Several political leaders across party lines have appealed for peace in Punjab following the detention of separatist leader and Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh by the Punjab Police in Jalandhar on Saturday, 18 March.
Singh was detained near Jalandhar's Nakodar after his cavalcade was intercepted by the police in the Mehatpur village. The radical leader had taken over Waris Punjab De soon after the death of actor Deep Sidhu.
While mobile internet remained suspended across the state to maintain peace, heavy police presence and barricading was deployed at many key government institutions.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Punjab minister Balbir Singh credited chief minister Bhagwant Mann for the successful operation and said that the "rule of law" was upheld.
"Our chief minister has restored the rule of law. The law will take its course against violators. There is no discrimination," he said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
The Punjab Congress slammed Amritpal with president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring took to Twitter to appeal for peace.
"True Sikhs of the Guru do not run away. All Punjabis are requested to maintain peace," Warring said.
Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu hit out at Amritpal, saying that the man who "used to talk about taking up arms for Khalistan is today running away fearing the police."
"Does a Sikh ever run away? He would have faced the police if he had courage. He is running around in the streets like a jackal. I used to say earlier, too, that he has come to get our children killed. He is a man of (intelligence) agencies," Bittu said through a video on Twitter.
The Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (SAD-A) condemned the operation with leader Simranjit Singh Mann, meanwhile, "We support S. Amritpal Singh’s peaceful measures of drug de addiction & Khalsa Vaheer. Our party @SAD_Amritsar is keeping a tight eye on the situation and appeals to @PunjabGovtIndia to ensure peace is maintained & no one is made scapegoat to please the powers elsewhere" he said.
"Mass arrests/detentions including that potentially of S. Amritpal Singh, disconnection of internet services on the eve of Khalsa Vaheer & S. Shubhdeep Singh Moosewala’s Barsi- both democratic events we support- have caused panic and confusion amongst masses and are condemned," he added.
An official statement on the matter from CM Mann or the Punjab police is yet awaited.