Amritpal Singh, the leader of Waris Punjab De, was trained by Pakistani spy agency ISI in Georgia prior to coming to India and had close links with Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), officials in India’s counter-terrorism apparatus have said, citing new assessments gleaned from the group’s activities.
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The claims come at a time when Punjab police has launched a manhunt for the secessionist campaigner, and appear to reinforce the government’s assessment that Amritpal Singh – who has openly backed calls for a separate Khalistan to be carved out of India – is part of a conspiracy by Pakistan to revive militancy in the border state.
A person aware of the intelligence analysis said key portions of the conspiracy was put together in Dubai. “During his stay in Dubai, which is a hub for ISI agents, Amritpal Singh was offered money as part of a well-orchestrated plan to revive militancy in Punjab. He was sent to Georgia for training by ISI before his flight to India,” said an official on Sunday, asking not to be named.
The interviews Amritpal Singh gave as part of his speeches supporting demands for Khalistan, an independent state for Sikhs, and his recent storming of a police station in Punjab in February explain why the Punjab Police are chasing him.
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