As Punjab Police Friday expanded their search for Amritpal Singh to the deras and seminaries, voices from among the Sikh clergy and intelligentsia are now near unanimous in their call asking the Pro-Khalistan preacher to surrender to “stand by his own words”, for the sake of people who have been arrested only because they follow him, and to clear the name of the Sikh community and Punjabis.
The self-styled chief of Waris Punjab De has been on the run since a police crackdown on the outfit on March 18. He has, however, appeared in two purported videos and an audio clip released on social media in the past three days.
Baba Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale of Gurdwara Parmeshar Dwar, who was among first to raise voice against the storming of Ajnala police station on February 23 by Amritpal and his followers and on them using the Guru Granth Sahib as a shield, said the Waris Punjab De chief should appear before the police and say that his supporters should not be booked.
“He should tell the police that his supporters should not be harmed. He should say that it was his movement that they were following,” said Baba Ranjit Singh.
“Surrender for the sake of your supporters, who have been arrested by the police for being members of Waris Punjab De. What is the fault of Pardhan Mantri Bajeke’s mother, whose son has been sent to a jail in Assam? Why should she suffer so much of agony?” he asked.
Former Akal Takht Jathedar Jasbir Singh Rode, who is also nephew of slain Khalitani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, too asked Amritpal to surrender.
“He should surrender. He should get in touch with (Akal Takht) Jathedar (Giani Harpreet Singh) and take his instructions. For how long will he keep running,” asked Jasbir Singh.
Amritpal, Jasbir Singh said, had been openly saying that he would not go underground and that he was not afraid of getting arrested. “Then why is he running away now? He should be offer himself for arrest. He should stand by whatever he has been saying.”
Baba Ranjit Singh echoed the former Jathedar. “You only have been saying that you are not scared. Why are you then running away? Your supporters are in trouble. Several youth are in Assam jail facing NSA. They are so far away from their home state that the families cannot even go to meet them. The woman, whose house you stayed at in Haryana was being chased by the police. The Granthi, whose house you used, too is facing the police. Why should they all be in trouble? Do they not have families?” asked the preacher.