UK Sikh MP's tweet on arrests of Amritpal's aides draws ire: ‘won’t fetch you…'

Mar 20, 2023 09:44 AM IST

British Sikh Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi tweeted on the ongoing manhunt for Amritpal Singh and suspension of mobile internet and SMS services in Punjab.

British Sikh Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi drew ire after he expressed concern over the arrests of Khalistani elements and temporary suspension of mobile internet services in Punjab.

British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.
British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.

Dhesi, a turbaned Sikh MP from Slough, tweeted, “Very worrying reports coming from #India, of the imposition of an internet blackout in the #Punjab state, with mass arrests and restrictions on gatherings.”

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“Praying that the tense situation is soon resolved and that human rights of all are respected.”

(Also Read | Indian mission responds to Khalistani elements with ‘grander’ Tricolour)

Congress spokesperson and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi blasted Dhesi for “nurturing Khalistani sentiments” in the United Kingdom and said his tweet won't fetch him new votes from Slough “which has a massive chunk of Pakistan supporting population.”

“What about making a #Khalistan within the UK?? You have been nurturing #Khalistani sentiments in your country,” Singhvi wrote. “Nevertheless, this wont fetch you new votes from Slough constitiency seat, which has a massive chun of Pakistan supporting population.(sic)”

Dhesi's tweet came after Punjab police launched a manhunt for a radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh as authorities shut mobile internet in Punjab and arrested 112 of his supporters. The police said that its "manhunt" was ongoing and the overall "situation is under control, citizens (are) requested to not believe in rumours".

Official Spokesperson of the Punjab Police said that Amritpal Singh remains a fugitive and efforts are being made to arrest him.

Singh rose to prominence in recent months demanding the creation of Khalistan, a separate Sikh homeland, and with his hardline interpretation of Sikhism at rallies in rural pockets of Punjab.

The arrests of separatist elements associated with Amritpal Singh triggered protests from pro-Khalistani supporters in U, with some pulling down India's national flag that was flying atop its mission in London. Officials at the Indian High Commission stopped the attack and threw away the Khalistani flag that the protesters were trying to replace with. They said the "attempted but failed" attack had been foiled and that the tricolour was now flying "grander".

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