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April 27, 2024

Separatist Amritpal Singh to Contest Lok Sabha Elections from Punjab Jail, Confirms Mother

Amidst his incarceration in an Assam prison under the National Security Act (NSA), separatist leader Amritpal Singh is set to shake the political landscape by contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Punjab. His mother, Balwinder Kaur, confirmed this decision on Friday, stating that Amritpal would run as an independent candidate from the Khadoor Sahib constituency.

Amritpal Singh, the chief of the ‘Waris Punjab De’ outfit, has been behind bars since April last year, along with 9 of his associates, detained at the Dibrugarh jail. Despite his confinement, Amritpal’s legal counsel, Rajdev Singh Khalsa, had already expressed his intention to enter the electoral fray.

Balwinder Kaur, who is leading an indefinite protest in Amritsar demanding the transfer of Amritpal and the other detainees to Punjab, revealed that her son’s decision to contest the elections stemmed from the demand of the local community. She emphasized that Amritpal aims to raise the issues faced by the Sikh community on a larger platform and advocate for the release of Sikh prisoners.

While initially reluctant to contest, Amritpal eventually acquiesced, considering the overwhelming support from the people. His father, Tarsem Singh, and uncle Sukhchain Singh, who recently visited him in jail, couldn’t discuss his candidacy due to strict supervision but vowed to take up the matter with the authorities.

The political arena in Khadoor Sahib sees contenders from various parties. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has nominated Laljit Singh Bhullar, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Manjeet Singh Manna. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress are yet to announce their candidates.

Amritpal’s arrest last year followed a police crackdown initiated after the Ajnala incident, where he and his supporters clashed with police demanding the release of Lovepreet Singh Toofan. The incident led to multiple criminal charges against Amritpal, including incitement of discord, attempted murder, and assault on police personnel.

As Amritpal prepares for his political plunge from behind bars, his candidacy symbolizes the complex intersection of politics, activism, and law enforcement in Punjab, echoing the longstanding grievances of the Sikh community. His campaign is poised to amplify these issues and challenge the established political order, offering a unique narrative in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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