TARN TARAN: Leftist leader Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu who was awarded Shaurya Chakra by the President of India for playing a role against the armed Sikh movement in Punjab in the 1990s, was shot dead by two unknown persons today morning at his residence at village Bhikhiwind in Tarn Taran district.
The armed Sikh movement was the spontaneous response that had triggered out from the Sikh masses, to the army attack launched by the Indian government on the holiest Sikh shrine Sri Harmandar Sahib, during which the highest Sikh temporal seat Akal Takht Sahib was demolished, and massacre of Sikhs by the state-sponsored mob in Delhi and other cities of India.
To crush this movement, the Indian state used many illegitimate means in Punjab. Many left-leaning leaders owing allegiance to various left parties such as CPI, CPM, and the groups of Naxalite background acted as tools of the state to crush this movement that was aimed at attaining freedom. They were provided modern weapons by the government to fight against the Sikh militants. This also created fear among Hindus of Punjab and falsely projected the Sikh struggle as an “anti-Hindu” movement. And Sandhu was among them.
Not only Sandhu, his wife Jagdish Kaur, brother Ranjit Singh and brother’s wife Balraj Kaur also played the same role along with him and also got the award. Despite claiming that they were fighting the guns with guns with bravery in the hotspot of the militancy, they had been taking security from the government even when the militancy era is over.
However, Police withdrew their security several times finding that there is no threat to them in times of peace. To get the security again, they had made several requests to Punjab Police. Lastly, the Police provided them one gunman who was taken back a few months ago.
Sandhu claimed that his house had been attacked more than 42 times by the militants and every time he escaped from it. The Sikh activists who witnessed the militancy very closely ruled out these claims saying, “Had the militants attacked him 42 times, he could not survive”. They term it as his trick to get the security like one played by Shiv Sena and other extremist Hindu organizations to get the same.
Apart from giving the family the third highest gallantry award, the government promoted him and his family by making documentaries and telecasting these documentaries on its TV channels.
According to the Police sources, personal enmity is being guessed as the reason behind his murder as his sons have also been booked for criminal activities. However, the left leaders and family of the deceased are linking this murder to the Sikh militants.
“As our family is on the hit list of the terrorists and the Punjab Police are busting terror modules in Punjab even now, the Police should have provided us with security”, said Jagdish Kaur while talking to the media persons.
Currently, Sandhu was working as a leader of the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI), a splinter group of the CPM.
Considering it as high profile murder, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered to constitute Special Investigation Team (SIT) to solve the case.
Notably, Sandhu’s photographs with infamous former Punjab DGP KPS Gill is being shown by the TV channels while reporting his murder. These photographs are secured by him as his sweet memories and achievements at his residence, despite the fact that Gill along with the then Punjab Chief Minister Beant massacred thousands of innocent Sikh people including children and women dubbing them “terrorists”. And unidentified bodies of the killed persons were cremated by the Police mercilessly. Several Police officers have been convicted for these extra-judicial killings in Punjab.
This incident has occurred when farmers’ agitation against the Indian government is at its peak in Punjab over the farm laws enacted by it. Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP from Patiala Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi said, “Murder of Comrade Balwinder Singh is a conspiracy of anti-Punjab forces to derail the agitation and vitiate the atmosphere of Punjab”.
It is worth mentioning here that left-leaning Punjab newspaper ‘Nawan Zamana’ which is published from Jalandhar, openly backed state-sponsored terrorism in Punjab in the tone of ‘Hind Samachar Group’ which is a company of Arya Samajist family and publishes three newspapers—Punjab Kesri (Hindi), Hind Samachar (Urdu) and Jag Bani (Punjabi).
Besides, a leading leftist magazine ‘Surakh Rekha’ also supported the atrocities of the state and used to spread false propaganda against the Sikh movements that were initially launched by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) under the banner of Dharam Yudh Morcha and implementation of Anandpur Sahib resolution was its goal. The then Damdami Taksal leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale led the Sikhs during this morcha and he courted martyrdom in the attack by Indian security forces on Akal Takht Sahib.