Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha - Khalistan Commando Force

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Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha were the assassins of Arun Vaidya, the Chief General of Indian army at the time of Operation Bluestar and also the architect of Operation Bluestar. They were responsible for three high-profile killings; Arjan Dass, Lalit Makkan and Gen. Vaidya. They along with other members of Khalistan Commando Force(including its chief General Labh Singh) were involved in the Indian History's biggest daylight bank robbery of the Punjab National Bank, Miller Gunj branch, Ludhiana in which more than Rs 5.70 Crore (58 million rupees-$4.5 million) were looted, a part of which belonged to the Reserve Bank of India, India's central bank. This bank robbery was biggest of other similar acts which Sikh militants used to weaken the government and to use Indian Money against Indian Security forces.

Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh "Sukha" along with Ranjit Singh Gill gunned down Congress Member of Parliament Lalit Makkan on July 31, 1985, when he was moving towards his car parked across the road from his house in Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. The three assailants continued firing even as Makkan ran towards his house for cover. Makkan's wife Geetanjali and a visitor, Bal Kishan, were also caught in the firing. The assailants escaped on their scooters. Lalit Makkan was considered to be involved in the killings of innocent Sikhs during the 1984 Massacre of Sikhs. In a 31-page booklet titled 'Who Are The Guilty', People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) listed 227 people who led the mobs, which killed up to 3,000 Sikhs over three days. Lalit Makkan's name was third on the list. Ranjit Singh "Gill" was arrested by Interpol in New Jersey, USA on May 14 1987, he was deported back to India in May 1997 after lengthy legal cases and was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 24 2003 by Additional Sessions Judge R.K. Jain in New Delhi.

General Arun Vaidya was the Chief of the Indian Army who ordered the attack on the holiest of the holy Sikh shrines at Amritsar and elsewhere in Punjab during Operation Bluestar. He had moved to Pune after his retirement from the army. On August 10, 1986 General Arun Vaidya, the architect of Operation Bluestar was shot to death by Jinda and Sukha while he was driving his car home from the market. According to the police, the assailants pulled up next to his car on motor scooters and fired eight or nine shots into the car. Vaidya reportedly died instantly of head and neck wounds. His wife, who was also in the car, was wounded by four bullets in her back and thighs. According to Indian intelligence sources, Vaidya had been the number four assassination target on lists by Sikh militants and he was one of several people killed in retaliation for Operation Blue Star. Following the assassination, the Khalistan Commando Force issued a statement declaring that Vaidya had been killed in retaliation for the Golden Temple operation. Congress (I) leader Arjan Dass was also assassinated by the duo because of his involvement in the 1984 Massacre of Sikhs. Arjan Dass's name appeared in various affidavits submitted by innocent Sikh victims to Nanavati Commission which was headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

On September 17, 1986, Mr Sukha got into an accident with a truck in Pimpri, Pune and was arrested. He was riding the same black motorcycle which was used at the time of assassination of General Vaidya. Mr. Jinda got arrested at Gurdwara Majnoo Daa Tilla, Delhi in March, 1987. He was shot in the legs at the time of his arrest. During their court trial, despite admitting to the killing, they pled not-guilty, justifying their actions by saying that Vaidya was "guilty of a serious crime, the punishment for which could only be death". They were awarded death sentences at 2:05 pm on October 21, 1989. They welcomed their death sentences with Sikh religious slogans of Bole So Nihal and their political slogans of Khalistan Zindabaad. On Oct. 9, 1992, early in the morning, Sukhdev Singh "Sukha" and Harjinder Singh "Jinda" were hanged until death in Pune Jail. They were kept hanging for 30 minutes. They were hung together. For the execution, 4 Deputy Police Commissioners, 10 assistant Police Commissioners, 14 inspectors, 145 sub-inspectors and 1275 officers had been assigned. Their dead bodies were cremated on the same day at 6:20 am near Moola River.

Early life of Sukha

Bhai Sukhdev Singh was born in Chak N: 11, Ganga nagar, Rajasthan. His parents, Bhai Mengha Singh and Bibi Surjeet Kaur were farmers and Amritdhari Gursikhs. He did his early schooling from village Manakpur. He received his BA from Gian Joti College and was studying in MA English when the 1984 attack Operation Bluestar occurred. He also left his studies and joined the Khalistan movement after this attack.

Honour/Awards

On October 09 2000, representatives of all major Sikh bodies, including ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, the SHSAD, the SGPC, the Damdami Taksal, AISSF and the Dal Khalsa attended the eighth death anniversary of Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha. To honour Jinda and Sukha, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Head of Akal Takht (Supreme Sikh temporal seat), performed the 'ardas' (a Sikh religious right). Both Sukha and Jinda were declared as "great martyrs' of the Sikh religion during this event.

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