Punjab's Amritpal Singh aka 'Bhindranwale 2.0': Radical preacher and Khalistan sympathiser
Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh was recently anointed the head of 'Waris Punjab De', the organisation founded by late actor and activist Deep Sidhu "to protect the rights of Punjab".
Published: 24th February 2023 02:17 PM | Last Updated: 24th February 2023 04:20 PM | A+A A-
AMRITSAR: Donning a flowing white 'chola' and a navy blue turban and often escorted by armed supporters, radical preacher and Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh has been quite active in Punjab for some time.
On Thursday, the 29-year-old's supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and stormed a police station in Ajnala on the outskirts of Amritsar city, demanding that Lovepreet Singh alias Toofan, an accused in a case involving kidnapping, be released. A few policemen were injured during the clash, according to officials.
A case was registered against Amritpal Singh and his 30 supporters for allegedly kidnapping and thrashing Barinder Singh, a resident of Chamkaur Sahib in Rupnagar district.
Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh, often described as a Khalistan sympathiser, was recently anointed the head of 'Waris Punjab De', the organisation founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year. The event was held at Rode in Moga district, the native village of slain militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Earlier, Amritpal Singh worked in his family-owned transport business.
He was made the head of the organisation that Sidhu had formed "to protect the rights of Punjab and raise social issues".
#WATCH | Our aim for Khalistan shouldn't be seen as evil & taboo. It should be seen from an intellectual point of view as to what could be its geopolitical benefits. It's an ideology &ideology never dies. We are not asking for it from Delhi: 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh pic.twitter.com/NKKVeEjVkG— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2023
Amritpal Singh, who claims to be a follower of Bhindranwale, has made some controversial speeches during the past few weeks. Hailing from Jallupur Khera village in Amritsar, he moves around with armed men like slain militant Bhindranwale. Some of his supporters call him "Bhindranwale 2.0."
The preacher reportedly issued a threat to Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently, saying he will meet the same fate as that of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Earlier this month, he tied the knot with a UK-based NRI, Kirandeep Kaur, in a simple ceremony at Jallupur Khera, his native village here.
When asked whether he will stay in Amritsar with his NRI wife -- as he has been asking youths not to go abroad -- Amritpal Singh said his marriage was an example of reverse migration, noting that he and his wife will remain in Punjab.
#WATCH | Punjab: Supporters of 'Waris Punjab De' Chief Amritpal Singh break through police barricades with swords and guns outside Ajnala PS in Amritsar— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2023
They've gathered outside the PS in order to protest against the arrest of his (Amritpal Singh) close aide Lovepreet Toofan. pic.twitter.com/yhE8XkwYOO
Referring to Thursday's Ajnala incident, former chief minister and BJP leader Amarinder Singh had said, "This is not only a complete collapse of the law and order situation in Punjab, it is more serious than that."
He had said the incident has serious security implications for the state and the country.
Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring had last year written to the Director General of Police expressing grave concern over the rising activities of radical elements like Amritpal Singh in the state.