Amritpal: Who is Amritpal Singh, Chief of Waris Punjab De: All You Need to Know | News from India

NEW DELHI: Punjab police arrested separatist leader and Waris Punjab De boss on Saturday Amritpal Singh in Jalandhar after a dramatic chase.
Earlier in the day, some of Amritpal’s associates were arrested in Mehatpur while others, including the self-styled Sikh preacher, managed to escape in his vehicle. The chase was broadcast live from his vehicle.
Internet services were suspended statewide until noon on Sunday, a senior state Department of Home Affairs official said.
The 30-year-old has risen to prominence over the past 6-7 months as a separatist leader, Khalistani sympathizer and radical preacher.
Here’s everything you need to know Amritpal Singh:

  • He was born in Jallupur Khera village of Amritsar in 1993.
  • Amritpal was educated up to class 12 and left India in 2012 to work with his uncle’s transport company in Dubai.
  • He only came to the attention of Punjab politicians and police six months ago when he was appointed head of Waris Punjab De, an organization founded by actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu.
  • Amritpal and his supporters say Sidhu, who died in a car crash in February 2022, was assassinated by the “state”.
  • Amritpal has never met Sidhu in person, but claims to have been greatly influenced by him in their online interactions.
  • Amritpal had supported Deep Sidhu when others vilified him over the Red Fort protests on Republic Day 2021 during the farmers’ unrest.
  • On the first anniversary of Sidhu’s death a week ago, Amritpal said that he stopped cutting his hair on the advice of the late actor in November 2021.
  • On 25th September last year, Amritpal underwent a formal Sikh baptism at Anandpur Sahib to become an ‘Amritdhari Sikh’.
  • Just four days later, on September 29, large numbers of Sikhs gathered again to witness the Amritpal dastar bandi (turban-tying ceremony to indicate taking on responsibility) in Rode village, the place of birth of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, whose name is inseparable from Punjab militancy.
  • Amritpal’s transformation from a clean-shaven transporter in Dubai to a flowing beard Sikh separatist leader was swift. He dresses like Bhindranwale and some already call him Bhindranwale 2.0.
  • In a recent speech, he said he was questioned at length by “agencies” when he landed at Amritsar airport. A young Sikh questioned about returning to his homeland is a sign of “ghulami” (slavery), he added.
  • He has been espousing Khalistan’s cause on Facebook for quite some time. Why is it wrong for a Sikh to ask for Khalistan if a Rashtra Hindu’s defense is not punished, she asked.
  • In an interview with a Punjabi news channel, Amritpal said he was drawn to Sikh activism after the Bargari sacrilege and police firing of Behbal Kalan in 2015.
  • Both incidents happened under the watch of Shiromani Akali Dal, which is the political organization of the Sikhs. The party was defeated in last year’s assembly elections. It appears that Amritpal is hoping to fill the power vacuum.
  • Similar circumstances in the 1970s had enabled the rise of Bhindranwale.
  • Amritpal dresses and looks similar to Bhindranwale. This includes wearing a turban and robe similar to those worn by Bhindranwale.
  • According to police records, Amritpal Singh is married to NRI Kirandeep Kaur who is a UK resident.
  • There are three cases registered against Amritpal Singh, with two related to hate speech and one to kidnapping.

A history of violence
On 9 December 2022, just a few months after Waris Punjab De was appointed as head, Amritpal supporters vandalized a gurudwara in Biharipura and later on 13 December they vandalized a gurudwara in Jalandhar.

Punjab: Police arrest 6 aides of pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh, internet services suspended

Punjab: Police arrest 6 aides of pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh, internet services suspended

They burned the chairs and sofas of these two gurudwaras claiming that one should not pray while sitting at the Guru Granth Sahib al gurudwara level.
In February 2023, a man complained at a police station in Ajnala that he was kidnapped and beaten by associates of Amritpal Singh. An FIR was registered against Amritpal Singh and six of his associates. The police arrested one of his close associates, Lovepreet Singh Toofan.
After the arrest, Amritpal Singh issued an “ultimatum” to the Punjab police to drop the case, and when the police failed to respond, his supporters broke through the police barricades and stormed the police compound, armed with automatic pistols and sharp weapons.

Several police personnel were injured and police vehicles were damaged.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Satinder Singh, the police could not retaliate because Amritpal Singh’s supporters had designated their group as a Jatha, bringing the Guru Granth Sahib.
Punjab Police later released Lovepreet Singh after the court ordered his release based on the police report.

Amritpal has also threatened Union Home Minister Amit Shah, saying he will meet the same fate as Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.
(With contributions from agencies)


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