Punjab govt extends suspension of internet, SMS services till noon March 20; Amritpal Singh remains elusive

The Punjab state government has extended the suspension of mobile internet and text messaging services until noon on Monday, even as the hunt for radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathizer Amripal Singh continues.

State authorities suspended internet and text messaging services on Saturday until noon on Sunday.

Police had earlier said they would soon apprehend the fugitive missionary.

“In exercising the powers vested in me under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, to direct that all mobile internet services (2G/3G/45/5G/CDMA/GPRS), all SMS services (excluding banking and mobile top-ups) and all March From 19th (12:00) to 20th March (12:00), dongle services (except voice calls) on mobile networks within the jurisdiction of Punjab will be further suspended to prevent incitement to violence and disturbance of peace and public order, “Week The official order issued today said.

The order issued by the additional chief secretary said broadband services would not be suspended so that banking facilities, hospital services and other essential services would not be interrupted.

“Amritpal Singh is now a fugitive, we are looking for him and we will arrest him soon,” Jalandhar police chief Kuldeep Sinhh Chahal told reporters late Saturday night near Nakodar in Jalandhar.

He also said that two of the missionary’s vehicles were also seized.

The Punjab state government launched a massive crackdown on Amritpal on Saturday, with police arresting 78 members of a group he heads, officials said.

However, the elusive preacher gave police a slip and escaped their net when his procession was intercepted in the Jalandhar district, despite authorities tightening security in several parts of Uttar Pradesh.

The police had said a “massive cordon and search operation (CASO) across the state” had been launched against the “War in the Punjab” (WPD) elements led by Amripal and several criminal cases against them had been closed. on record.

The police operation also took place before Amlipal’s “Khalsa Wahir” – a religious procession – started from Mukcha district.

Nine weapons have been recovered so far in the statewide operation, including a .315-caliber rifle, seven 12-caliber rifles, a revolver and 373 rounds of live ammunition in various calibers, police said.

ALSO READ | Amritpal Singh in close ties with ISI, terrorist groups: Report

Security has been stepped up in many parts of Punjab, with security forces conducting checks on vehicles.

A police spokesman informed that WPD elements were involved in four criminal cases involving spreading class discord, attempted murder, assaulting police officers and obstructing public servants from performing their duties according to law.

An FIR registration dated February 24 against WPD elements attacking the Ajnala police station.

Last month, Amritsar and his supporters, some brandishing knives and guns, broke through barricades and broke into the Ajinara police station on the outskirts of Amritsar, where they clashed with the police and demanded the release of Amritsar. an assistant.

The state’s AAP government has faced serious fire following the incident, which left six police officers including a police superintendent injured, and has been accused of kowtowing to extremists.

Amritpal, who returned to Dubai, was last year appointed head of Waris Punjab De, the group founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu, who died in a traffic accident last February.

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