Back in 2016, a banner depicting a rifle and anti-India slogan appeared at a Vaisakhi festival in the UK city of Birmingham chanting ‘Khalistan zindabad’ slogan that replicates ‘Pakistan zindabad’ drew severe criticism from the locals as well UK lawmakers. At that time, although several Sikh terrorists spoke in favor of this notorious activity, the UK government did not arrest and prosecute them for openly speaking in favor of a banned outfit.
For the last few days, we are witnessing notorious acts of those Khalistani terrorists in Britain, Canada and few other countries in the West. Meanwhile, the name of a Sikh terrorist named Amritpal Singh has surfaced the media. While Indian law enforcement agencies are continuing operations to nab this notorious culprit, according to latest media report, Amritpal Singh, who continues to remain at large, has escaped out of Punjab and was last seen in Haryana’s Kurukshetra. Punjab Police shared a CCTV footage from Shahbad Markanda, Kurukshetra showing a man walking with an umbrella, who is suspected to be Amritpal Singh. “We cannot say where Amritpal might have reached by now. We are in touch with all central agencies”, police said.
In the latest development in the case, a 30-year-old woman, Baljit Kaur, was arrested in Kurukshetra on March 23, 2023 by Punjab police in a joint operation with Haryana police on charges of harboring fugitive and Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh.
The investigating agencies, corroborated through footage from several CCTVs, learned that Amritpal and his close aide Pappalpreet Singh reached Kaur’s residence on the night of March 19 and stayed at her under-construction house. The investigating agencies said that “Kaur has a radical bent of mind” and she knew Pappalpreet for over two years.
Baljit Kaur told interrogators that Amritpal Singh has changed his look after the crackdown by the Punjab police. She said that Amritpal does not wear a turban anymore.
Where is Amritpal Singh?
Sikh preacher, Waris Punjab De chief and a notorious terrorist Amritpal Singh continuing on the run for six days now, investigators suspect that he was likely to have evaded arrest to manage the huge funding he received for pushing the secessionist agenda of Khalistan in Punjab even as a fresh image emerged which purportedly showed him traveling in a motorbike driven cart.
Meanwhile, according to another media report, fugitive Khalistan terrorist Amritpal Singh had been targeting drug addicts and rogue ex-servicemen to help him build a gang that could easily transformed into a terrorist outfit.
Amritpal Singh is an operative of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) and Waris Punjab De has received millions of dollars from various foreign sources.
Background of Amritpal Singh
According to India Today, until February 2022, Amritpal Singh was living in Dubai helping out with his uncle’s transport business. With a short moustache and trimmed hair, the look he sported was far away from that of an orthodox practicing Sikh.
Cut back to the present. Amritpal Singh is a self-proclaimed Khalistani leader sporting a long beard and ‘kesh’ (hair) wrapped in a saffron turban – characteristics usually associated with a practicing Sikh. He is also the ‘jathedar’ of Waris Punjab De.
While the transformation happened when Amritpal Singh returned from Punjab to Dubai in August last year, what stokes one’s curiosity is how the driver-turned-Khalistani leader became so popular in Punjab in a little over six months, from where did he get the money to procure luxury cars and a barrage of weapons for himself and his cohort and how did he rise to fame so quickly.
Sources in the intelligence said Pakistan’s secret intelligence service ISI sent Amritpal Singh to Punjab to disrupt the law and order situation of the country and accused the Khalistani terrorist of brainwashing youths.
On February 10, Amritpal Singh married Kirandeep Kaur, an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) living in Britain. Police interrogated Kirandeep Kaur in connection with the alleged funding that Amritpal received from foreign sources. Police investigation has also revealed that Amritpal Singh bought a new SUV for himself and his men by spending the money he received from foreign sources. Police suspect that Kirandeep was aware of the funds that the self-proclaimed Khalistani leader was receiving from abroad.
Indian officials see Amritpal Singh and Kahlsitani terrorist activities as a national security threat.
Even though Khalistani terrorist activities have waned over the years, it still has some support base in Punjab and beyond – including in countries such as the UK and Canada, homes to a sizeable Sikh diaspora, as well as the United States and Australia.
An Indian security officer told Al Jazeera, while Amritpal Singh had only a few tens of thousands of supporters in India, he had a extensive social media reach, especially abroad, which the officer linked to the embassy protests.
Waris Punjab De was founded by Deep Sidhu, an Indian actor who died in 2022 in a traffic accident.
It may be mentioned here that the UK is home to more than half a million Sikhs, the country’s fourth-largest religious group. While Sikh secessionism in India has died down, pro-secession groups have become active internationally, mainly in the UK, Canada and the US – mostly under the patronization of Pakistani ISI.
India has often complained to foreign governments about the activities of Sikh separatists among the Indian diaspora who, it says, are trying to revive the armed uprising with a big financial push.
The BBC and Indian media reported that protesters with “Khalistan” banners detached the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony of the diplomatic mission’s building to protest against the recent police action in Punjab.
According to the BBC, crowds gathered outside the high commission’s building and windows were broken, after which India demanded an explanation for the complete absence of the British security around the premises.
India’s foreign ministry denounced the incident and summoned the UK’s deputy high commissioner in New Delhi, Alex Ellis, to protest the breach of security at the embassy in London.
Cleverly said a police investigation into the acts of violence was continuing and that his government will make the necessary changes to ensure the safety of the Indian mission’s staff in London.
The thuggish supporters of the Khalistan movement also vandalized the Indian consulate in San Francisco, triggering a strong protest by New Delhi.
“The US government was reminded of its basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation. It was asked to take appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” an Indian foreign ministry statement said.
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