It’s not just the February 23 incident of laying seige to Ajnala police station by Amritpal-led activists of Waris Punjab De (WPD), but also the two recent interviews of jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi which put the state police on the backfoot and became a cause of ignominy for law and order.
There were several reasons for Punjab Police coming under criticism for how it handled Amritpal’s case. These reasons included hooliganism by WPD activists on February 23, Amritpal’s ultimatum to police to release his aide, and WPD activists using the holy book Guru Granth Sahib to take control of Ajnala police station, injuring eight policemen including a deputy superintendent of police who got 18 stitches, and police bowing to pressure by WPD and releasing Amritpal’s aide Lovepreet Singh alias Toofan.
You have successfully cast your vote
Then came the two interviews of Lawrence Bishoni, whom the Punjab Police claim to have kept one of its high-security jails, which further drew criticism for the state government and police.
The operation against Amritpal was carried out a day ahead of the March 19 scheduled first death anniversary of singer Sidhu Moose Wala as the gathering at the late singer’s native place in Mansa district is expected in thousands and the event could fuel emotions over the tardy police probe into his murder. Moose Wala was murdered on May 29 last year. Amritpal had also planned to carry out another phase of ‘Khalsa Vaheer’ programme from March 19 from Muktsar Sahib which would have attracted a large gathering.
A security official who didn’t wish to give his name informed that initially, there were proposals to arrest Amritpal after the L20 meeting ended, but the state government reacted immediately after there were intelligence inputs that Amritpal could repeat an Ajnala-like incident and this could give a reason to the Centre to impose governor’s rule in Punjab.
Another factor was the byelection to Jalandhar parliamentary constituency, which fell vacant after Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary died of a heart attack. Having already lost the Sangrur byelection last year, after it had come to power with a landslide victory in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not want to repeat its loss. “Internal reports didn’t suggest a good position for AAP in Jalandhar byelection. These incidents had besmirched both police and government’s positions in the eyes of public. That is why action against a rising force, which had the potential to threaten the state’s peace, was a must,” said the source.
The timing of operation also coincided with the presence of paramilitary forces in Punjab, sent by the Centre in the wake of G20 summit. The security establishment felt that in case action against Amritpal led to chaos, paramilitary forces could control the situation.
For more news update stay with actp news