Amritpal Singh: Rumors swirl as seek for controversial Sikh preacher continues

  • By Zoya Mateen
  • BBC Information, Delhi

45 minutes in the past

Picture supply, Getty Photographs

image description,

Amritpal Singh has been on the run for eleven days

Rumors have been circulating in regards to the whereabouts of a controversial self-proclaimed Indian preacher, greater than 10 days after he went on the run.

An enormous operation is underway to search out Amritpal Singh who is needed on many counts together with tried homicide.

Based on media experiences, Mr Singh has been noticed in at the least 4 Indian cities, together with the capital Delhi, since fleeing the state of Punjab on March 18.

Nepal put him on a watch record this week on the request of India.

Punjab Police raided properties in a village in Hoshiarpur district on Tuesday evening, sparking media hypothesis that he could also be within the state.

Earlier within the day, the state authorities had advised the Punjab and Haryana Excessive Courtroom that police have been “near catching him”.

The hunt for Mr Singh has dominated headlines in India for the previous two weeks as law enforcement officials flooded state borders, scoured the streets and searched surveillance footage in quest of the person whose radical views are stoking fears of a renewed bout of violence in Punjab had.

Mr Singh, who all of a sudden attracted nationwide consideration in February after his supporters stormed a police station, says he helps Khalistan or a separate Sikh homeland. His fast rise had introduced again recollections of the violent Punjab insurgency of the Eighties that killed hundreds.

Regardless of experiences that he has been sighted on a number of events, Mr Singh has not but been arrested.

The search, which spanned 4 states and even a neighboring nation, was stuffed with twists and turns, together with rumors of disguises and dramatic escapes.

Picture supply, Getty Photographs

image description,

Punjab police declared Amritpal Singh a “fugitive” and launched a nationwide seek for him

The escape

Punjab police first tried to arrest Mr Singh on March 17, weeks after he and a whole lot of supporters entered a police station and demanded the discharge of an arrested support employee.

Regardless of a whole lot of law enforcement officials being deployed, Mr Singh managed to flee in a high-speed chase, which was broadcast stay by a few of his supporters.

Police mentioned Mr Singh was in a Mercedes SUV when the chase began however later switched to a smaller automotive and finally a bicycle. (Since then, senior police officers have mentioned a number of occasions that Mr Singh is touring across the nation in disguise.)

Inside hours of Mr Singh’s escape, authorities blocked web providers in Punjab – dwelling to 27 million individuals – proscribing individuals’s motion and arresting a whole lot of supporters of Mr Singh.

Restrictions have been finally eased, however the search operation continued. BBC Punjabi spoke to a number of individuals who mentioned the heavy police presence of their cities and villages had affected their psychological well being and livelihoods. A number of journalists and activists have additionally had their Twitter accounts suspended in India.

On March 21, Punjab Police launched CCTV footage allegedly displaying Mr Singh in disguise on a bike.

On the identical day, police additionally launched seven images of him in numerous outfits – together with an AI-generated model displaying him with out his lengthy beard – urging individuals to maintain him.

Picture supply, NARIDER NANU

image description,

Hundreds of paramilitary troops have been stationed within the Punjab

On March 24, a number of media experiences mentioned Mr Singh had been sighted in Delhi.

Police groups from Delhi and Punjab then launched a search within the capital and its borders, arresting others believed to be Mr Singh’s supporters.

Punjab Police Inspector Basic Sukhchain Singh Gill advised reporters Mr Singh took refuge with a girl in neighboring Haryana state after fleeing. Mr Singh had first tried to get a ship to cross a river to Haryana however later needed to stroll the gap, the official mentioned.

Mr Gill added that the girl – who was arrested on March 26 – revealed throughout interrogation that Mr Singh had been involved along with her for the previous two and a half years and that his aide had stayed at her dwelling in Kurukshetra district a number of occasions earlier .

Police additionally launched surveillance footage believed to be of Mr Singh in Haryana. The clip reportedly confirmed a person in a white shirt and darkish blue denims hiding his face with an umbrella as he tried to flee the girl’s dwelling.

Across the similar time, it was mentioned Mr Singh might have fled to the northern state of Uttarakhand. Nevertheless, the Punjab Police didn’t formally affirm this.

On Monday, Nepal mentioned it had put Mr Singh on a watch record after the Indian embassy alerted them he may need entered the neighboring nation.

Picture supply, Getty Photographs

image description,

Punjab police have launched a crackdown on supporters of Mr Singh

The place precisely is Mr Singh?

No one appears to know, however police declare to have discovered a number of leads over the previous 10 days and say they’re following every of them.

In the meantime, native media have highlighted surveillance footage from numerous cities allegedly displaying Mr Singh.

These embrace a clip that allegedly exhibits him fleeing in a makeshift cart together with a bike someplace in Punjab; an unconfirmed selfie of Mr Singh – holding a soda can – with an assistant; And Shots of him in Delhi Carrying a masks – not all of which have been checked by the police.

Some outstanding Sikh leaders have additionally questioned why police have thus far been unable to arrest Mr Singh.

However for now, the search appears to have returned to Punjab.

This week, the Indian Specific newspaper quoted an unnamed state investigator as saying the operation after Mr Singh’s escape was like in search of “a needle in a haystack”.

BBC Information India is now on YouTube. Click on right here to subscribe to and watch our documentaries, explainers and options.

Learn extra India tales from the BBC: