The recent news of four close aides of Amritpal Singh being flown into Assam and lodged in a high-security jail in Dibrugarh has caught the attention of many. While the Punjab Police had launched a state-wide crackdown on elements of Waris Punjab De on March 18 and declared Amritpal Singh a fugitive, the question remains as to why they were brought to Assam instead of any other state.
Amritpal Singh, a 30-year-old separatist leader, Khalistani sympathizer, and radical preacher, came to the limelight in the past 6-7 months in Punjab. He claims to be a follower of Bhindranwale, a militant leader who was an ardent supporter of the demands of Khalistan. Bhindranwale was killed in the infamous Operation Blue Star in June 1984. Amritpal Singh has recently returned from Dubai and was appointed as the chief of 'Waris Punjab De', an organization formed to voice the rights of people in Punjab, according to the founder Deep Sidhu, an actor and activist who died in a road accident in February 2022.
Since his anointment as the head of 'Waris Punjab De', the Khalistan sympathizer has been embroiled in controversy. Three cases have been registered against Amritpal Singh, two of which are related to hate speech, and one is related to kidnapping. In a remark against Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the separatist leader had said that Shah's fate would be similar to that of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
In February, supporters of Amritpal Singh, armed with swords and arms, clashed with Ajnala Police and forcefully seized and demanded that Lovepreet Singh alias Toofan, an accused in a case involving kidnapping, be released.
Coming back to the four individuals, identified as Daljit Singh Kalsi, Bhagwant Singh, Gurmeet Singh, and Pradhanmantri Bajeka, who were taken to Dibrugarh Central Jail by a 27-member team from Punjab Police, including IG Prison. These individuals are close aides of Amritpal Singh and were brought to Assam for security purposes. However, the reason for choosing Assam as the location for lodging these individuals is unknown to anyone.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has called the move "police-to-police cooperation," and said that it was entirely the call of the Punjab Police. "Earlier, we had sent prisoners from Assam to Bihar, and this is police-to-police cooperation. I have nothing to say on this. The prisoners are brought here for security purposes as well," he said.
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