Pak spy agency’s ISI behind pushing Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh back to India: report
With help from overseas Sikh separatists, Pakistan’s external spy agency ISI was the mastermind behind sending Amritpal Singh back to India in a bid to reignite terrorism in Punjab, officials say.
Singh, in his thirties, was a truck driver in Dubai before the ISI, with the help of Khalistan supporters based outside India, radicalized him into returning Punjab to the days dark shadows of terrorism, they said.
Threatening Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Punjab Chief Minister Bagwant Singh Mann, the radical Sikh preacher had openly made statements about India’s declaration of secession and the formation of Khalistan. He talked about former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Chief Minister Beant Singh who were assassinated by terrorists.
While Indira Gandhi was shot by her own guards, Beant Singh was killed by Dilawar Singh, who acted like a human bomb. The radical preacher claimed that many Dilawars are ready in the current Punjab scenario.
Whether it was his rally in Tarn Taran on Republic Day this year or his media interviews, he had openly supported separatism and the formation of Khalistan.
He urged young Sikhs to resort to armed rebellion against democratically elected governments to oppose allegedly discriminatory treatment inflicted to achieve the “ultimate goal” of forming “Khalistan”, the officials said.
During a ceremony at Rode in Moga district, Singh said that governments led by non-Sikhs have no right to rule the people of Punjab and that the people of Punjab should only be ruled by sikhs.
He modeled his hair after terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed in Operation Blue Star in 1984, copying his attire, mannerisms, carrying an arrow, guarding a battery of bodyguards armed and taking the shield of religion.
Singh, who is currently on the run, is also believed to have links with Lakhbir Singh Rode, head of the International Sikh Youth Federation, who is wanted for trial in India and wanted in arms smuggling cases (including RDX explosives ), conspiracy to attack government leaders in New Delhi and spread hatred in Punjab.
Tracking his movements, officials said Singh, while in Dubai, was in close contact with Rode’s brother Jaswant.
After making his return to Punjab at the behest of the ISI, Singh took the help of Amrit Sanchar to set up his organization. Later, he started a campaign called “Khalsa Waheer” and strengthened his organization by going to villages, they said.
He stirred up the problems of Punjab and started inciting the Sikhs against the government by invoking religion.
“The lower strata of society and the aimless youth became an easy target for Singh and he began to exploit feelings in the name of religion,” a source said.
In the name of organizing Amritpan ceremonies to baptize young Sikhs and link them to religion, his attempt was to build an army of disenchanted youths ready to confront the state, officials said.
Disregarding the sanctity of pious places like Gurdwara, his so-called army vandalized two Gurdwaras for keeping furniture for the elderly and disabled to sit on, they said.
According to the officials, his main objective was to push Punjab towards dark decades of militancy which were overcome at the cost of great hardship and much sacrifice.
Officials claimed that the organization headed by Singh was receiving funds from Pakistan.
The radical Sikh preacher had taken control of the accounts of Waris Punjab De with the help of his uncle Harjit Singh, thus making it a family organization.
They said the so-called preacher used Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji during his February hustle for his personal interests and was considered a kind of blasphemy.
This act of Singh was condemned by the entire Sikh community and after the incident, Shri Akal Takht Sahib formed a committee and ordered an investigation into the matter.
Officials alleged that Singh went to Jathedar Akal Takht and threatened him to remain silent.
Singh had said in a statement that the Ajnala incident was “not violence” and also threatened to spark “real violence” in the future.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)