Elusive fugitive

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Elusive fugitive

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 | Pioneer

Elusive fugitive

Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh dodges 80,000 Punjab cops, and yet Kejriwal lauds CM Mann

Politics, Niccolo Machiavelli said, has no relation to morals. Often, it also has no relation to facts, commonsense, and decency. Nothing else explains Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s praise for his Punjab counterpart and party colleague Bhagwant Mann for the latter’s handling of the situation arising out of Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh’s inflammatory remarks and violent activities. Amritpal has the temerity to take on the entire official machinery of Punjab. The Central Government believes that Amritpal is a Pakistani agent. He openly supports Khalistan, makes anti-national statements, and disregards the Indian Constitution; his followers, protesting against the arrest of one of Amritpal’s supporters, attack a police station, leaving many cops injured. The result? The cops meekly endure the assaults; and his follower is released the next day. When an attempt is made to arrest Amritpal, he dodges the police. Even after a number of days, in which many of his supporters were arrested and many arms recovered from them, police are unable to find him. And yet, Kejriwal has the cheek to say, “I want to congratulate Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann for maintaining the law and order situation in a patient and mature way.” Congratulate for what? Letting a non-entity emerge as a great rebel? Restraining the police to act against an anti-national character so that he grows bigger, becomes Bhindranwale 2.0? Letting violent Khalistanis attack a police station — and getting away with it? Party camaraderie and partisanship are important but more important is national interest.

Instead of lauding his party leader and Punjab CM, Kejriwal should pay heed to what the Punjab and Haryana High Court said on Tuesday. Blasting the Punjab police for their inability to arrest Amritpal who heads an outfit called Waris Punjab De, the court said, “You have 80,000 cops. What were they doing? How did Amritpal Singh escape?” The Punjab Police informed the high court that, in a major crackdown against Amritpal Singh and his outfit, they arrested 120 of his supporters, but that didn’t impress the court. And rightly so. He should have been under watch — very strict watch. After all, he not only promotes secession but also assassination. Former Punjab CM Beant Singh was blown up by Dilawar Singh, who acted as a human bomb. Amritpal Singh says that many Dilawars are ready in Punjab. But the Mann Government did not do that. Bharatiya Janata Party national executive member Sunil Jakhar correctly said, “The operation that could have been carried out without any force and show-off is now today being done in front of the whole country.” It looks like the Aam Aadmi Party, which rules Punjab, is weighing political gains and losses before doing anything against Amritpal Singh. AAP leaders became successful by making all manner of statements and distributing freebies. But you need more than fiscal profligacy to tackle separatism.

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