The Khalistan Liberation Force is an insurgent group which was formed as part of the Khalistan movement to create a Sikh homeland called Khalistan via armed struggle. Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) is a leading Sikh freedom fighting organisations that was especially active in the Indian state of Punjab throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
Objective behind formation of KLF
Its aim was the formation of Khalistan (Land of the Pure), encompassing the state of Punjab, and adjoining districts in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The KLF, along with the Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Commando Force and the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan, made up the four largest and most prominent armed oppositions groups throughout the period of militancy in Punjab.
Foundation and History
The KLF was founded by Shaheed Aroor Singh in 1986. His martyrdom led to the leadership of Shaheed Avtar Singh Brahma, under whose expert guidance the KLF really came into its own. Born in 1951, Brahma Sahib became an Amritdhari at the tender age of 15, having witnessed a gatka demonstration at his village.
The attack on holy Sri Darbar Sahib by the Indian Army, under the orders incidentally of a Sikh, polarised the opinions and mindsets of many Sikhs. Brahma Sahib was no exception and he formulated a plan to strike back at the heart of the enemy.
Freedom Struggle for Khalistan throughout the 1980s and early 1990s
Throughout the years of the freedom struggle, the KLF played a pivotal role in the liberation of the Sikh homeland. This advancement of Sikh rights however took a massive setback when Brahma Sahib was cornered by Punjab Police on the Punjab-Rajasthan border.
Punjab Police analogues show that Brahma Sahib kept the police at bay for hours, fighting by himself, but never forgetting who his father was, our eternal guru and guide, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
He held proud to the beliefs of the Khalsa Panth that he had sworn to protect. Shaheed Avtar Singh Brahma attained martyrdom on 21st May 1988.
In October 1991, KLF kidnapped a Romanian diplomat, Liviu Radu to barter the release of two top militants, Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhjinder Singh Sukha.
On July 29, 1992, Punjab Police killed chief of Khalistan Liberation Force Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala in Ludhiana, Punjab.On August 4, 1992, Indian police claimed to have killed Khalistan Liberation Force's new chief Navroop Singh Dhotian and four other Sikhs in a 20-hour gun battle but later on August 29, 1992 declared that Mr Navrup Singh Dhotian is still alive.
KLF at present
The Khalistan Liberation Force at the present time is a shell of its former self. The days of Avtar Singh Brahma and Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala are long gone. However, the KLF is still active and enjoys considerable support in rural areas of Punjab, albeit on a much more covert scale than before.
The popularity of its leaders, particularly Shaheed Avtar Singh Brahma and Shaheed Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, ensure its continuing portrayal amongst the Sikh community.