Punjab Internet service interrupted during operation to apprehend Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh

by Subhechcha Ganguly

Internet access will not be restored in Punjab until Sunday, according to officials, as Punjab police on Saturday began an operation to apprehend Amritpal Singh, a Khalistani supporter. Internet access has been disabled throughout Punjab as a result of the police’s operation to apprehend Amritpal Singh, a Khalistani supporter, and his associates, which was initiated on Saturday. Hours later, the Khalistani sympathiser was apprehended after a cat-and-mouse chase in which Amritpal allegedly tried to elude the police by switching automobiles. Amritpal Singh, a radical Sikh leader and member of the Khalistani movement, has been active in Punjab for the past few weeks after his supporters fought with police last month outside of Amritsar’s Ajnala police station, demanding the release of one of Amritpal’s aides.

According to news source PTI, Amritpal’s six assistants were reportedly detained on Saturday in Jalandhar. Some “Waris Punjab De” chief followers posted several videos on social media with the premise that police were pursuing them. Amritpal may be heard on a video indicating that police were after him while he was seated in a car with one of his assistants, according to PTI. According to officials, Punjab’s internet services would not resume till Sunday.The Punjab Police advised citizens to uphold peace and harmony and not propagate fear, false information, or hate speech as the Internet was shut down. Punjab Police tweeted that it was working to uphold law and order. “In the interest of public safety,” the government declared, “all mobile internet services, all SMS services (excluding banking & mobile recharge), & all dongle services supplied on mobile networks, except the voice call, must be suspended from 18th March (12:00 hours) to 19th March (12:00 hours).

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