What Happens Next? Watch Out for These 3 Things
In separate actions by the police, Harpal Singh Baler of Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar and Barjinder Singh Parwana of Damdami Taksar Rajpura were also detained on 18 March.
Several political reactions have been coming in on this – with Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress supporting the crackdown and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar condemning it.
Now, how is this likely to play out? There are three aspects we need to look out for.
1. Has Amritpal Singh been Detained or Not? What Are the Charges Against Him?
The main question right now is whether Amritpal Singh has been detained or not. There are contradicting versions coming from the police. On one hand, police sources told the media, including The Quint, that Amritpal had indeed been detained.
But the press release issued later says that he is still on the run.
This ambiguity has sparked fears among Amritpal Singh’s supporters regarding his safety.
The second aspect are the charges against him.
So far, the only case in which the Punjab Police went after Amritpal Singh is the alleged abduction of Chamkaur Sahib resident Varinder Singh near Ajnala.
That ended in a fiasco for the Punjab Police. It detained Amritpal’s aide Lovepreet Singh, provoking a protest call from the Waris Punjab De leader, which in turn led to the clash outside Ajnala police station. The police later let off Lovepreet saying there’s no evidence against him.
While Amritpal was also named in Varinder Singh’s complaint, it doesn’t seem likely that this would be the Punjab Police’s main case against the Waris Punjab De leader.
The Punjab Police press release indicates that the crackdown is related to FIR 39 registered at the Ajnala police station, pertaining to the violence that took place there on 24 February.
The Punjab Police has accused Amritpal Singh and Waris Punjab De members of being involved in four criminal cases relating to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police persons and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duties by public servants.
There is also a possibility that he could be booked under the National Security Act, which provides for protracted preventive detention.