Khalistan Liberation Force

The Khalistan Liberation Force or KLF was a Sikh militant Jathebandi responsible for several bombings of civilian targets in India during the 1980s and 1990s, sometimes in conjunction with Kashmir separatists. [ "Bus explosion in India kills at least 14"] , CNN, 22 May 1996] [ "Fatal bomb meant to disrupt Kashmiri elections"] , CNN, 21 Apr 1996] [ "1995 Patterns of Global Terrorism"] , U.S. State Department] Its aim, along with several other peaceful and militant Sikh groups, was the formation of a Sikh nation of Khalistan, encompassing the state of Punjab, and adjoining districts in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The KLF, along with the Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Commando Force and the Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan made up the four largest Sikh terrorist groups throughout the period of militancy in Punjab. India alleged that all these groups were funded by Pakistan's spy agency ISI, which Pakistan denies.

KLF were among the Sikh groups that took credit for the armed kidnapping of Romanian charge d'affaires in New Delhi, Liviu Radu, in 1991, in apparent retaliation for Romanian arrests of KLF members for the attempted assassination of Julio Ribeiro, 62, the Indian ambassador to Romania, in Bucharest. [,9171,974111,00.html "World Notes India"] , Time magazine, 21 Oct 1991.] Radu was released unharmed after Sikh politicians criticized the action. [ [ "Secret Injustice: The Harpal Singh Case"] , Sikh Sentinel, 17 Sep 2003.]

The separatist movement, which began in 1986, was largely crushed in the mid 1990s, [ "An Indian Assessment: Low Intensity Conflicts & High Intensity Crime"] , South Asia Terrorism Portal] though arrests still occur. [ [ The Tribune, Chandigarh, India, "KLF militant alleges forcible confession"] 18 January 2005]

The KLF was founded by Aroor Singh and Sukhvinder Singh Babbar in 1986. Other KLF leaders included Avtar Singh Brahma (killed by Punjab police 21 May 1988), Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, Kuldip Singh Keepa Shekhupura, and Navneet Singh Khadian (killed 25 Feb 1994).

It is reported that former KLF operative Manjinder Singh Issi, who took part in the Radu kidnapping, became disillusioned with KLF when he realized that its Pakistani supporters were more interested in disruptive violence in Punjab than Sikh autonomy. [ [ "Pakistan sabotaged Khalistan movement: Manjinder Issi"] , Rediff, 12 Mar 1999.]

ee also

*History of the Punjab
*Operation Blue Star
*Terrorism in India
*Navneet Singh Khadian


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