Nepal Monday put fugitive Amritpal Singh, who is believed to be hiding in the country, on its surveillance list after India requested it not to allow the pro-Khalistan preacher to flee to a third country and arrest him if he attempts to escape using an Indian passport. Nepal’s Department of Immigration has put Amritpal on its surveillance list following a request from the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
“We have received a written note along with a copy of his passport from the (Indian) embassy suspecting that Amritpal Singh might have entered Nepal,” said Kamal Prasad Pandey, the Information Officer at the Department.
“The Indian Embassy has sent the note asking the Department to put Amritpal Singh, a member of a separatist group, on the surveillance list,” Pandey said.
The move by Nepal government came on a day new photographs of Amritpal, with his associate Papalpreet Singh, surfaced on social media even as another close aide of the radical preacher was detained under the stringent National Security Act.
Amritpal has continued to evade arrest and remained untraceable ever since a crackdown against him and members of his outfit — Waris Punjab De — was launched in Punjab on March 18.
While there was no immediate confirmation about the letter from the Indian mission in the Nepal capital, the Kathmandu Post newspaper had earlier reported that the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu on Saturday wrote a letter to the Department of Consular Services requesting the government agencies to arrest the fugitive preacher.
“(Amritpal) Singh is currently hiding in Nepal. The esteemed ministry is requested to inform the Department of Immigration not to permit Amritpal Singh to travel through Nepal for any third country and arrest him if he attempts to escape from Nepal using Indian Passport or any other fake passport under intimation to this mission,” the newspaper said, citing a copy of the letter obtained by it.
The newspaper, citing multiple sources said, “The letter and Singh’s personal details have been circulated to all the concerned agencies from hotels to airlines…Singh is said to be possessing multiple passports with different identities”.
Another newspaper said that Nepal Home Ministry has directed all security agencies to be on high alert in the area bordering India. Citing ministry sources, My Republica newspaper said that the instruction was given at the request of Indian security officials and the Nepal-India border area has been kept on ‘high alert’ for two days.
Quoting sources, the report said that police in plain clothes have stepped up vigilance in the border area as Amritpal could enter the country from Kapilvastu in Western Nepal.
Meanwhile, two new photographs of Amritpal and Papalpreet, were shared on social media. The photographs were most likely taken on March 18, the day the Punjab Police launched a crackdown. In the first photo, the preacher and associate are seen sitting on a modified motor-cart with a motorcycle. The Punjab Police had earlier said that the duo had snatched the motorcycle, but it had developed a puncture. They had later abandoned the bike, which was recovered by the police.
In the other photo, the two are holding beverage cans.
In another development, Amritpal’s close associate Varinder Singh alias Fauji was arrested by the Amritsar Rural police.
Akal Takht to govt: Release protesters or face campaign
Amritsar: Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpeet Singh Monday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Punjab government to release all Sikh youths who arrested during the ongoing crackdown against pro-Khalistan Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh and his outfit Waris Punjab De, failing which a “diplomatic campaign will be launched in the country and abroad” to let the world know “how the Sikhs were being treated”. The Jathedar also condemned the state government for invoking the National Security Act against a few persons during the crackdown. —ENS