Sikh separatist Amritpal Singh arrested in India after manhunt | Faith Information

Singh and his supporters raided a police station in February after one of many preacher’s aides was arrested.

Indian police have arrested Sikh separatist Amritpal Singh after looking for him for greater than a month, a state police official says of an operation towards the revival of an impartial Sikh homeland within the state of Punjab bordering Pakistan.

The rise of Singh – a preacher within the northwestern state of Punjab, the place Sikhs are the bulk – has revived speak of such a homeland and stoked fears of a return to violence of the Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties.

“Amritpal Singh has been arrested from the Rode village in Moga district, Punjab, on the premise of particular intelligence,” Sukhchain Singh Gill, a prime official within the Punjab police, instructed reporters on Sunday.

Singh and supporters armed with swords, knives and weapons raided a police station in February after one of many preacher’s aides was arrested for assault and tried kidnapping.

A police officer places up a wished poster for Singh at a railway station in Amritsar throughout a monthlong manhunt [File: Narinder Nanu/AFP]

Authorities deployed hundreds of officers within the manhunt and minimize off cellular web for days in Punjab, a state of 30 million individuals.

They arrested greater than 100 of his followers, transferring them to jails lots of of kilometres away, and banned gatherings of greater than 4 individuals in some areas.

Police have accused Singh and his supporters of tried homicide, obstruction of regulation enforcement and creating disharmony and mentioned he had been on the run since mid-March.

He was arrested within the village gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, below the Nationwide Safety Act, which permits for these thought of a menace to nationwide safety to be detained with out cost for as much as a yr, the police official mentioned.

Gill mentioned Singh can be moved to Dibrugarh within the northeastern state of Assam, the place a few of his associates are already in jail.

Punjab, which is about 58 p.c Sikh and 39 p.c Hindu, was rocked by a violent separatist motion for a state known as Khalistan within the Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties, during which hundreds of individuals died.

The Indian authorities carried out a botched 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest web site in Sikhism. Tons of of individuals had been killed in what was known as Operation Blue Star, which led to the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh safety guards just a few months later.

Her assassination sparked an anti-Sikh pogrom in New Delhi and elsewhere that lasted a number of days and killed hundreds extra individuals, together with youngsters who had been shot, overwhelmed and burned to dying.

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