Centre closely monitoring Punjab after Amritpal’s aide released from jail

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New Delhi: The Centre is “closely monitoring” the situation in Punjab after supporters of preacher and Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh stormed a police station to secure the release of an aide, officials said on Friday.

The protesters armed with rifles and swords broke into Ajnala police station in the outskirts of Amritsar city and virtually forced a commitment from the officials of withdrawing kidnapping case filed against Lovepreet Singh ‘Toofan’.

Union Home Ministry officials said the Punjab government had already been asked to keep a close watch on Singh’s activity.

They said “the Centre was closely monitoring the situation in Punjab” as it is a sensitive border state and any incident which is violation of law and has wider ramifications is a matter of concern.

However, it is not immediately known whether the central government has sought a report from the Punjab government on the incident and the prevailing situation in the state.

On Thursday, Amritpal Singh’s supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into a police station in Ajnala extracting an assurance from the police that kidnapping case accused Lovepreet Singh will be released.

‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh and his supporters also brought a vehicle carrying a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib for holding “amrit sanchar” (a Sikh ceremony) at the police station.

Following the incident, Amritpal Singh’s aide and kidnapping accused Lovepreet Singh ‘Toofan’ walked out of jail in Ajnala on Friday.

Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav said the demonstrators had used the holy Guru Granth Sahib as a shield and attacked police personnel in a cowardly manner, leaving six of them injured.

Despite giving an assurance of a peaceful demonstration, the protesters used sharp-edged weapons.

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( With inputs from )

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