Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) was formed with the support of Panthic Committee and Damdami Taksal in August 1986 under the leadership of Manbir Singh Chaheru. Between 1983-86 it conducted a number of targeted attacks, weapons snatching and bank robberies. KCF had a three-layered hierarchical structure with members of Panthic committee forming the first tier and second levels of leadership. The third layer of KCF primarily consisted of cadres from All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF).
KCF suffered severe setback in May 1988 during Operation Black Thunder, after the killing of its leader ‘general’ Labh Singh. After his death in 1988, Kanwaljit Singh Sultanwind became the groups leade, unitl his death in 1989.
In the aftermath KCF fractured into four factions which were led by Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, Gurjant Singh Rajasthani and Rachpal Singh Fauzi. Presently the only surviving and active faction of KCF is the faction led by Paramjit Singh Panjwar, an ex- smuggler. Currently KCF is identified as KCF-Panjwar. At present the capability of the group is limited and overseas support base is considerably narrow.
The objective of one of the most violent terrorist group KCF was to consolidate all the secessionist Khalistani militant groups and to attain its goal of forming a ‘Sikh homeland’.
KCF reportedly has presence in Canada, UK and Pakistan. It also receives patronage from sympathisers in western Europe and US. KCF leader Paramjith Singh Panwar is a based in Pakistan. During the active phase of Khalistani terrorism, KCF was active in Punjab, Ganga-Nagar (Rajasthan), Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Although KCF activity in Punjab were reported in Gurudaspur, Kapurthala, Amritsar and other Districts, Mand area (riverine area of Ferozepur, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Jalandhar Districts) was the hub of its activity.
Patrons of KCF, who are based in West Europe and USA and still pursuing the secessionist aims is a source of funding for the group. KCF reportedly receives donations from Sikh Cultural Society Gurdwara, Richomond Hill, New York. KCF had managed to collect USD 100,000 from Gurudwaras of USA and Canada to fund the assassination of Dera Sach Sauda leader Guru Ram Rahim. Bank robberies was also a chief source of revenue for the militants. In September and October 1986, KCF looted INR 1.8 Million from RBI Talwara and Punjab National Bank in Ludhiana.
Panjwar, currently based in Pakistan and an ex- smuggler is currently active in narco-smuggling. He is a major link between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and smugglers. Drug smuggling is another source of income for KCF. It has been reported that Panjwar has been in touch with atleast six smuggling groups involved in drug and FICN smuggling. Pakistan Army in July 2003 had raised a unit ’11 Sikh’, which recruited and trained Punjabi speaking Muslim youths. While training was given in Muzaffarabad in PoK, Paramjit Panjwar was reported to have regularly visited the training centre.
KCF is also working with groups such as Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and International Sikh Youth Front (ISYF). It also has linkages with other Islamist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
It has been estimated that there are 53 foreign based KCF militants. Top
leaders of KCF such as Jagjit Singh alias Billa alias Saini is based
in US. According to a 1995 report, KCF had a cadre strength of 65. Current
cadre strength is unknown.
KCF was armed by Pakistan with sophisticated weaponry including mortars, AK 47 rifles, grenades and stenguns. KCF was primarily targeted anti-Khalistani Sikhs, Hindus and troopers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). KCF had a centralized leadership structure, with militants assigned with designation of ‘lieutenant general’ was assigned charge of a specific area of operation. He had an ‘area commander’ under him, who would take charge of operations when ‘lieutenant general’ was neutralized.
The money from bank robberies was used to purchase weaponry such as AK-47 rifles. Wassan Singh was the lead man for purchasing weapons for the group.
KCF was founded by Manbir Singh Chaheru, alias ‘general’ Hari Singh who was the first ‘chief’ of KCF. Tarsem Singh Kohar was the ‘deputy chief’. Manbir Singh Chaheru was arrested in August 1986 and Sukhdev Singh alias Sukha Sipahi took over as the ‘chief’, who was also neutralised. Other to leaders such as Balbir Singh Fauji, Harjinder Singh Jinda, Satnam Singh Bawa and Harjinder Singh Kali were later arrested. Currently, top leaders of KCF, Jagjit Singh alias Billa alias Saini is based in US.
Casualties: 11 Killed
Details: KCF triggered twin explosions in which 11 people are killed and 65 wounded in Punjab
Casualties: 27 civilians killed
Details: 27 civilians were massacred by KCF militants numbering 13 to 14 at Sialba Majri in Ropar in Mohali, Punjab.
Casualties: 19 students killed
Details: 19 students were shot dead by KCF militants at Thapar Engineering college in Patiala, Punjab.