Twitter blocks BBC's Punjabi handle amid Amritpal Singh manhunt
Amritpal Singh news: Hunt for radical self-styled preacher comes after supporters attacked a Punjab police station with swords and guns to release an aide.
British broadcaster BBC News' Punjabi language Twitter account was blocked Tuesday as the state's security forces enter the 10th day of the hunt for Khalistani separatist and 'Punjab Waris De' chief Amritpal Singh.
Visitors to @bbcnewspunjabi were met with a gray screen and the message: '...account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand'.
BBC, or the British Broadcasting Corporation, has not yet commented on the block and Twitter has yet to publish details of the request that led to its action.
Reports indicate that over 100 Twitter handles and multiple YouTube channels have been blocked as Punjab and the centre hunt down Amritpal Singh.
The operation to capture the 'Waris Punjab De' chief was launched March 18.
This morning the centre asked Nepal to put him on a watchlist after intelligence reports suggested he may have crossed the border using either a fake passport.
Watch | BBC's Punjabi Twitter handle barred in India amid Amritpal Singh hunt
That was after media reports in Kathmandu - these could not be independently confirmed by Hindustan Times - said he was hiding in the Nepal capital.
On Monday a new photograph of Amritpal Singh was circulated - he was seen with close aide Papalpreet Singh - on social media as Twitter and the authorities try to keep up as the fugitive changes his appearance frequently.
In that image Amritpal and Papalpreet seem to be sitting on top of a truck.
Papalpreet is believed to be Amritpal Singh’s mentor and was allegedly in contact with Pakistan spy agency ISI. In the photo, Amritpal Singh is seen in a jacket, a maroon turban and sunglasses, and holding a can of beer.
Papalpreet is in a sweatshirt. In an earlier photograph the two can be seen in a three-wheeler carrying a motorbike.
The operation to arrest Amritpal Singh began about three weeks after his supporters and he stormed a police station near Amritsar to force his aide's release. Six police personnel were injured in that attack.
Since then nearly 200 of his supporters/aides have been arrested but Amritpal remains elusive, prompting opposition criticism of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party.