Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ‘Anti Communal and anti State terrorism Front'.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the famous rally on July 10 th 1987 in
Moga in Faridkot district in Punjab by the 'Anti Communal and anti State
By Harsh Thakor
July 10 th 1987 is day when the democratic and revolutionary movement will
remember for hundreds of years.On this day the revolutionary masses of
Punjab under the leadership of the 'Anti-Communal and anti-repression Front
held a huge 10,000 strong rally thwarting the offensive of the Khalistani
forces.The people of Punjab assembled like a swarm of bees in this historic
protest. It was the first major state-wide protest against the enemies. One
was reminded o the American fascist onslaught on the peole of Vietnam.The
heroic resistance of he masses also resmbled this.They valiantly fought
against the iron feet of oppression Khalistani movement marked a historic
epic in the history of post-Independent India. This reactionary communal
fascist movement advocated the liberation of Sikhs and a separate state to
be carved out for the Sikh people. Khalistani ideology advocated a separate
theocratic state based on all the tenets of Sikhism.
Jagjit Singh Chauhan was the founder of this movement in the late 60's
abroad. Natively from Punjab he had settled abroad, and in Britain formed
Sikh religious groups advocating a new state for the Sikhs.
The Khalistani dictates included a ban on cigarettes, a ban on eating meat,
a ban on drinking liquor, a ban on beauty parlours, prohibition against
shaving and compulsion of women to wear Salwar Kameez. The people had to
observe the Khalistani code in all ways of life.
In Punjab the Akali Dal represented the religious Sikh politics through the
Akali movement which had its origin in the Singh Sabha movement of the late
1920's which tried to communalise a secular anti-imperialist movement. To
divert it, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak committee was formed with the
blessings of the British.
The Akali movement professed the Anandpur Sahib resolution that converted
several democratic issues into Sikh demands. Democratic demands of the
people like the arrest of the Jodhpur detenues, the sharing of river waters
with Haryana, the transfer of the capital from Chandigarh to Amritsar, and
the punishing of criminals during the Delhi riots were taken up as religious
However the fundamental difference of the Akali Dal from the Khalistanis was
that they wanted to gain power within the Indian State through electoral
means, while the Khalistanis advocated a total religious liberation struggle
to de-throne the Indian State. There were forces within the Akali Dal which
openly supported the Khalistani armed actions and election boycott, like the
United Akali Dal faction led by Baba Joginder Singh. In the mid 80' Sant
Longowal, the Akali Dal president was assassinated by the Khalistanis for
collaborating on a settlement with the ruling Congress.
From the early 80's to the early part of the 90's the state of Punjab was
ravaged by Khalistani terrorism. Communal fascists were a great threat to
the people's democratic movement. The Akali Dal represented the Sikh
communalists while the Congress represented the Hindu communalism. Both
parties used the communal terrorists against each other.
Indira Gandhi created and patronized Bhindranwale, a Sikh communal fanatic,
to electorally defeat the Akali Dal. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale belonged to
a Sikh fundamentalist sect which opposed the electoral Akali Dal politics.
In the earlier phases the Akali Dal patronized the Sikh fundamentalist
forces, harbouring several terrorists in religious temples. However when the
contradiction between the Khalistani liberation and Akali Dal ideology
became acute, the Congress won Bhindranwale to their side to de-stabilise
the Akali Dal, the ruling party.
The Khalistani movement was an agent of the Indian state. Heavy state
terrorism took place in Punjab against the common people in the name of
combating the communal terrorists. Often a truckload of weaponry sent for
arming the Khalistani terrorist forces was allowed by the Police. The
situation was reminiscent of the Vietnam war and in no post-partition period
was such communal terror experienced. The rays of darkness had extinguished
the light from the land of Punjab.
