more youngsters towards him because of a “fascination” with him. The feeling among the youngsters of the state that there can actually be a “Khalistan”, has diminished to zero in the last few years, which is evident in the present situation too, as apart from one part of a town in Punjab, no such “pro-Khalistan” events took place.
The official pointed out that a lot of government policies, over the years, have been formulated and executed in Punjab that have ensured that Khalistan as a reality will never actually happen apart from in the “planning” of radical groups. These policies included removing the names of 312 Sikh foreign nationals off a “blacklist” in September 2019 which were put there in the first place after taking inputs from agencies.
Interestingly, none of the other overseas Khalistani groups, including the vociferous ones like “Sikhs for Justice”, have so far come out in support of Amritpal or have announced their association with someone who is speaking for the “same cause”.
According to intelligence agencies, Amritpal, who got the attention of the media as he encroached upon a police station in Ajnala town of Amristsar district to free one of his men, which led to a clash between the police officials and his supporters, does not have the kind of ground support that is being projected online and through the media.
Amritpal claims to head a pressure group called “Waris-Punjab-de”, which was started by former Punjabi actor and activist Deep Sidhu in September 2021 during the farm laws protest. Sidhu later died in a road accident in February 2022, which some officials believe was “mysterious”. The family members of Sidhu claim the original heir to Waris-Punjab-De is Harnek Singh Uppal, while the one being headed by Amritpal Singh Sandhu is “fake”.
Another interesting information that the officials have got is about Reena Rai, who was a close friend of Deep Sidhu and was with him in the same car which was involved in the fatal accident. Her father, Amarjeet Singh Rai, is a close associate of Harbhajan Singh Bhinder, who also goes by the name of Chowdhury Bhajan Singh Bhinder (alias B.S. Iqbal, alias Iqbal, alias Iqbal Singh, alias Iqbal Choudhary, alias Bhagan Singh Bhinder) and who was on the blacklist till May 2011 when 142 of the 169 people on the list were removed. Bhinder, who is based in California, is one of the prominent Khalistan espousers and his ties with other ISI-backed operatives, including some very active on Twitter, as claimed by intelligence agencies, is well documented.
Officials say that Reena Rai, like Deep Sindhu’s family members, does not support what Amritpal Singh Sandhu is attempting as they feel that “radical” methods to seek Khalistan will lead to a strong pushback from the government. Rai is among the persons who were involved in the discussions that led to the beginning of this organization. Rai chose not to respond to The Sunday Guardian’s emails, SMS and calls.

- Advertisement -

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles