India is discussing the mysterious disappearance and hiding of the wanted Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh as authorities expand the search of their circle, BBC News reported.

According to journalists in India, the Sikh activist was seen in four different cities in India, yet authorities are still unsuccessful in catching him.

After his arrest warrant was issued in the state of Punjab, he has been successful in avoiding police. An operation followed by Punjab police on March 28 in the village of Hoshiarpur was in vain as Mr Singh could not be arrested, sparking a debate over the possibility that Mr Singh could still be hiding in the Punjab, according to a BBC report.

Mr Singh has been under fire lately after his popularity rose among people in demand for a separate Sikh country from India.

The attempt to arrest Mr Singh first took place on March 18, when he and his supporters stormed a police station with the demand to release his associate, which resulted in a clash between police and his supporters. Later, several cases were registered under his name for attempted murder and spreading hate.

Several claim Sikh activist was seen in four different cities

Mr Singh was successful in evading the authorities in an extensive chase in which he changed three vehicles, according to reports, and since then the authorities are not aware of his whereabouts. To catch Mr Singh instantly, the authorities blocked the internet service in the entire province of Punjab, which has a population of 27 million people. Various media reports claim from time to time to have seen Mr Singh in different cities of India, including Delhi, the capital city of India.

These reports included the fact that Mr Singh was disguised as a Hindu preacher at a known bus terminal. After which, police were deployed and arrested a few of his supporters. Followed by the arrest of a woman from the state of Haryana, who revealed during the interrogation that she and Mr Singh have been in contact for over a year. Following a failed attempt to catch Mr Singh, the Indian Embassy alerted Nepal and requested that they add his name to a surveillance list in case he escaped to Nepal.

As of now, the authorities are still hunting for the man, with little hope of catching him soon. Several CCTV footage from different cities has been highlighted by the Indian media, which has told the people to alert the police as soon as possible if seen by anyone. Different stories are circulating about Mr Singh’s escape as well as his arrest by his own lawyer, who claims that he has been in police custody illegally.

People are questioning the police on how a single man can still be on the run with thousands of law enforcement personnel after him and access to the latest technology to track him. As of now, police claim to be close to arresting Mr Singh.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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