Thursday, May 9

Sikh separatist chief Amritpal Singh arrested by Indian police after weeks on the run

Separatist chief Amritpal Singh has been arrested by Indian police after weeks on the run.

The 30-year-old preacher is a supporter of the Khalistan motion for a separate Sikh homeland and had been on the run since final month.

He captured nationwide consideration in February when lots of of his supporters stormed a police station in Ajnala, a city in Punjab state, with wood batons, swords and weapons to demand the discharge of a jailed aide.

On Sunday, Punjab state police tweeted that Singh had been arrested within the city of Moga.

Supporters of the Waris Punjab De organisation at a rally in Amritsar, India, final month

Singh reportedly surrendered to police after providing morning prayers at a Sikh shrine earlier than officers arrested him.

Police officer Sukchain Singh Gill stated officers had surrounded the native village on intelligence that Singh was within the shrine.

“Relentless pressure built by the police over the past 35 days left Singh with no choice,” he advised reporters.

Mr Gill stated police didn’t enter the shrine, suggesting that Singh was taken into custody after he left, however declined to verify that Singh surrendered to police as claimed by his supporters.

The officer stated Singh was flown to Dibrugarh in northeast India the place he can be detained till he’s taken to courtroom to face prices.

Singh had been declared a fugitive by Indian police, who accused him of making discord in Punjab state in addition to spreading disharmony amongst individuals, tried homicide, attacking police personnel and obstructing public servants’ lawful discharge of obligation.

Who is Amritpal Singh?

Amritpal Singh is the 30-year-old chief of the organisation Waris Punjab De (Heirs of Punjab).

Not a lot is thought about his adolescence however he moved to Dubai in 2012 to work for his household’s transport enterprise.

He got here again to India in 2022 to take over management of the group from the actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu who died in a automobile accident.

Before his loss of life Sidhu is believed to have led a gaggle of farmers to storm the Red Fort in Delhi on the Republic Day of 2022. He was arrested for the motion and spent just a few months in jail.

Once he was again in Punjab, Singh modified his look and began sporting a blue turban, conventional robes and has a protracted, unshorn beard.

Singh has been accused of utilizing hate speech and his armed supporters have been accused of violence.

He has been outspoken about his assist for the reason for Khalistan, the separatist motion calling for a separate homeland/nation for individuals of Sikh religion. As a results of this, his Twitter account was suspended by authorities who’ve additionally been watching his actions fastidiously.

Thousands of paramilitary troopers have been deployed within the state and have arrested practically 100 of Singh’s supporters, whereas his spouse was stopped from leaving India final week.

Singh’s speeches have turn out to be more and more in style amongst supporters of the Khalistan motion, which is banned in India, with officers viewing it as a nationwide safety risk.

Singh additionally heads Waris Punjab De, or Punjab’s Heirs, an organisation that was a part of an enormous marketing campaign to mobilise farmers in opposition to controversial agriculture reforms being pushed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities.

Despite the motion waning in recent times, it nonetheless has some assist in Punjab and past – together with in nations like Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, residence to a large Sikh diaspora.

Meanwhile, supporters of the motion pulled down the Indian flag on the nation’s excessive fee in London final month, earlier than smashing the constructing’s home windows in a present of anger in opposition to the transfer to arrest Singh.

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