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‘This Is the Beginning’: What Amritpal Said in Moga Gurdwara Before Arrest

"I will not flee. I will face the false cases against me," Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh said.

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Video Producer/Editor: Shohini Bose

After a month-long chase, Waris Punjab De chief and fugitive Amritpal Singh was arrested by the Punjab police in Moga on Sunday, 23 April. The arrest took place after Amritpal, who was on the run since 18 March, surrendered.

In a purported video that has gone viral on social media, Amritpal Singh addressed his followers at the gurdwara in Moga before his surrender and said that he will fight the "fake cases" against him.

Here is what he said in his address:

"At this sacred place which is the birthplace of Sant Jarnail Singh… at this place I stand at an important juncture in my life. Whatever has transpired in the last one month… the hukumat (government) has shown its brute force...There were perhaps many ways of making an arrest."

"I am not guilty in the court of the Almighty even though I may be guilty in the court of the land. So, after one month I have decided I will not flee. I will face the false cases against me. I thank the sangat (community) for its support. At this place, I have decided to surrender. This is not the end, this is the beginning. With the blessing of the Almighty, the bundle of lies against me will unravel," he said.

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Appealing to the Sikh community, especially the youth of Punjab, Amritpal Singh said, "I appeal to the youth - the way we were making people take Amrit and leave drugs - the government got upset and did all this. The government will win only if we stop taking Amrit. Channelise you energies in such a manner that more and more youngsters start taking Amrit, leave drugs and strive for Punjab's rights. Then the government will never be able to defeat us. "

Key Developments On the Arrest

  • Amritpal surrendered at the Rodewal Gurdwara in Rode village of Moga district. Slain militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale hailed from Rode.

  • Amritpal Singh came late in the night to Rode and met Jasbir Singh Rode, former Akal Takht Jathedar and Bhindranwale's nephew.

  • He surrendered at 6:45 am, following which he was taken to the Bhatinda Air Force Station and was flown to a jail in Assam's Dibrugarh where his other aides have been lodged.

  • A joint operation was conducted by Amritsar Police & Intelligence Wing of Punjab Police. He was located in village Rode based on operational inputs by Punjab Police. He was surrounded from all sides and the village was surrounded from all sides. To maintain sanctity, the Police didn't enter Gurudwara Sahib," Punjab IGP SS Gill said.

The Story So Far

  • Singh had led a massive protest against the Punjab Police on 24 February after the arrest of his key aide Lovepreet Singh. His supporters had broken through barricades and barged into the Ajnala Police Station.

  • A few weeks later, this was followed by a massive crackdown on the radical group Waris Punjab De, leading to the arrest of hundreds of persons supporting the group.

  • Amritpal Singh had taken over Waris Punjab De soon after the death of actor Deep Sidhu, who had founded the organisation.

  • Singh's aide Papalpreet Singh was arrested by the Punjab police on 10 April from Kathu Nangal in Punjab and charged under National Security Act.

"We (Sikhs) have become a community of slaves" – this is a message Amritpal Singh, the head of Waris Punjab De, tries to push in most of his speeches.

Just 29 years of age, the Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh has suddenly burst into Punjab's religiopolitical scene after he took over Waris Punjab De, an organisation formed by actor-activist Deep Sidhu before his death in an alleged accident in February 2022.

Read the full story here.

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