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EC accepts separatist Amritpal Singh’s nomination

The pro-Khalistani separatist and Waris Punjab De Chief Amritpal Singh is currently lodged in Dibrugarh jail, Assam….reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has accepted the nomination of pro-Khalistani separatist and Waris Punjab De Chief Amritpal Singh to contest from Punjab’s Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha constituency as an independent candidate.

As per the ECI data, the nomination was filed on May 10. Amritpal Singh is currently lodged in Dibrugarh jail, Assam.

Earlier in April this year, Singh’s mother claimed that the pro-Khalistani leader had “pressure” to contest the polls.

“Pressure was being put on Amritpal Singh to contest the elections and now he is going to start his political innings from Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha constituency. This election will not be fought by him on the platform of any party. This election will be fought as an independent candidate,” Balwinder Kaur told media in April earlier this year.

The pro-Khalistani leader was arrested by Punjab police in April last year, weeks after evading police for over a month and the stringent National Security Act was invoked against him. He and nine of his associates are currently lodged in Assam’s Dibrugarh jail.

The Khadoor Sahib seat was won by the Congress’ Jasbir Singh Gill in 2019. The Congress has nominated Kuldeep Singh Zira for the seat while the BJP has nominated Manjit Singh Manna. Laljit Singh Bhullar will represent the AAP and the Akali Dal will be represented by Virsa Singh Valtoha.

Voting for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab is scheduled to be held on June 1 in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Amritpal Singh identifies himself as a follower of the radical Sikh militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who used to give open calls for arms and violence against the Indian state. Bhindranwale had attracted a lot of followers among the youth of Punjab, especially those coming from the lower rungs of society, the report noted.

By 1984, violence orchestrated by Bhindranwale supporters against the Hindus and government officers had become common in Punjab. Bhindranwale also moved into the Golden Temple of Amritsar and made his headquarters, IFFRAS wrote.

Realising that Bhindranwale now posed a grave threat to national security, the then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi gave her assent to flush out militants from the Golden Temple and thus Operation Blue Star was launched in 1984 which was successful in its objectives of freeing the Golden Temple from the clutches of the Sikh separatists.

Bhindranwale was killed by the Indian army during Operation Bluestar. However, Indira Gandhi had to pay a heavy price for Operation Bluestar as she was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

The virulent and violent nature of the Khalistani ideology that still permeates today among some sections can be gauged from the recent statements made by Amritpal Singh.

In one of his statements, Amritpal Singh said that the Indian constitution was just a mode of perpetuating the slavery of the Sikhs. Further, in a viral video, Amritpal threatened that Union Home Minister Amit Shah would meet the same fate as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi if he tried to stop the Khalistani movement, IFFRAS wrote.

“Indira tried to deal with us in her own way; what happened? Now if Home Minister wants to fulfil his desire, let him try this,” Amritpal said in the video.

Amritpal calls Bhindranwale his inspiration and regards him as a hero, The International Forum for Rights and Security noted. (ANI)

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