POLITICS

Bhindranwale 2.0: How Amritpal Singh tried to replicate the lifestyle, legacy of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

Reported By:DNA Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Apr 23, 2023, 11:06 PM IST

Waris Punjab De chief and Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh, who had been absconding for over a month, finally surrendered to the Punjab Police in Moga after delivering a sermon in a gurdwara, ending the cat-and-mouse race between him and the authorities.

Amritpal Singh was wanted by the Punjab Police after he, along with his followers, had stormed the Ajnala police station with swords, demanding to free Toofan Singh. He also remained on the radar of intelligence agencies because of his separatist ideology.

Around seven months ago, a grand ceremony was held in Rode village in Punjab’s Moga district to anoint radical preacher Amritpal Singh as the head of “Waris Punjab De”, an organisation founded by actor-activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year.

Amritpal Singh was known by his supporters and followers as Bhindranwale 2.0, as he often tried to replicate the lifestyle and followed the preaching of slain militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed inside the Golden Temple during Operation Blue Star.

In a video which was reportedly taken hours before his surrender, Amritpal Singh could be seen bowing to a large photo of Bhindranwale. The radical preacher used to dress up like Bhindranwale, wearing a long white robe and often donning a blue turban and a kirpan and giving fiery speeches.

Amritpal, who claimed to be a follower of Bhindranwale, hailed from Jallupur Khera village in Amritsar. Like Bhindranwale, he used to move around with armed men. Some of his supporters call him “Bhindranwale 2.0”.

Amritpal, who used to don Western clothes and keep his hair short, conducted his Sikh baptism ceremony (Amrit Chakhna), after which he started rebranding himself as the next Bhindranwale, who used to demand a separate nation for the Sikh population – Khalistan.

Some of Amritpal’s followers also claimed that he underwent eye and cosmetic surgery in Georgia to resemble Jarnail Bhindranwale. However, the similarity between the two ends there.

While Bhindranwale was reportedly backed by political parties, no party has come up to back Amritpal yet. Bhindranwale also had a massive Sikh following while Amritpal currently lacks the support of the masses.

(With inputs from agencies)

READ | Who is Amritpal Singh, Pro-Khalistan leader, Waris Punjab De chief arrested in Punjab’s Moga?

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