Sikh separatist arrested in India after manhunt

Amritpal Singh

Indian police on April 24¬†arrested¬†Sikh separatist leader Amritpal Singh after a month-long manhunt. Singh gained notoriety for supporting the Khalistan movement, which calls for the establishment of an independent Sikh homeland in the northwest state of Punjab. He was taken into custody in the gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in the village of Moga, Punjab. He is charged with attempted murder, obstructing law enforcement, and disturbing the peace under terms of the harsh¬†National Security Act. The charges concern a Feb. 23 incident in which hundreds of followers of¬†Singh’s organization¬†Waris Punjab De (Heirs of Punjab) stormed a police station in Amritsar with sticks, swords and firearms, demanding the release of a detained member of their group.¬†During the manhunt for¬†Singh, authorities cut off internet access to all Punjab, a state of nearly 30 million. (Jurist, Mint)

Images of Amritpal Singh, Khalistan flag: Wikimedia Commons. Collage: Jurist

  1. US indicts India national in assassination plot on Sikh activist

    The US Department of Justice¬†announced Nov. 29 an indictment against Indian national Nikhil Gupta for an alleged unsuccessful plot to assassinate a US citizen of Indian descent who is a Sikh separatist advocate. The unsealed indictment accuses Gupta of making payments for the intended murder, and instructing that the murder should not occur during “anticipated high-level diplomatic engagement”¬†between India and the US.

    The announcement comes two months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saidthat India’s government may have carried out the murder of Sikh community leader and gurdwara president Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down in June in the parking lot of his Surrey, British Columbia place of worship. The September announcement from Trudeau has since strained diplomatic relations between Canada and India. (Jurist)

  2. Czech Republic to extradite Nikhil Gupta

    A Czech appeals court has ruled that Prague can extradite to the United States an Indian man accused by the US of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil, according to the Czech news website Seznam Zpr√°vy.

    The US Department of Justice announced te indictment of Nikhil Gupta in November 2023. According to the DoJ, Gupta paid an undercover US agent to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a political activist who lives in New York. Gupta was arrested in the Czech Republic in June 2023 at the request of the US. (Jurist)

  3. India blocks YouTube access to Canadian documentary

    CBC reported March 13 that India blocked access on YouTube and X to a Canadian investigative documentaryfocused on the alleged involvement of the Indian government in the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed last June in British Columbia.

    The CBC Fifth Estate documentary connects Nijjar ‚Äės death to a murder-for-hire plot by the Indian government and discusses India’s current and past targeting of Sikh Canadians. Since Nijjar’s death, no arrests have been made¬†or suspects named by the Canadian authorities. (Jurist)

  4. India and Pakistan named in Canada election interference

    The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), released declassified reports April 4 regarding alleged¬†attempts by the governments of India and Pakistan to interfere in Canada’s elections, according to the CBC.

    The CSIS¬†findings suggest that during the 2021 Canadian federal election, India engaged in covert operations, including the deployment of a government proxy agent. This agent was allegedly involved in providing illegal financial support to candidates favorable to India’s interests. The agency noted that these activities were primarily aimed at electoral districts with significant numbers of Indo-Canadian voters. Specifically, the agency alleges these activities involve targeting ridings perceived to have voters sympathetic to the Khalistani movement.¬†

    The CSIS also indicated that during the 2019 Canadian federal election, Pakistani government officials engaged in limited foreign interference. (Jurist)

  5. India arrests suspect in alleged London embassy attack

    India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has¬†arrested¬†a suspect, Inderpal Singh Gaba, in an alleged¬†attack on the Indian High Commission in London in March 2023. The supposed¬†attack occurred during protests outside the High Commission by supporters of the¬†Khalistan¬†separatist movement. (Jurist)

  6. Canada: three arrested over Sikh activist’s killing

    Three Indian nationals have been arrested and charged over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada. Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot dead last June by masked gunmen in a parking lot in a Vancouver suburb. The diplomatic row was sparked after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged India’s government may have been involved. (BBC News)¬†