AMRITSAR, Punjab, India: Incensed by the ongoing persecution of Sikh youths, some Punjabi Hindu youths have become Amritdhari Sikhs and joined the ranks of the freedom fighters. One Manoj Kumar, 22, now known as Mohinder Singh, dresses himself in long, flowing robes and a loosely tied “patka’. He assumes an aggressive tone while saying, “I belong to New Khalistan Commando Force and we are trained to kill in our fight for our rights”. In a voice that is a mixture of coldness and emotion, he defiantly says, “lam now ready to carry out whatever assignment is given to me. I know I am destined to die, it can be today or may be tomorrow”

On being asked if there were more like him, he said, Hindu youths are any beginning to appreciate the justness of the Sikh cause. They can’t for long remain idle spectators to the shooting down of their innocent Sikh friends. There are no encounters, he said. Police arrests the people from their homes and then all your hear is that so and so was shot dead in an encounter. What rubbish! Let any police patrol have a real encounter with the freedom fighters, I tell you, not one policeman would go back alive, he asserted.

 He said Roshan Lal Bairagi, who like him had become an Amritdhari Sikh, was not killed in any encounter as alleged by the police. He never escaped from the police custody. Everybody knows that he was done to death by the police. “How can anybody feel safe in a country where police itself resorts to lawlessness’, he said.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 1, 1988