Punjab Police cracks down against radical preacher Amritpal Singh; suspends internet

| | Chandigarh
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Punjab Police cracks down against radical preacher Amritpal Singh; suspends internet

Saturday, 18 March 2023 | PTI | Chandigarh

Punjab Police cracks down against radical preacher Amritpal Singh; suspends internet

Punjab Police on Saturday launched a crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh detaining six of his supporters. There was suspense over whether Amritpal had been apprehended, as there is no official word from police on it yet.

Internet and SMS services have been suspended across the state till 12 noon Sunday, said the department of Home Affairs and Justice, which issued the order fearing incitement to violence by "certain" people.

Amritpal's cavalcade was intercepted by police in Mehatpur village in Jalandhar district on Saturday.

A heavy deployment of security forces has been made near village Jallupur Khera in Amritsar, the native place of Amritpal.

Some supporters of 'Waris Punjab De' chief shared some videos on social media claiming that policemen were chasing them.

A video also showed Amritpal sitting in a vehicle and one of his aides could be heard saying policemen were after 'Bhai saab' (Amritpal).

Another supporter in a field shared a video in which he was claiming that policemen were after him.

Meanwhile, 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.

The state home affairs department ordered suspension of internet services in the state citing probable incitement to violence by some people.

"Whereas DGP has brought to my notice that certain sections of society are likely to threaten public order by incitement to violence as also resorting to widespread violence with an aim to stoke and cause communal tension, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property.

"Therefore … it is directed that all mobile internet services …, all SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except the voice calls, 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 to prevent any incitement to violence and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order," read its order.

Last month, Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal and his supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into the Ajnala Police Station in the outskirts of the Amritsar city, clashing with police demanding the release of one of Amritpal's aide.

During the incident, six policemen including a Superintendent of Police rank officer had suffered injuries.

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