Anti-terror braveheart shot in Punjab

PK Jaiswar & Gurbaxpuri

Bhikhiwind, October 16

Shaurya Chakra awardee Comrade Balwinder Singh (Sandhu) Bhikhiwind (62) was today shot dead by two unidentified assailants on his residence-cum-school premises, months after the government withdrew his security cover.

SIT to probe, CM vows action

  • CM Amarinder Singh has ordered the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe Balwinder Singh’s killing
  • He directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure speedy probe to identify and bring the culprits to book
  • Anyone found guilty of the murder would be dealt with strictly, the CM added
Deceased’s wife Jagdish Kaur and daughter. Tribune photo

Assailants opened fire on him while he was opening the gate of the school. He was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him “brought dead”. He had suffered five bullet injuries. The Bhikhiwind police station is only 100 metres away from the crime spot.

Tarn Taran SSP Dhruman Nimbale said a case had been registered and all possible angles were being looked into. The deceased’s family members claimed it was an attack by terrorists.

“Comrade Balwinder Singh was on the hit list of terrorists. Even after repeated requests, the police failed to provide security to the family,” said Balwinder’s wife Jagdish Kaur. Balwinder had fought bravely against terrorism for years. He had trained even his children to fight against militants. His exploits made it to the international media, including National Geographic. The Union Government awarded him Shaurya Chakra in 1993. “Balwinder Singh Sandhu and his brother Ranjit Singh Sandhu are opposed to the activities of terrorists. They were on the hit list of terrorists. The terrorists, so far, have made 16 attempts to wipe out the Sandhu family within about 11 months,” the citation for the gallantry award said.

His is the only family in the country that has received four Shaurya Chakras. Besides Balwinder and his wife Jagdish Kaur, his elder brother Ranjit and his wife Balraj Kaur also received the Shaurya Chakra.

Balwinder’s house was located near the ancestral house of Parmjit Singh Panjwar, self-styled chief of the Khalistan Commando Force, who was later declared India’s “most wanted terrorist”.

Panjwar himself led several attacks on the house of the Sandhus. Their house was attacked with rocket launchers hand grenades etc. for over 40 times. When the police failed to come to their rescue, the Sandhus decided to arm themselves.

“Terrorist attacked us numerous times and 42 FIRs were on record,” said Jagdish Kaur.

Though the deceased was a state-level leader of the CPM when he fought against terrorism, he joined the Revolutionary Marxists Party of India (RMPI) about two years ago.

DIG, Ferozepur range, HS Mann visited the crime site.

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