Pro-Khalistan Protests: 'Won't Let Anyone Disrupt Peace In Punjab,’ Warns CM Bhagwant Mann Amid Hunt For Amritpal Singh
Amid the ongoing hunt for radical preacher Amritpal Singh, CM Bhagwant Mann has said that Punjab's peace, harmony, and the country's progress were his top priorities.
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday warned that his government will take strict action against anyone who tries to disturb the peace and harmony across the state, days after the police launched a major crackdown against pro-Khalistan preacher Amritpal Singh, who is still on the run, and his sympathisers. In a video message to people, CM Mann said that he has received several calls from people praising his government's action against Amritpal Singh and his associates.
"People are telling me, you have done a good job. There should be peace and harmony in Punjab. In this matter, we will support you," Mann said in a video message. Mann said Punjab's peace, harmony, and the country's progress were his top priorities. “We will not spare any force working against the country, the CM said, adding people have given the responsibility to the AAP by giving it a huge mandate in the elections.
“I thank 3 crore Punjabis for their cooperation in this operation (against Singh and 'Waris Punjab De'). There was not a single report of any untoward incident from the state. It has boosted my confidence that people want peace and progress," said Mann.
Meanwhile, Punjab Police on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Singh and members of his outfit 'Waris Punjab De'. The preacher, however, gave the police a slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in the Jalandhar district.
Internet, Mobile Services To Resume In Punjab
The Punjab government also Tuesday said that the curbs on mobile and internet services will be lifted from Tuesday, barring a few places. The state government said that mobile internet and SMS services in Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Moga, Sangrur and Amritsar's Ajnala sub-division and a few areas in Mohali will remain suspended till Thursday noon.
The curbs on mobile internet and SMS services were imposed by the Punjab government on Saturday as the state's police force launched a major crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh and members of his outfit 'Waris Punjab De'.
"All mobile internet services, all SMS services and all dongle services... Shall continue to remain suspended from March 21 (12.00 hours) to March 23 (12.00 hours) only in the districts Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Moga, Sangrur, sub-division Ajnala in Amritsar, areas adjoining YPS chowk and airport road, both in SAS Nagar," the order said.
This is being done to "prevent any incitement to violence and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order", it added. The order clarified that mobile internet services in all the remaining areas of the state should start functioning normally from 12 noon on March 21.
ISI Angle In Pro-Khalistan Protests
The Punjab Police on Monday flagged a possible "ISI angle" as it invoked the stringent National Security Act against five men linked to the radical preacher, whose uncle and driver surrendered amid the state-wide crackdown. Punjab Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill told reporters that specialised units are involved in the efforts to nab the preacher, who gave police the slip during a car chase in Jalandhar district on Saturday.
The Khalistan preacher's uncle Harjit Singh and driver Harpreet Singh surrendered before the police on Sunday night. Harjit Singh, who officials say helped his nephew gain control over the accounts of "Waris Punjab De", is among the five slapped with the NSA, which allows the preventive detention of anyone who could threaten national security or public order.
Harjit Singh was shifted to the central jail in Assam's Dibrugarh, where the other four were brought on Sunday. They are Daljit Singh Kalsi, Bhagwant Singh, Gurmeet Singh and 'Pradhanmantri' Bajeka. Gill has indicated that the preacher could also be detained under the NSA.