Another Hindu Leader Shot Dead in Punjab – Khalistani Terror Resurrected?

Two motorcycle-borne men shot Amit Sharma, 35, district publicity manager of Hindu organisation Sri Hindu Takht, near Jagraon Bridge in Ludhiana around 9pm on Saturday.

Sharma, who had joined the organisation two months ago, had come to meet a friend at a flower shop near a temple. He was about to get back into his car when the two attackers fired four shots, killing him on the spot; and escaped. Senior police officials, including commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulkah, reached the spot and started investigations.

Raman Sood, a resident of the locality where the car was parked, said the gunshots were not heard. “Maybe a silencer was installed on the pistol. I was sitting at home when I heard police sirens and came out,” he told HT.

“Four bullets hit Sharma and he died on the spot. The killers used a 7.65-bore pistol,” said Aulakh. Police also suspect that two more men on a bike were tailing the killers. No motive was yet established.

He was receiving regular threats from Khalistani militants through phone,” claimed Rohit Sahni, state publicity manager of the organisation. “To seek security, he also met the director general of police (DGP), who had asked him to meet police commissioner Aulakh,” he added, blaming the death on “negligence” of the Ludhiana police.

Sharma, who was an exporter of machine tools for hosiery industry, is survived by his wife and a five-year-old son.

2nd Leader of a Hindu organization murdered in Punjab in last 6 months

RSS Vice President, Brigadier Jagneja was shot in Jalandhar, Punjab on August 6, 2016 – he later passed away due to his injuries. His murderers have not been traced as yet.

The Khalistan separatist movement had first emerged due to Indira Gandhi’s politics of pitting extremist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale against her rivals – the Akalis. After the controversial Operation Blue Star where Army stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out Bhindranwale’s terrorists, Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards, and Congress unleashed the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 – Punjab was engulfed in terror for over a decade.

The Khalistani terrorists were provided material support by Pakistan’s ISI, and by some extremist Sikh groups in Canada, UK and other countries. But the terrorist movement was defeated in the 1990s, chiefly due to the anti-terror operations of Punjab Police led by KPS Gill (IPS).

However, for the last few years there are signs that the movement is being resurrected –

  •  Atleast one mainstream political party of Bharat with national ambitions, AAP, is currying favor with Khalistani separatists for votebank politics. Jarnail Singh, an AAP leader who was a candidate from West Delhi in the 2014 general elections, addressed a rally of Khalistan supporters in London, UK in 2011. A video also surfaced which shows Jarnail Singh accepting the demand of Khalistan –

  • Two years back, the AAP MP from Patiala Dharamveer Gandhi claimed that the party was playing a dangerous game by providing support to the protests carried out by radical Sikh groups for the premature release of pro-Khalistani militants.
  • Many rallies held by AAP’s Punjab affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh and MP Bhagwant Mann saw the attendees waving the portraits of the infamous Khalistani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Many AAP leaders were also present during the “Sarbat Khalsa” of 10 November 2015, where resolutions demanding a separate Sikh nation were passed.
  • There appears to be a concerted effort to revive Khalistani terrorism. In Nov 2016, Khalistan Liberation Front terrorist Harminder Mintoo along with five others escaped from Nabha central jail in Punjab. He was arrested a day later in Delhi.
  • Last year, a Khalistan supporter admitted in a federal US court that he conspired with terrorists to launch attacks in Bharat.

The murders of two Hindu leaders in Punjab should be seen in light of the above worrying developments. An AAP victory in the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab is likely to embolden the Khalistanis and destabilize the security situation in a sensitive border state.

Over the last decade, murders of Hindu activists/leaders has become a regular occurrence in different parts of Bharat, as we have highlighted in an earlier article “Silencing Hindu Voices” – but reportage of these murders is muted and socio-political analysis to understand the underlying patterns is totally absent.

While mainstream media dilutes and avoids highlighting murder of Hindu leaders & activists, these attacks and killings are becoming more and more brazen. The liberal and secular selective outrage prefers to focus on contrived narratives like ‘Church Attacks’, ‘Rising Intolerance’ (Akhlak’s murder), ‘Dalits under attack’, Rohith Vemula’s suicide, JNU Protests etc.

Murders of Hindu leaders are not considered ‘news worthy’ or ignored as they are deemed too ‘polarizing’. Don’t expect any tears for 35-year-old Amit Sharma, or the wife and 5-year-old son he leaves behind…his murder will be swept aside as just another ‘political killing’.


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