Conflicts & War

India claims fugitive Sikh separatist leader hiding in Nepal

Kathmandu, Mar 27 (EFE).- India has claimed that a wanted Sikh separatist leader is hiding in Nepal, urging the authorities in the Himalayan nation not to let him escape to a third country.

The Indian embassy in Kathmandu has informed Nepal’s foreign ministry that Amritpal Singh, who has revived calls for an independent Sikh homeland, might try to escape through Nepal using an Indian passport or any other fake travel document of any other country.

An embassy statement circulated to different agencies, including airlines and hotels, said the 30-year-old is “currently hiding in Nepal.”

The statement urged the Nepalese government to arrest Singh if he attempted to escape Nepal.

A source at a Nepali private airline told Efe they had received Singh’s details. “We have been informed that Singh possesses multiple passports with different identities.”

The embassy has also circulated different photos and passports of Singh.

The Indian security agencies have launched a widespread manhunt for the separatist leader and arrested several alleged collaborators and aides who helped his escape.

Singh is accused of possessing illegal arms and heading a separatist movement in northern Punjab, India’s only Sikh-majority state.

Singh has emerged as the new leader of a movement that seeks to carve out an independent state of Khalistan (“land of the pure”), comprising the state of Punjab in India and, to a lesser extent, in Pakistan.

The fugitive leader was last seen earlier this month in the city of Jalandhar, in Punjab, while fleeing law enforcement in a vehicle that he later abandoned to mislead the officers and continued his escape on a motorcycle.

Intelligence reports also suggest that Singh may have links to Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, ISI, which supposedly provided him with weapons and drugs to strengthen his organization.

The revived calls for an independent Sikh homeland have stoked fears of a return to violence that killed tens of thousands of people in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Indian police have accused Singh and his supporters of attempted murder, obstruction of law enforcement, and creating disharmony.

Singh leads the controversial separatist group ‘Waris Punjab de’ (The Heirs of Punjab), advocating for Khalistan.

The organization was formed during the massive 2020 peasant protests in India by actor and political activist Deep Sidhu, one of the best-known faces of the agrarian revolt. EFE


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