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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Amritpal Singh: The Rise of Sikh Extremism in Punjab

Amritpal Singh, the head of the Sikh extremist organization ‘Waris Punjab De’, has been making headlines in India for his provocative speeches and press conferences, often with armed men by his side. His call for the “next war” and his resemblance to the separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale has raised concerns about the resurgence of Sikh extremism in Punjab.

Amritpal’s rise to power within the organization came after the death of its former president Deep Sidhu, who was accused in the Delhi violence case. He was appointed as the new chief just four months ago in a ceremony held in Bhindranwale’s village Rode in the Moga district. Amritpal Singh, who lived overseas for many years, returned to Punjab in August 2022 and joined the organization amid pro-Khalistan slogans.

The ‘Waris Punjab De’ organization is a group of armed extremists who call themselves followers of Bhindranwale, the separatist leader who was killed in Operation Blue Star in 1984. The organization’s aim is to establish an independent Sikh state called Khalistan, which they believe will fulfil the aspirations of the Sikh community. However, their methods have been controversial, and their calls for violence and separatism have been widely criticized.

Recently, a case of kidnapping and assault was registered against Amritpal Singh and 25 others after a Sikh preacher named Varinder Singh accused them of kidnapping and beating him up. This incident has raised concerns about the increasing violence and lawlessness associated with Sikh extremist groups in Punjab.

Amritpal’s opposition to the agricultural laws during the farmer’s movement, which was also joined by Deep Sidhu, has also contributed to his rise in popularity among the Sikh community in Punjab. The farmers’ movement has been one of the largest protests in India’s history, with farmers demanding the repeal of the agricultural laws, which they believe will harm their livelihoods.

However, Amritpal’s calls for violence and separatism have been condemned by many political leaders, including Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. The rise of Sikh extremism in Punjab is a worrying trend that could destabilize the region and threaten India’s national security.

In conclusion, Amritpal Singh rise to power within the ‘Waris Punjab De’ organization and his provocative speeches have raised concerns about the resurgence of Sikh extremism in Punjab. While the demands of the Sikh community for greater autonomy and representation should be addressed, violence and separatism are not the solutions. The government needs to take strong action to curb the activities of extremist groups and address the root causes of their grievances to maintain peace and stability in the region.

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