Amritpal Singh has been making headlines since he started challenging the government, press with armed men guarding him, and having a look like separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Amritpal Singh is the head of ‘Waris Punjab De’ which is a small group of people who call themselves followers of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala – the separatist leader who was killed in Operation Blue Star in the year 1984.
Amritpal Singh’s appointment as head of ‘Waris Punjab De’ was controversial because the ceremony took place in the ancestral village of Bhindranwale, where he dressed like the militant leader, sending out a larger message of what he represents.
He claims to be a spiritual leader and his fiery oratory skills and promise to free the youth from the clutches of drug menace has garnered him a large following in Punjab and other parts of India. His LinkedIn profile says he has a mechanical engineering degree from a university in Punjab and that he worked as an “operational manager” at a cargo company. Amritpal married a NRI woman on February 11, who is living with him in Punjab now.
In his speeches, Singh emulates Bhindranwale and his hardline views – openly calling for a separate state for Sikhs, claiming it to be the only “permanent solution” to Punjab’s problems, from water disputes to drug addiction to the erosion of Punjabi culture.
Amritpal Singh has several cases of kidnapping, theft lodged against him. He was recently booked by Punjab Police for abducting and assaulting a Sikh youth. The Sikh youth who was beaten up, Varinder Singh, is a resident of Ropar district of Punjab. He had done a Facebook Live against Amritpal Singh and accused him of misleading Sikhs. Angered by this, Amritpal and his associates thrashed him. Following this, police registered an FIR on Varinder Singh’s complaint.