South Asia

India: Sikh separatist arrested after a month-long hunt

Indian police have arrested Sikh separatist Amritpal Singh after searching for him for more than a month, a state police official said on Sunday (April 23).

Singh was arrested in a Sikh temple in Rode village in Moga district, Punjab under the National Security Act, which allows for those deemed a threat to national security to be detained without charge for up to a year, the police official said.

“Amritpal Singh has been arrested by Punjab Police at around 6:45 a.m. (0115 GMT) today (April 23) morning in village Rode. He was absconding from last about more than one month,” said Sukhchain Singh Gill, Inspector General of Punjab Police.

The arrest of Singh — who leads a group called Waris Punjab De (the heirs of Punjab) — comes after the self-styled preacher and hundreds of his supporters stormed a police station with swords and firearms, demanding the release of one of his aides.

The rise of Singh, 30, a preacher in the northwestern state of Punjab where Sikhs are in the majority, has revived talk of an independent Sikh homeland and stoked fears of a return to violence that killed tens of thousands of people in the 1980s and early 1990s during a Sikh insurgency.