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Khalistan Commando Force
Leader Paramjit Singh Panjwar
Active region(s) India
Ideology Khalistan
Status Active (2008)
Organizations listed as terrorist groups by India
Northeastern India
National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)
Naga National Council-Federal (NNCF)
National Council of Nagaland-Khaplang
United Liberation Front of Asom
People's Liberation Army
Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
Zomi Revolutionary Front
Al-Badr Mujahideen
Al Barq (ABQ)
Al Fateh Force (AFF)
Al Jihad Force (AJF)/Al Jihad
Al Mujahid Force (AMF)
Al Umar Mujahideen (AUR/Al Umar)
Awami Action Committee (AAC)
Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM)
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HUM)
Ikhwan-ul-Musalmeen (IUM)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
Jammat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM)
Jammat-ul-Mujahideen Almi (JUMA)
Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP)
Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF)
Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami (JKJEI)
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET)
Kul Jammat Hurriyat Conference (KJHC)
Mahaz-e-Azadi (MEA)
Muslim Janbaaz Force (MJF/Jaanbaz Force)
Muslim Mujahideen (MM)
Hizbul Mujahideen
United Jihad Council
Students Islamic Movement of India Tehreek-e-Jihad (TEJ)
Pasban-e-Islami (PEI/Hizbul Momineen HMM)
Shora-e-Jihad (SEJ)
Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TUM)
North India
Babbar Khalsa
Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Dashmesh Regiment
International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
Kamagata Maru Dal of Khalistan
Khalistan Armed Force
Khalistan Liberation Force
Khalistan Commando Force
Khalistan Liberation Army
Khalistan Liberation Front
Khalistan Liberation Organisation
Khalistan National Army
Khalistan Guerilla Force
Khalistan Security Force
Khalistan Zindabad Force
Shaheed Khalsa Force
Central India
People's war group
Balbir militias
Ranvir Sena

The Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) is a militant group, and is part of the Khalistan movement to create a Sikh homeland called Khalistan via armed struggle.

According to the US State Department,[1] and the Assistant Inspector General of the Punjab Police Intelligence Division,[2] the KCF was responsible for the deaths of thousands in India, including the 1995 assassination of Chief Minister Beant Singh.[1]



The KCF is considered by the United States Department of State to be a terrorist organisation.[1][3]

Some see fallen members of the Khalistan movement as shaheed (martyrs).[4] Others identify those using violence in the Khalistan movement to be freedom fighters.[5] [6]

Formation and leadership

The Khalistan Commando Force was founded by Manbir Singh Chaheru in 1986.[7][8][9]

On August 8, 1986, Punjab Police arrested Manbir Singh Chaheru("Hari Singh"), and he was eventually killed [10] or disappeared[11] while in police custody. After Chaheru was arrested, former police officer Sukhdev Singh, also known as Sukha Sipahi, took command of the KCF.

Sukhdev Singh changed his name to Labh Singh and assumed the title of "General".

After his death the KCF was headed by Kanwarjit Singh Sultanwind[12][13] On 18 October 1989, Kanwarjit Singh Sultanwind,[14] and another KCF member were arrested by police near Jalandhar. Kanwarjit Singh Sultanwind, then 23 years old, killed himself with poison.[14]


Police killed Labh Singh on July 12, 1988.[15] His loss damaged the organisation. After his death, the Khalistan Commando Force split into factions including those led by Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, Paramjit Singh Panjwar and Gurjant Singh Rajasthani.

Another result of Labh Singh's death was the failure of the Khalistan Commando Force - Babbar Khalsa alliance, as the relationship established by Labh Singh and Sukhdev Singh Babbar was lost.

Police and other Indian security forces caught or killed Lieutenant Generals and Area Commanders, and eventually crushed many of the factions.




The organisation 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 assassinated General Arun Vaidya, who led the indian forces in Operation Blue Star[16]

It also attacked sellers of alcohol, cigarettes, and other items prohibited by conservative Sikhism.[17]

It was also suspected of involvement in the 1987 Punjab killings.


After the major defeats of the KCF in the late 1980s, the group continued its struggle into the 1990s, sometimes working together with other militant groups.

A June 1991 attack on a passenger train in northwestern Punjab killed about fifty, mostly Hindu, passengers.[18] A September 1993 bombing in New Delhi targeting Indian Youth Congress president Maninderjeet Singh Bitta that killed eight people.[19]

On October 9, 1992, Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha, alleged assassins of General Arun Vaidya, were hanged until death in Pune jail.

