Indian police arrest alleged Sikh separatist chief, ending huge marketing campaign



Police in India say they’ve arrested alleged Sikh separatist chief Amritpal Singh, ending an enormous months-long manhunt.

The information was introduced in a tweet on the official Twitter account of Punjab Police India.

Singh was arrested in Moga, Punjab, in India’s northwest, however will likely be moved to a high-security jail in Assam, in India’s far east, based on CNN’s Indian affiliate Information 18.

Singh is a distinguished ideologue inside the Khalistan motion, an unlawful separatist marketing campaign that seeks to ascertain a sovereign state for followers of India’s minority Sikh faith.

Police have been in search of Singh since March 18, when he was charged with tried homicide, obstructing legislation enforcement and creating “protest” in society.

The manhunt has revived requires an impartial Sikh homeland in India’s Punjab state, raised fears of violence, and introduced again painful reminiscences of the bloody insurgency that killed hundreds.

In March, as police looked for Singh, Indian authorities blocked web entry for some 27 million individuals within the state of Punjab, in one of many nation’s most widespread blackouts in recent times.

The controversial self-styled preacher was comparatively unknown till the dying of actor and activist Deep Sidhu final yr.

Sidhu supported the nation’s year-long farmers’ agitation and based Waris Punjab De – a bunch set as much as defend Sikh rights.

Waris Punjab Day mobilizes farmers and activists – lots of whom had been Sikh – towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort to modernize the nation’s agricultural sector.

In a uncommon comeback, Modi has repealed the legal guidelines in November 2021. However even after the repeal, Waris Punjab Dey continued his marketing campaign to guard Sikhism and the tradition of Punjab.

Sidhu was killed in a automotive accident in February 2022 and Amritpal Singh took the reins, main marches and delivering passionate – typically provocative – speeches, constructing a big following and gaining recognition.

His feedback on social points and protection of the spiritual rights of Sikhs, which he describes as Hindu nationalist parts led by Modi, have struck a chord amongst many Sikhs within the state.

Singh has in contrast himself to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a number one determine within the Khalistan motion who was killed by the Indian Military in 1984 when he stormed Amritsar’s Golden Temple in an operation ordered by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Had stormed essentially the most sacred temple of faith.

That operation prompted nice anger inside the Sikh neighborhood, and Gandhi was assassinated by his Sikh bodyguards.

Earlier this yr, Amritpal Singh, citing Bhindranwale’s rhetoric, stated that Residence Minister Amit Shah might meet the identical destiny as Gandhi after Shah spoke towards Khalistan.

Sikhism was based within the 15th century by Guru Nanak in Punjab and has round 25 million followers worldwide.

Sikhs are a minority group in India, comprising lower than 2% of the nation’s 1.three billion individuals, however they’re the bulk in Punjab.

The trendy Khalistan motion has its origins across the time of India’s independence from Britain in 1947, when some Sikhs demanded {that a} nation be created within the state of Punjab for followers of the religion.

Correction: Over time, there have been violent clashes between followers of the motion and the Indian authorities, wherein many lives have been misplaced.

An earlier model of this story described Waris de Punjab as an unlawful separatist motion. It’s the Khalistan motion which is against the law.

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