Days after launching a crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh and his aides, 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.
The police said it has detained seven persons under the stringent National Security Act.
On March 18, the police launched a crackdown against elements of 'Waris Punjab De,' headed by pro-Khalistan radical preacher Amritpal Singh.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has issued clear directions that the Punjab Police should adopt a positive approach while screening persons arrested on account of apprehension of breach of the peace or in substantive criminal offences, said an official release here.
"197 persons out of a total of 353 persons arrested under preventive sections of the law have been released till today," it said.
Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav said directions have been issued to all senior superintendents of police and commissioners of police in the state to ensure that no innocent person is harassed or arrested.
Investigating officers and their supervisory officers should first examine the available evidence and satisfy themselves before undertaking any preventive arrest or arrest in substantive offences, he said.
The DGP said apart from the 353, 40 persons have been arrested under substantive criminal offences and seven persons have been detained under the National Security Act.
By the chief minister's directions, police will review the status of persons arrested under substantive criminal offences by examining the available evidence and taking a positive approach, said Yadav.
Yadav appealed to all Punjabis to continue maintaining peace and harmony in the state and not to pay any heed to fake news and rumours.
The DGP asserted that the law and order situation is completely under control and stable.
He warned that strict action would be taken against persons spreading rumours and fake news.
Police conducted flag marches, and patrolling and maintained a presence in markets and other important locations in the state on Sunday.