Top intelligence sources have told CNN-News18 that agencies are probing the possible ISI connections of hardline Sikh leader Amritpal Singh who has modelled himself on leading figure of the Khalistan movement Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Amritpal is back in Punjab after ten years and has become chief of Waris Punjab De, a “pressure group” floated by late actor and activist Deep Sidhu.
Sidhu’s family has denied picking Amritpal Singh for the position.
Amritpal is moving from village to village in Punjab and talking about freedom, Sikhi, and against the establishment, said the sources.
Agencies feel that he has taken over this role on behalf of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as a long-term strategy to destabilise Punjab once again.
His dastarbandi (turban-tying ceremony) also happened with the slogans of “Khalistan Zindabad”, pointed out sources.
Top intelligence officials say Amritpal went to Georgia before coming to India from Dubai.
Recently, the union home ministry asked the Punjab government to keep a vigil on his activities.
Amritpal’s frequent visits to Rode, the village of slain militant leader Bhindranwale, and his speech about freedom and Khalistan have become a major concern for intelligence agencies.
Sources said the ISI is trying to fill the vacuum in Sikh leadership with Amritpal Singh taking on the roles of both a political and a religious leader.
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