Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh on Wednesday claimed that the government’s action against him is an attack on the Sikh community.

Singh, who has been absconding since March 18, made the claim in a video shared on social media. This is his first statement since a massive manhunt was launched to arrest him by the Punjab Police.

In the video, Singh said that if the Punjab government had the intention of making an arrest, they could have sent the police to his house and he would have given up.

“The Almighty saved us from the attempt of lakhs of cops who were sent to make an arrest,” he said, according to PTI.

The crackdown against Singh started days after he and his supporters stormed a police station in Amritsar on February 23 following the arrest of one of the preacher’s aides for alleged assault and attempted kidnapping.

The Waris Punjab De leader has garnered a significant following through his speeches that often focus on Punjab’s youth and religion. He has also given several interviews supporting demands for Khalistan, an independent state for Sikhs.

In Wednesday’s video, Singh said that he has asked Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to hold a meeting on the occasion of Baiskahi “to break the fear created by the government in the minds of the people”. The Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.

Singh, however, did not make any mention of Khalistan in the video.

Meanwhile, security was increased at the Golden Temple in Amritsar after media reports claimed that Singh may surrender to security forces there.

However, Amritsar Police Commissioner Naunihal Singh refuted the claims and said that security was increased in view of the increase in pilgrims at the site, according o ANI.