Amritpal Singh: Who’s he and why was he arrested? | Politics Information

The 30-year-old self-styled preacher and Sikh separatist has been arrested after a month-long manhunt by Indian police.

Indian police have arrested 30-year-old Sikh separatist Amritpal Singh, who has revived requires an impartial Sikh homeland in Punjab, stirring fears of violence in a state with a historical past of bloody rise up.

Here’s what you have to find out about Singh’s rise to prominence and his arrest:

Who’s Amritpal Singh?

A lot of Singh’s youth stays shrouded in thriller. He lived in Punjab’s Amritsar district earlier than transferring at age 19 to Dubai, the place he labored for his household’s transport enterprise. He then returned to India in September final yr.

That month he was appointed head of Waris Punjab De, an organisation based by Deep Sidhu, an Indian actor and activist who died in a street accident in February 2022.

The organisation was a part of an infinite marketing campaign to mobilise farmers towards agricultural reforms pushed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities.

Since his return to India, Singh has been main marches calling for the safety of the rights of Sikhs, who account for 1.7 p.c of India’s inhabitants.

Singh’s speeches have turn out to be more and more fashionable amongst supporters of the Khalistan motion.

Supporters of Waris Punjab De shout slogans on the Akal Takht Secretariat contained in the Golden Temple advanced in Amritsar on March 27, 2023 [Prabhjot Gill/AP]

What’s the Khalistan motion?

The Khalistan motion started in regards to the time of India’s independence from colonial British rule in 1947 when some Sikhs referred to as for an impartial Sikh nation to be created inside the state of Punjab.

The motion reached its peak within the Seventies and Eighties.

Singh claims to have drawn inspiration from Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a number one determine within the motion throughout this era. Bhindranwale advocated for higher autonomy inside the Punjab state and never a separate Sikh state.

The Indian authorities accused Bhindranwale of main an armed rebellion that noticed 1000’s of individuals die over 20 years of violence.

Bhindranwale and his supporters have been killed in 1984 when the Indian military stormed the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine within the Sikh faith.

Singh has emulated Bhindranwale’s model, donning related garments and rising a protracted beard.

Addressing a rally in September in Bhindranwale’s house village, Singh mentioned each drop of his blood was devoted to “freedom for the group”.

“All of us are nonetheless slaves. … We now have to struggle for freedom,” Singh mentioned.

The Khalistan motion is taken into account a safety risk by the present Indian authorities and is banned.

Why was Singh arrested?

The collection of occasions that led to Singh’s arrest started in February when a whole bunch of his supporters stormed a police station in Punjab with swords and weapons to demand the discharge of a jailed aide.

On March 18, police in Punjab arrange roadblocks and deployed 1000’s of personnel as they tried to arrest him for his involvement within the storming of the police station.

Nonetheless, Singh was in a position to escape in a automobile chase, a few of which was livestreamed by his associates.

Indian authorities then launched a month-long manhunt, deploying 1000’s of paramilitary troopers and suspending cell web providers in some areas of Punjab.

Police mentioned in addition they arrested 154 of Singh’s supporters and seized 10 weapons and ammunition whereas he was on the run.

Singh was ultimately arrested on Sunday in Rode village within the Moga district of Punjab on the village gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship. He was arrested beneath the Nationwide Safety Act, which permits for these thought of a risk to nationwide safety to be detained with out cost for as much as a yr.

A high official within the Punjab police power mentioned Singh could be moved to Dibrugarh within the northeastern state of Assam, the place a few of his associates are already in jail.

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