V2155280: Number that changed Amritpal’s life

The New Indian accesses the information about Amritpal Singh’s passport that turned him from being the cool dude in Dubai to a fugitive pro-Khalistani radical preacher

NEW DELHI | Updated: 26 March, 2023 2:52 pm IST
Amritpal Singh in Dubai (left)

Until last year, 29-year-old Amritpal Singh was that cool dude who clicked selfies posing in front of mirrors on his mid-range iPhones. He was a worker in the transport business, earning handsomely.

But then destiny took a turn. He got into Khalistani propaganda and opportunists roped him in to further their nefarious designs in India.

In August last year, he grabbed one of his identity documents, reached his ancestral village, held police at ransom, and is now running away from police – changing his appearance and locations and running on whatever he could get, like a car, bike or hand-pulled cart.

The New Indian accessed exclusive information about the document that changed his world – literally! V2155208 is the number that changed the mathematics of the former Dubai truck driver’s life into that of a coward who, weeks after daring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah, is running from policemen of the Sikh religion he claims to fight for.
Passport number V2155208 is now on the radar at every airport in the country as police forces from at least three states search for its owner, Amritpal, in every nook and corner.

Before he arrived in India, Amritpal met radical elements within the Sikh community. He also came into contact with leaders of Khalistan outfits over social media. He was hugely influenced by slain militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale – who unleashed a wave of terror and radicalisation in Punjab that pushed the country into riots. In Dubai, he would listen to Bhindranwale’s recorded inflammatory speeches.

As long as he lived in Dubai, he always kept his hair short and neither tied a turban nor kept his hair long. For the last 4-5 years, he has been active on social media and often gave speeches on religious, political and social issues related to Punjab and Sikhs through live streaming.

Amritpal used five phone numbers – 971557566098, 971555970350, 971557396995, 971501438762 and 97155361206 – during his 12-year-long stay in Dubai.

According to sources in the Indian security establishment, Amritpal stayed in Georgia for a month.

He reached his native village of Jallupur Kheda in rural parts of Amritsar on September 25, 2022. Radical Sikh elements in the region gave him a grand welcome on arrival and he was soon made the head of the Khalistani sympathiser outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’, which was floated recently by actor Deep Sidhu.

Amritpal started making provocative speeches to instigate the Sikhs, ridiculing them for being “slaves” and exhorting them to break free. In his speech, Amritpal would often blame “the Indian state” for drug problems in Punjab and the miseries of the community.

In November, Amritpal opened a de-addiction centre in his village and would give massages to addicted youths himself, so as to project himself as a messiah. He gave a very simple solution to Punjab’s drug problem – that only Sikh gurus and faith in them can cure such conditions.

In February, Amritpal led his thousands of supporters to storm the Ajnala police station in Amritsar and forced police to release their comrade – a man arrested for abduction.

Police have arrested or detained more than 200 supporters and aides of Amritpal so far, even as the crackdown continues.

During interrogation, however, the arrested supporters told police that they sold drugs to raise money for arms and ammunition to revive militancy in Punjab.

According to sources in intelligence, Amritpal is also linked to Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

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