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Crackdown against Amritpal day 3: Locals feel situation peaceful but retailers complain of loss to business in Punjab
Chandigarh: As the crackdown by Punjab police against elements of Waris Punjab De, including its chief and Khalistan sympathiser, fugitive Amritpal Singh, continued on Monday, locals across the State, spent another day under a security blanket without Internet services.
Bobby Oberoi, a local from Jalandhar district, who came to pay obeisance at a Gurudwara, said that the situation is peaceful in the State and there seems to be no difference from a normal day.
"Situation is peaceful, the police are doing their work with promptness," he said, adding that the routine in Gurudwara and marketplaces is as per normal day.
"There is no restriction in Gurudwara, the traffic is like another day and the market is open," another local said.
Pramod, another local of Jalandhar said that now the situation is peaceful as compared to the first day of the crackdown, Saturday.
"Only the first day of the crackdown, the situation was tense but now it is peaceful," he said.
However, the small traders from Bathinda complained of loss to their businesses, since the Internet services were suspended, as most of the customers were relying on cashless payments.
"Customers can't buy as most of the payments were made through online mode," a retailer said, adding that a huge difference has come after the internet snapped.
Meanwhile, the suspension of the internet, SMS and dongle services was again extended until Tuesday noon.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sukhchain Singh Gill said they have a very strong suspicion of an ISI angle and foreign funding in 'Waris Punjab De'.
"We have a very strong suspicion of an ISI angle, based on the facts and circumstances that have come to light so far. We also have a very strong suspicion of foreign funding. Going by the circumstances, it seems that ISI is involved and there is foreign funding as well," Punjab IGP said in a press briefing.
He also said that a total of 114 people have been arrested so far since the crackdown has launched.
"So far, 114 elements, who attempted to disturb peace and harmony, have been arrested. A total of 78 of them were arrested on the first day, 34 on day two and the remainder were arrested last night," he said.
Meanwhile, he said that NSA (National Security Act) has been invoked against the five people (being sent to Dibrugarh) who were arrested.
Besides this, he also said that after four close aides of the pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh, who were detained and flown to Assam's Dibrugarh, one more detainee, Harjeet Singh, also the uncle of the Khalistan sympathiser is en route to Dibrugarh.
He also urged the social media platforms and media persons to first fack check the news before sharing it.
However, the senior cop, reiterated that the fugitive, Amritpal Singh, is still absconding. "Police are making all efforts to nab him. Several rumours are being spread. Punjab Police is clearly stating that the arrest is yet to be made and efforts are underway to arrest him," IGP Gill added.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Police informed that the uncle and driver of Amritpal Singh have surrendered before the police.
Previously the central agency sources informed that Daljeet Singh Kalsi alias Sarabjeet Singh Kalsi, who is an alleged advisor and financer of Amritpal Singh, was arrested by the authorities on Sunday.
The vehicle used by 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh for his escape was also seized by Punjab Police, along with several other vehicles and ammunition.
Meanwhile, a heavy police force has been deployed outside Amritpal Singh's residence in Jallupur Khera village in Amritsar. Security has also been enhanced across the state, as per the police.
The police also conducted flag marches in various parts of the state to maintain law and order and instil confidence among people. Jalandhar Commissioner Kuldeep Singh Chahal, on Saturday late evening, confirmed that the radical leader had been declared a "fugitive".
The police crackdown came almost over three weeks after Amritpal's supporters clashed with uniformed personnel at the Ajnala police station on February 23 on the outskirts of Amritsar, demanding the release of one of Amritpal's close aides, Lovepreet Toofan.
Thousands of his supporters stormed the Ajnala police station, flashing swords and high-calibre firearms and threatening the police with dire consequences if they did not release Lovepreet Toofan, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting and abducting a man. (ANI)