Gurdev Singh Debu was reportedly boiled alive by Indian security forces.[20][21] Police also killed thousands of suspects in staged shootouts and burned thousands of dead bodies to cover up the murders.[22][23]

The KCF was listed in 1995 one of the 4 "major militant groups" in the Khalistan movement.[24]


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 organisation 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.[25] After his arrest, he stated that he would renew the Khalistan movement through peaceful means.[26]

In 2006, a Brooklyn, New York, jury convicted Khalid Quyyum Awan of providing money and financial services to the Khalistan Commando Force, a terrorist organization responsible for thousands of deaths in India since its founding in 1986. The investigation began in 2003, when Khalid Awan, jailed at the time for credit card fraud, bragged of his relationship with Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, leader of the KCF.[1]

In 2008, Punjab Police announced they had foiled a KCF effort to kill Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of Dera Sacha Sauda. Police announced they had seized arms, drugs and counterfeit currency smuggled from Pakistan to a village in Punjab, India.[27]


Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, remained the head of the remaining faction of the KCF as of 2008, and was listed at that time as one of the top 10 most wanted criminals in India.[28]

The University of Maryland beta version of the "Global Terrorism Database" recorded 2 attacks on military targets, 5 on police, and 10 against civilians as of June, 2009.[29]

The KCF remains banned in India.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "U.S. Court Convicts Khalid Awan for Supporting Khalistan Commando Force". Embassy of the United States in New Delhi, India. December 20, 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-30.  
  2. ^ "Law Enforcement Cases: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs". US Department of State. March 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-08.  
  3. ^ "Law Enforcement Cases: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs" (in Language). US Department of State. March 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-08.  
  4. ^ Bolan, Kim (April 14, 2008). "Vaisakhi parade displays celebrate violence despite organizer's pledge". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  5. ^ Mahmood, Cynthia Keppley (1997). Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants (illustrated ed.). Many interviews, example on page 102: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 314. ISBN 9780812215922.  
  6. ^ "U.S. Sikhs back militants' fight for homeland". THE WASHINGTON TIMES. November 18, 1991. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  7. ^ "Encyclopedia of modern worldwide ... - Google Books". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  8. ^ "Fighting for faith and nation ... - Google Books". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  9. ^ "Violence as political discourse - Google Books". 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  10. ^ "The Journal of Commonwealth & comparative politics by Taylor & Francis". 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  11. ^ Mahmood, Cynthia Keppley (1997). Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants (illustrated ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 314. ISBN 9780812215922.  
  12. ^ "800 years of Sultanwind". Punjab Heritage. 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  13. ^ "Terror in the mind of God: the ... - Google Books". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  14. ^ a b Juergensmeyer, Mark (2003). "The Sword of Sikhism". Terror in the mind of God (3 ed.). Page 95: University of California Press. pp. 319. ISBN 9780520240117. Retrieved 18 June 2009.  
  15. ^ "Terrorism in context - Page 399". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  16. ^ Mahmood, Cynthia Keppley (1997). Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants (illustrated ed.). page 155: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 314. ISBN 9780812215922.  
  17. ^ Brown, Derek. Fanatical Sikhs turn on traders, The Guardian, 8 April 1987.
  18. ^ Ravi Sharma, Massacre on passenger trains turns routine trip nightmare, United Press International, 16 June 1991.
  19. ^ Three Sikh militant factions claim Delhi blast, Agence France-Presse 13 September 1993.
  20. ^ "Lack Of Hindu Think Tank, Manhood And Awareness Leads To Hindu/Sikh Family Break Up". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  21. ^ "Panthic Weekly: Boiled Alive: Shahid Bhai Gurdev Singh 'Debu'". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  22. ^ "India: Who killed the Sikhs". World News Australia. April 3, 2002.  
  23. ^ Special Broadcasting Service :: Dateline - presented by George Negus
  24. ^ Martha Crenshaw, ed (January 1, 1995). Terrorism in Context. page 394 and others: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 656. ISBN 978-0271010151. Retrieved 30 May 2009.  
  25. ^ Kulbir Singh sent to police custody, The Times of India, 19 June 2006.
  26. ^ Zee News, India, "Judicial remand of Khalistan militant extended till July 27" 14 July 2006
  27. ^ IANS 9 November 2008, 07:06pm IST (2008-11-09). "Plot to kill Sikh Dera chief foiled: Cops". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  28. ^ "8) Paramjit Singh Panjwar". June 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  29. ^ ""Khalistan Commando Force" search at Beta UM terrorism database". University of Maryland. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  

External links


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