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Amritpal Singh Hunt Day 5: Here Are 5 Key Angles That Are Emerging

Arrests, Twitter bans, politics and high level meetings - a lot is happening around the crackdown on Amritpal Singh.

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Politics
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Video Producer: Mayank Chawla 
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh 

The crackdown against Amritpal Singh and his outfit Waris Punjab De entered its fifth day on 22 March and there still is no clarity on his whereabouts. A lot of developments are now happening surrounding this crackdown, beyond just the 'hunt' for Amritpal Singh.

Here are five key aspects you need to know about.

Police Claims About Amritpal's Escape

The Punjab police on Wednesday claimed in a press conference that during the chase, Amritpal Singh escaped to a Gurdwara in Nangal Ambian village in Jalandhar district.

"When Police chased them, they escaped to a Gurudwara and overpowered a Granthi into giving them clothes. They spent 40-45 min there. They called for bikes and escaped".
SSP Jalandhar Rural, Swarandeep Singh

As per the timeline given by the police, Amritpal Singh was travelling in a Mercedes SUV when the chase began, after which he shifted to a Brezza and finally on bikes from Nangal Ambian village onwards.

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The police on Tuesday claimed that Amritpal Singh may have escaped in disguise and released a number of pictures of him, including with his beard shaven and hair cut short.

However, some of Amritpal Singh's supporters still claim that he has already been detained. Before surrendering, his uncle Harjit Singh said that he has been detained.

Arrests

According to Punjab Police IGP Sukhchain Singh Gill, 154 people have been arrested so far for 'disturbing peace and harmony' in the state. He informed that a lookout notice has been issued against Amritpal Singh.

He said that 37 people have been taken into preventive custody.

So far the National Security Act has been invoked against five of Amritpal Singh's aides - actor Daljit Kalsi, Gurmeet Singh Bhukhanwala, Basant Singh, Bhagwant Singh aka Pardhan Mantri Bajeke and Amritpal Singh's uncle Harjit Singh.

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Akal Takht Jathedar Summons High Level Meeting

The Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh, has called a high level meeting of select Sikh organisations, intellectuals, lawyers and student organisations on 27 March to discuss the situation in Punjab.

Arrests, Twitter bans, politics and high level meetings - a lot is happening around the crackdown on Amritpal Singh.

The Akal Takht is the highest temporal body of the Sikh community.

Political Tussle Around Crackdown

With no news about Amritpal Singh, The political tussle around the crackdown seems to be gaining momentum. The Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal has promised to provide legal support to all those who have been arrested or detained in this crackdown. They have also issued a helpline for people to reach out.

On Wednesday, Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly - Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa - demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann over the failure to catch Amritpal Singh.

He said that the entire operation was mismanaged and that Amritpal Singh could have been arrested from his village in Amritsar district.

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Crackdown on Social Media - 122 Handles Withheld

According to Twitter's disclosure to the Lumen Database, a total of 122 accounts have been withheld in connection with this crackdown.

The list includes Canadian politicians Jagmeet Singh and Gurratan Singh, poet Rupi Kaur, voluntary organisation United Sikhs, MP from Sangrur Simranjit Singh Mann, civil society organisation Khalra Mission, US-based author Pieter Friedrich. The accounts of a number of Punjab-based journalists reporting on Amritpal Singh, have also been withheld.

Many of these handles are not connected to Waris Punjab De.

Read this story by The Quint for a complete list of the handles withheld.

The requester in the document is the government of India, that is the central government.

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