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Indian police arrest alleged Sikh separatist leader

Police in India have confirmed the arrest of alleged Sikh separatist leader Amritpal Singh, bringing to an end a massive months-long manhunt.

The news was announced in a tweet on Punjab Police official Twitter account.

According to CNN’s Indian affiliate news 18, Singh was arrested in Moga, Punjab, in the northwest of the country, but will be taken to a high-security jail in Assam in India’s far east.

Singh is a leading ideologue within the Waris De Punjab group, an outlawed separatist movement that seeks to establish a sovereign state called Khalistan for followers of India’s minority Sikh religion.

Police have been searching for Singh since March 18, when he was accused of attempted murder, obstruction of law enforcement, and creating “disharmony” in the society.

The manhunt has revived calls for an independent Sikh homeland in India’s Punjab state which stoked fears of violence, and brought back painful memories of a bloody insurgency that killed thousands.

Last month while the police searched for Singh, Indian authorities blocked internet access to about 27 million people in the state of Punjab, one of the country’s most extensive blackouts in recent years.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas