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HomeNewsAmritpal on the run; Punjab Police launches cordon and search ops

Amritpal on the run; Punjab Police launches cordon and search ops

New Delhi/Chandigarh: Punjab Police on Saturday launched a massive state wide cordon and search operation to nab Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh and his supporters.

So far, it has arrested 78 persons and detained several others. Amritpal is still on the run, said Punjab police sources. Internet and SMS services have been suspended across Punjab till 12 midnight Sunday night.

The state home affairs department said it issued the order fearing incitement to violence by “certain” people.

“Our CM has restored the rule of law. Be it one of our own or anyone else, law will take its course against violators. There is no discrimination,” Punjab minister Balbir Singh said when asked about the action against the Waris Punjab De chief.

“It is not as if people died of spurious liquor and nobody is responsible or there was sacrilege and nobody is responsible. This is called rule of law,” he said.

Heavy deployment of security forces has been made near Jallupur Khera village in Amritsar where Amritpal Singh hails from.

Some of his supporters shared some videos on social media claiming that police were chasing them. One supporter in a field shared a video in which he claimed that policemen were after him. Punjab Police has asked people not to panic and maintain peace and harmony. “Request all citizens to maintain peace and 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 home affairs department in its order suspending internet services said:

“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.”

Recently, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann had met Union home minister Amit Shah and said the Centre and the state will work together on the law and order issue. As many as 1,900 personnel of the CRPF and its specialised anti­riot unit were dispatched to the state for strengthening the security grid.

(With agency inputs)

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