Amritpal backdated formation of ‘Warris Panj-Aab De’, sounding similar to Deep Sidhu’s outfit, to encash on his popularity: Documentsh

PTI, Mar 26, 2023, 5:14 PM IST

Image credit: ANI

Secessionist Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh chose to create ‘Warris Panj-Aab De’, phonetically similar to ‘Waris Punjab De’ already formed by Deep Sidhu’s brother, to piggyback 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.

Deep Sidhu’s brother Mandeep created an organisation in Fathehgarh Sahib on July 4, 2022, in accordance with Deep’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.

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. When Amritpal returned from overseas in August 2022 and demanded the papers for ‘Waris Punjab De’, Mandeep refused to hand them over.

The Sidhu family refused to acknowledge Amritpal as the heir to Deep’s ideology and said the actor had blocked his number before his tragic road accident in February 2022.

Out of the blue, a new organisation called ‘Warris Panj-Aab De’ surfaced, with Deep 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.

The Facebook page amassed a huge following, causing confusion among people, who assumed that Amritpal had taken over the organisation created by Deep Sidhu.

Some documents unearthed during the ongoing crackdown against Amritpal 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.

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.

The Moga-based organisation did not mention Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. It focussed rather on real estate and providing security at religious functions. Amritpal has been on the run since March 18 when the police launched a crackdown against hi The elusive preacher gave the police the slip and escaped their dragnet when his cavalcade was intercepted in Punjab’s Jalandhar district.

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