Introduction to the Black Cats

Ajit Phoola, a disguised Nihung and a black cat

When the freedom movement of Khalistan was at the peak, the Indian government adopted many immoral and insincere policies to suppress the movement. One of such policies was to malign the reputation of the Sikh fighters by forming groups of goons and criminals and sending them to the homes of the Sikhs to carry out immoral activities in disguise of Sikh freedom fighters. Such groups were called “Black Cats”. The intent behind this was to turn the public against the Sikh movement, giving the police more freedom to hunt down Sikhs and kill them in large numbers. These policies were kept at highly secret level. The groups of criminals, dressed as Sikhs, would go to different villages, loot the public and dishonor women. Because of the increasing activities of the Cats the public became aware of these groups. Some reporters managed to get interviews of some of the Cats which greatly exposed the tyrant Indian government. At first the police denied the existence of such groups but as more and more evidence came forward the police had no choice but to tell the truth in which they felt no shame and openly made statements favoring these groups and their activities. The head of Punjab police Julio Ribiero clearly stated in one of the press conference:

“The mission of the government is to eradicate the Sikh movement. Whether it is done legally or illegally, it does not matter. In wartimes law does not matter. What matters is the destruction of the enemy.” (Julio Ribiero)

During his interview with Parteesh Nandi, the editor of Illustrated Weekly, Ribiero briefly explained the purpose and mission of the Black Cats.

Patrolling the areas at night was a big problem. The terrorists (Sikhs fighters) had started to kill the police groups patrolling the areas at night. This presented us a great problem as most of the police parties feared to go out at night. We did not know what to do. At last it was suggested by someone that the police should be sent dressed up as Sikhs. So we hired many young men including those who were weak-minded and joined the Sikh movement for the sole purpose of making money. Then we used to send them to patrol the areas where no police party wanted to go and no person was allowed to leave the house. This made easier for our groups to identify the terrorists and kill them since it would only be the terrorist groups wondering outside. (Julio Ribiero, Illustrated Weekly)

But Ribiero’s statement was fraction of the truth. The misdeeds of the Cats were published in a report in Punjabi Tribune newspaper in 1988. According to the report:

The Black Cats dressed as Sikhs, carrying assault rifles break into anyone’s house. They claim themselves to be the true freedom fighters. They eat and drink there and then dishonor the women of the house. At many places they have picked up many young girls from their homes. When some organizations fighting for human rights come forward to fight this oppression against the police, the activities carried by the Cats are increased dramatically so that the Sikh fighters could be insulted at the same level as that of the police. For some time now these Cats have been successful in blaming their misdeeds on the Sikh freedom fighters. At some places, the Cats go to house of a rich person to dine and wine there. After a few days, they send the police to the same house in the accusation of sheltering the terrorists. When the home owner denies such charges, he is given every little detail of the account. The home owner fearing the torture of the police pays large amount of money to buy his way out. This serves the purpose of making easy money and identifying the people who sympathize with the Sikh movement. (Punjabi Tribune, 1988)

While carrying out the misdeeds wearing white clothes and Kirpans some Cats were captured by the public who told the truth to save their lives. Many people started their campaigns against the police to terminate such groups but the government paid no attention to it. On the contrary, a puppet of the government K. P. Gill openly made the following statement:

Government’s security forces cannot do anything without the help of the Cats. Terminating these groups is out of the questions. (K.P. Gill, India Today)

Many of the Cats were enrolled in Colleges and the Universities so that they could target young educated Sikhs and discourage them from joining the movement. For this purpose the government fully supported the Black Cats. Sikh freedom fighters eliminated many of these groups. Even after the movement had been brought down, the Cats continued to loot and rape. At last the government had no choice but to eliminate them.

Source: Indian Terrorism on the land of Punjab by Baljit Singh Khalsa


  1. “The mission of the government is to eradicate the Sikh movement. Whether it is done legally or illegally, it does not matter. In wartimes law does not matter. What matters is the destruction of the enemy.” (Julio Ribiero)

    Is it possible to find out the date of the interview and to whom it was given


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