Indian authorities have banned internet connection for roughly 27 million people in the state of Punjab. The ban continues for 3rd day in a row. It is one of the country’s most sweeping blackouts in recent years. Police further seek for a Sikh separatist on the run.
Amritpal Singh, a well-known figure within the separatist Khalistan movement aspires to create a sovereign state for Sikh people. Singh was the target of the Punjab government’s initial 24-hour internet ban on Saturday.
The internet blackout in Punjab has been explained by the police as a measure to uphold peace and order. It is also to stop the dissemination of “false news.”
Intriguing images of Singh’s followers parading through the streets of Punjab with swords and sticks were also captured on camera. It was further broadcasted on local media. To uphold peace and order, police and paramilitary personnel were therefore stationed across the state’s several districts.
What is Khalistan?
Some Sikhs have been calling for the creation of an independent nation named Khalistan. It is in the Punjab state for the minority religion’s followers for many years. Several people have also died in violent fights. The same were broken out between movement supporters and the Indian government throughout the years.
The Indian army invaded the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest place for Sikhs, to arrest armed separatists in June 1984. Hundreds were killed and most of the structure was reduced to ruins. In the wake of the bloodshed, Indira Gandhi, the former prime minister of India who had ordered the operation, was also killed by her Sikh bodyguards.
The Indian government considers the Khalistan movement to be illegal and a serious danger to national security.
High Commission of India vandalized in London:
The Indian High Commission in London was also damaged over the weekend by some of Singh’s supporters. It further prompted UK officials to denounce the act. Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India, described the actions as “completely unacceptable” and “disgraceful.”
The UK government is “expected to take urgent efforts to identify, arrest, and prosecute” individuals responsible for the incident. The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement late Sunday.
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