New Delhi: 348 of the total 360 people taken into preventive custody during Punjab Police’s crackdown on Amritpal Singh and his outfit have been released, the Punjab government has informed the Akal Takht. As per a PTI report, the Akal Takht Jathedar’s personal secretary Jaspal Singh on Thursday said that a message was received from the state government that the rest would also be released soon.
The Punjab government’s response came after Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh had given an ultimatum earlier this week to the Bhagwant Mann-led government to release all Sikh youths held during the police crackdown against Amritpal Singh and his aides.
It also condemned the government for invoking the National Security Act against a few people during the police crackdown.
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A few days prior to the Jathedar’s ultimatum, the Punjab Police had said that out of those detained, nearly 30 were hardcore criminals. The rest would be released after verification, a senior police official had said.
Meanwhile the security has been stepped up in and around Amritsar and Bathinda amid reports that pro-Khalistan leader and Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh may surrender after entering any of the two Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple in Amritsar or the Takht Sri Damdama Sahib in Bathinda.
Vehicles are being checked at several places in other districts of Punjab, including Hoshiarpur, in search of the radical preacher.
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As per ABP News sources, the pro-Khalistan leader is in contact with Pakistan intelligence agency ISI, which helped him flee to Nepal and is now trying to make him cross the border to Pakistan.
On Wednesday, he appeared in a video, calling for a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ congregation on Baisakhi to discuss issues related to the Sikh community and saying he is in high spirits.
The fugitive said if the Punjab government wanted only to arrest him, they would have come to his home and he would have given up. He claimed the police action against him was an “attack” on the Sikh community.