The family of Deep Sidhu had refused to acknowledge fugitive pro-Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh as the heir to ‘Waris Punjab De’, formed by Sidhu’s brother, and the actor had blocked his phone number before being killed in a road accident in February 2022, news agency PTI reported.
Amritpal Singh reportedly chose to form’Warris Panj-Aab De’, similar to ‘Waris Punjab De’ to ride on the late actor’s popularity after the radical preacher failed to take control of the existing outfit, documents confiscated during a crackdown on him show.
Here are top points on Amritpal Singh and Waris Punjab De:
1. Deep Sidhu’s brother Mandeep had created an organisation in Fathehgarh Sahib on July 4, 2022, in accordance with the late actor’s desires to promote ‘Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan’, spread awareness about pollution-related issues, draw drug-addicted youths towards sports, and aid people during natural disasters, among other goals, documents show.
2. It was established with strict regulations in place, including the roles and election of office-bearers. Mandeep stated that the organisation was created to fulfill his late brother’s vision of serving the people of Punjab.
3. When Amritpal returned from overseas in August 2022 and demanded the papers for ‘Waris Punjab De’, Mandeep refused to hand them over.
4. Then suddenly, a new organisation called ‘Warris Panj-Aab De’ surfaced, with Sidhu’s official Facebook page linked to it. It was registered in Moga district, with its inception date set being mentioned as December 15, 2021, PTI reported.
5. The Facebook page amassed a huge following, causing confusion among people, who assumed that Amritpal had taken over the organisation created by Sidhu.
6. Some documents unearthed during the ongoing crackdown against Amritpal, PTI reported, suggest that the establishment of ‘Warris Panj-Aab De’ was potentially backdated. The organisation’s registered address was “Guru Nanak Furniture Store”, owned by Amritpal’s close associate Gurmeet Singh Bukkanwala, in Duneke village in Moga district.
7. Bukkanwala has been taken into custody and charged under the National Security Act and shifted to Dibrugarh Central Jail in Assam. During questioning, Gurmeet claimed that the organisation was established much later, and some contacts were used to register it backdated from Moga district. However, he was unable to provide further information on the matter.
8. Amritpal has been at large since March 18 when the Punjab Police launched a crackdown against the elusive preacher. He gave the police the slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Punjab’s Jalandhar district.
9. The Punjab Police on Sunday said it has released 197 people out of the total 353 taken into preventive custody on the apprehension of breach of peace and disturbance of law and order.
10. The police said it has detained seven persons under the stringent National Security Act.