Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan
|Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan|
|Leader(s)||Gurbachan Singh Manochahal (1984-1993)
Balwinder Singh (1993)
|Motives||The creation of a Sikh independent state of Khalistan in Punjab, as well as some districts of neighboring states of India.|
The Bhindranwale Tigers Force of Khalistan, also known variously as Bhindranwale Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK) or Bhindranwale Tiger Force (BTF), was a group of insurgents, and was part of the Khalistan movement to create a Sikh homeland called Khalistan by taking to arms. This organisation appears to have been formed in 1984 by Gurbachan Singh Manochahal. After the founder's death, the BTF (or BTFK) seems to have disbanded or integrated into other organizations. The BTF was listed in 1995 as one of the 4 "major militant groups" in the Khalistan movement.
Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan had two main factions, one led by Gurbachan Singh Manochahal and the other faction led by Sukhwinder Singh Sangha.
The BTF was a Sikh militant group fighting for an independent Sikh homeland. Based in the state of Punjab, India, the BTF was described as one of the major Sikh militant groups and reportedly the strongest militant group in the Amritsar-Tarn Taran area.
According to a professor in Anthropology at University of Maine in Orono with expertise on Sikh militant groups in Punjab, the BTF was founded in 1984 by Gurbachan Singh Manochahal, who was also head of the original Panthic Committee (30 December 1994). Manochal broke away from the original Panthic Committee to continue his independent command of the BTF after his leadership of the Panthic was challenged in 1988 (ibid.). Manochal also maintained his own Panthic Committee for a while but was killed in 1991 or 1992 (ibid.). The professor also indicated that membership of the BTF numbered in the hundreds at one point, and the BTF was considered among the most dangerous of the guerilla forces (30 December 1994). The professor further indicated that "relations" of suspected members were targeted by police and paramilitary personnel and much of the original force had been decimated (ibid.). According to the professor, there were probably members of the BTF scattered all over, but no one knows how many are left or whether there is a clear leader at this point (ibid.). The professor was unable to comment on the treatment of members of the BTF by the authorities upon their return to India, but noted that since the BTF has been a major target of counter-terrorism efforts, she would expect the reception of any known member to be "drastic" (ibid.).
In the year 1991, Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan along with Khalistan Liberation Force and Dr. Sohan Singh (Head of Panthic Committee) etc. participated in the secret peace negotiations with India in the city of Ludhiana. These meetings were initiated by Union Minister of State for Home Subodh Kant Sahay on the orders of the then Prime Minister of India Chandra Shekhar. It is said that this peace effort was sabotaged by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence. Former Indian Intelligence Bureau Joint Director, Maloy Krishna Dhar stated in a press report published by The Hindu, that “Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her ISI advisers were determined not to let peace succeed. Pakistan’s covert war in Jammu and Kashmir had exploded in 1990, and its establishment understood that the Punjab conflict tied down our troops, and threatened our logistical lines into Jammu and Kashmir.”
Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan was found to be active in state of Punjab in the year of 1997.
Ranjit Singh Gill alias Kuki was a Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan member.
India arrested some of the Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan members in the year of 1999 as well.
- Mahmood, Cynthia Keppley (1 November 1996). Fighting for Faith and Nation. Series in Contemporary Ethnography. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 159 and others. ISBN 978-0-8122-1592-2. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- Martha Crenshaw, ed. (1 January 1995). Terrorism in Context. Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 394 and others. ISBN 978-0-271-01015-1. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- AI August 1991, 172; AFP 25 November 1993; Documentation-Réfugiés 23 November-6 December 1993, 8
- AFP 25 November 1993; India Today 31 March 1993, 56
- "Revisiting Punjab's secret search for peace". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 October 2007.
- Daily Gazette – 1 March 1993
- Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan