After being alerted by Indian authorities, the Nepal Government on March 27 put fugitive Amritpal Singh, who is believed to be hiding in the country, on its surveillance list.
New Delhi has requested authorities in Kathmandu 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.
According to reports, 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 Nepal’s Immigration Department. The Indian Embassy has sent a note asking the Department to put Amritpal Singh on the surveillance list.
“Amritpal Singh is currently hiding in Nepal,” the embassy has categorically mentioned in its correspondence sent to the Department of Consular Services through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A copy of the letter was also shared with the Director General of the Department of Immigration.
Senior officials at the Nepal Ministry of Home Affairs and Nepal Police, however, said they do not have information of Amritpal Singh hiding in Nepal, one report in ‘Kathmandu Post’ claimed.
The move by the Nepal Government came on a day when new photographs of Amritpal Singh, 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 Singh has remained untraceable ever since a crackdown against him and members of his outfit — Waris Punjab De — was launched in Punjab on March 18.
“(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,” local newspaper reports said in Kathmandu.
Amritpal Singh is said to be possessing multiple passports with different identities. The Nepal Home Ministry has also directed all security agencies to be on high alert in the area bordering India.
In a related development, Amritpal’s close associate Varinder Singh alias Fauji was arrested by the Amritsar Rural police.
Meanwhile, reports said amid speculation that fugitive pro-Khalistani activist Amritpal Singh may sneak into Nepal, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has stepped up vigil along the border in Uttarakhand and UP.
The separatist’s details have been sent to hotels and airlines, and posters with pictures of the fugitive and his aides have been put up in border areas.