Khalistan Commando Force

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The Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) was a Sikh militant organization whose goal was the eventual formation of the Sikh state of Khalistan, which would encompass Punjab, India, as well as some districts of neighboring states. The KCF, along with the Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Liberation Force, and the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan, clashed repeatedly with the Indian Army forces during the 1980s and early 1990s as well as the Punjab police.

Formation

The Khalistan Commando Force was formed by a former police officer, Sukhdev Singh alias Sukha Sipahi, who later changed his name to Labh Singh. The Khalistan Commando Force had a fluid hierarchy, enabling it to accommodate any potential setbacks. The undisputed head of the Khalistan Commando Force, until his death, was Labh Singh. He appointed half a dozen Lieutenant Generals, each independent of each other, with each of them having Area Commanders. As such, the death of a Lieutenant General for example would result in the promotion of an Area Commander.

Major operations

The organization primarily battled Indian military forces, especially in revenge for Operation Blue Star, the government's 1984 military operation in the Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar. It attacked Sikh's in Punjab in what the government described as an attempt to drive the Sikh minority out of the region,[1] and sometimes attacked sellers of alcohol, cigarettes, and other items prohibited by conservative Sikhism.[2]

Decline

The death of Labh Singh on July 12 1988 in an encounter with police dealt a knockout blow to the organisation, causing its eventual splintering. Whereas before Labh Singh had been a charismatic chief whose leadership was unquestioned, many of his Lieutenant Generals emerged after his death, vying with each other for control. The eventual result was the break-up of the Khalistan Commando Force into several factions, most notably those led by Wassan Singh Zaffarwal (KCF-Zaffarwal), Paramjit Singh Panjwar (KCF-Panjwar) and Gurjant Singh Rajasthani (KCF-Rajasthani). To make matters worse, each of these chose to be under different Panthic Committees (umbrella groups that directed aims and actions), thereby diversifying and weakening the focus of the Sikh militants.

Another setback to the Sikh rebellion was the cessation in co-operation between the Khalistan Commando Force and the Babbar Khalsa. The rapprochement that had been fostering between Labh Singh and Sukhdev Singh Babbar was put on ice and eventually disintegrated altogether, leading to the overall weakening of the Sikh struggle.

On October 09 1992, Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha assassins of General Arun Vaidya were hanged untill death in Pune jail. One of its leaders, i.e. Gurdev Singh Debu was boiled alive by Indian security forces. [3]. Police also killed thousands of suspects in staged shootouts and burned thousands of dead bodies to cover up the murders.[4]. The eventual capture and killing of several of the Khalistan Commando Force's Lieutenant Generals and Area Commanders eventually took its toll and many of the factions were eliminated by the Punjab Police and the Indian security forces.

After the major defeats of the KCF in the late 1980s, the group continued its struggle into the 1990s, sometimes working together with other Sikh militant groups. A June 1991 attack on a passenger train in northwestern Punjab killed about fifty, mostly Hindu, passengers.[5] A September 1993 bombing in New Delhi targeting Indian Youth Congress president Maninder Singh Bitta that killed eight people.[6]

Present status

As of 2006, the only operating remnant of the KCF is the Panjwar faction, which is based largely in Pakistan. In June 2006 a member of the Panjwar faction of the KCF, Kulbir Singh Barapind was extradited from USA to India. He was deported to India for belonging to a terrorist organization and for entering the United States with a false passport. He was wanted in India for thirty-two cases, but was arrested for three murders in the early 1990s. [7] After his arrest he stated that he would renew the Khalistan movement through peaceful means.[8]

See Also

References

  1. ^ Ravi Sharma, Militants kill rivals over family's slaying, United Press International, 1 January 1988.
  2. ^ Brown, Derek. Fanatical Sikhs turn on traders, The Guardian, 8 April 1987.
  3. ^ http://www.panthic.org/news/130/ARTICLE/2400/2006-04-16.html
  4. ^ http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/india__who_killed_the_sikhs_130052
  5. ^ Ravi Sharma, Massacre on passenger trains turns routine trip nightmare, United Press International, 16 June 1991.
  6. ^ Three Sikh militant factions claim Delhi blast, Agence France-Presse 13 September 1993.
  7. ^ Kulbir Singh sent to police custody, The Times of India, 19 June 2006.
  8. ^ Zee News, India, "Judicial remand of Khalistan militant extended till July 27" 14 July 2006
Khalistani Guerilla Groups
♣♣ Babbar Khalsa ♣♣ Khalistan Commando Force ♣♣ Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan ♣♣ Khalistan Zindabad Force ♣♣ Khalistan Liberation Force ♣♣