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Jaswinder Kala, Lakha Maruti and Banti

Jaswinder Kala and Lakha Maruti were two criminals of the Indian government hired by S.S.P. Gobind Ram. Gobind Ram’s brutality, torturing methods and oppression against the Sikhs were so well known that he claimed that Sikhs would forget the name of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and remember his name (Gobind Ram) instead. He, like the other police officers, had hired many other goons in the area of Batala to infiltrate the Sikh movement. Group of Jaswinder Kala and Lakha Maruti was one of the main groups of Gobind Ram. A reporter, Dinesh Kumar, of Times of India published his interview with Kala in 1988.

Anyone could easily be disillusioned by the appearance of Kala. There was no physical difference between him and other Sikhs. Same type of attire, mustache, look and most importantly holding AK-47 with “Khalistan” written on it were some of his characteristics that resemble with Sikh fighters. (Times of India, 31 August 1988)

Kala and Lakha were free to loot as many people as they possibly could everyday. Lakha was given the nickname of “Maruti” by the public because he had a habit of looting Maruti cars from everyone. To show his loyalty to the government, he betrayed and killed Bhai Lakhwinder Singh, companion of Bhai Jugraj Singh Toofan. He presented Bhai Lakhwinder Singh’s body to Gobind Ram. The media published the story as follows:

Today afternoon, Bhai Lakhwinder Singh was killed in an encounter near Batala. Police officer Gobind Ram revealed that the police had received information from secret sources that Lakhwinder Singh along with his companion was hiding in Dyalgarh near Batala. Upon receiving the information he (Gobind Ram) and other police officers reached the said location and surrounded the area. The terrorists started shooting at the police. In return the security forces fired back and after a while of exchanging fire, one terrorist was killed and the other managed to escape. The dead body was identified to be of Lakhwinder Singh.

Lakha Maruti also managed to have another companion known as Totee arrested by the police. Gobind Ram tortured and killed Totee using inhumane methods. S.S.P. of Gurdaspur complained to the central government that since Totee was killed in Gurdaspur he deserves part of reward given to Gobind Ram. Kala and Maruti became even more successful in infiltrating the Sikh movement when they killed Bhai Major Singh, right hand man of Bhai Jugraj Singh Toofan. Gobind Ram became so excited at the death of many Sikh fighters that he allowed his goons to loot the public openly without any hesitation.

One goon of this group named Banti managed to have Bhai Kanwarjeet Singh Shindi arrested and disrespected his sisters. Bhai Kanwarjeet Singh was close companion of Bhai Dharam Singh Kashtivaal. Gobind Ram tortured Bhai Sahib day and night. He took Bhai Kanwarjeet Singh to many villages and tortured him in front of villagers by inserting hot iron rods in his stomach. Even after so much torture Bhai Sahib kept saying “Babbars are hiding in my heart. Get them out if you dare.” After many days of torture Bhai Sahib became Shaheed. Bhai Dharam Singh’s group retaliated by capturing Banti and blew him into pieces.

Just like Banti, the end of Kala and Maruti had come. In 1989 both of these goons went to Daler village near Dhariwal, cut off the electricity and then looted many houses. Then they went to a house that was having a wedding and started forcing the bride to give up her jewelry. They started saying “In order to keep the fight for Khalistan going, we need to buy weapons which is why we need the jewelry.”

The previous houses they had looted spread the news all over the village. Coincidentally, two main Sikh fighters Bhai Balwinder Singh Shahpur and Bhai Hardev Singh Kalia were in the village. When they heard the news they picked up their weapons and showed up at the wedding. They became enraged by seeing the Black Cats they had been looking for. At that time Cats were beating up the bride for not giving up her jewelry. The Sikh fighters challenged the Cats to show their strength to the real men. Seeing the true Sikh fighters, the Cats started shooting at them but instead of killing any Sikh fighter they killed one boy of 13 years old instead. Sikh fighters in return fired back and killed Maruti. Rest of the goons ran away but Kala was captured by the Sikhs. They forced him to reveal the truth to the villagers after which the Sikhs beat him to death in front of everyone, ending another chapter of Indian brutality.

Source: Indian Terrorism on the land of Punjab by Baljit Singh Khalsa

Translated by Sikh Freedom