The Khalistanis were armed to the core. Innocent Hindus were shot in buses
by bullets from AK-47 machine guns. Women were raped who disobeyed the
Khalistani dictates, houses razed to the ground. Villagers were forced to
bow to Khalistani dictates at the butt of the gun. Jounnalist Lala Jagat
Narain, of the Hindu Samachar was assassinated when he condemned
In 1984 in June the Indian Army carried out Operation Bluestar to suppress
the Forces of Khalistani terrorists that had taken refuge in the Golden
Temple (a Sikh religious temple). It was one of the most repressive
anti-democratic acts that took place in the history of post-Independence
India. 100 innocent Sikhs were shot with their hands tied down behind their
backs. Various religious shrines were destroyed. Bhindranwale was killed.
At that time in Jodhpur in anxiety Sikhs belonging to the Army in sheer
desperation left Jodhpur to ensure their families were safe in the chaos
that was created. They were frightened that their families could be
attacked. These soldiers were arrested in the name of treason! In
retaliation in October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assasinated by 2 Sikh
fanatics. One of the people charged, Kehar Singh who was awarded the death
sentence, was innocent.
After Indira Gandh's assassination the worst massace ever in
post-independence India took place. 5000 Sikhs, were massacred by communal
forces led by Jagdish Tytler and L.K Bhagat. Innocent Sikhs were chopped or
burnt alive. Several Hindu families came to the rescue of Sikhs by
sheltering them and saving them from being trampled by the iron feet of
oppression. To this day the perpetrators of the massacre have not been
In the later phase, through military combing operations in Operation
Woodrose, the police tortured several innocent families, under the pretext
that they had been harbouring terrorists. In villages in Punjab several
innocent Sikh people, mainly youth were killed in staged encounters. The
police falsely claimed that they were communal terrorists killed in
Several Black laws were also proclaimed which were used as a tool to
suppress the secular democratic activity like workers strikes, etc. The
situation in Punjab was the equivalent of a ship trying to survive in a
storm. In 1985 an accord was made by Rajiv Gandhi representing the Centre
and Sant Longowal, the Sikh Akali leader, who wished for a non-violent
solution and a compromise with the Centre. (He represented Sikh communal
politics but through negotiation in contrast to the Khalistani militants.)
This was opposed by the United Akali Dal led by Baba Joginder Singh along
with the All India Sikh Students federation and the Damdami Taksal of
Bhindranwale. Shortly later Longowal was assassinated by Khalistani
rerrorists with the blessings of the organizations just mentioned.
In 1987 the ruling Rajiv Gandhi goverment brought in President's Rule,
introducing the Terrorist and Disruptive Area Act to curb the Khalistani
terrorists. However, in contrast to what it meant to be doing, the same
government started dealing with Khalistani gangs. On February 20th 1987 a
head Sikh priest offered to act as a mediator between the Centre and the
Sikh militant organizations. Within minutes of this announcement, the
Khalistani liberation force accepted the Akal Takhts Directives and accepted
Soon after a hindu religious priest visited the Golden Temple on May 6-8 to
hold talks with the Sikh militant priest Darshan Singh Ragi. The State
police chief Ribiero visited Amritsar on May 6th, and the Ceentral Reserve
Police Force surrounding the Temple were withdrawn for 3 days. Well-known
underground communal terrorists, such as Avatar Singh Brahma visited the
temple for negotiations. The Hindu priest explained that he was acting for
the Central Government. The withdrawal of the Central Reserve Police Force
for the first time since 1984 lent credibility to this. The Priest even
claimed that he had documents showing that all 5 Jathedars and Khalistani
gangs including the All India Sikh Students Federation factions and the
Khalistani Commando force had given their approval for, and participated in
tape recorded negotiations. The priest stated that Darshan Singh Ragi was
equally anxious to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in Punjab.
On May 9th 1987 the priest flew back to Delhi to inform the Prime Minister
of his talks.
On May 21st the Punjab Government announced the release of 100 out of 800
militants arrested on the pretext of good behaviour. This amply proved the
point that the Centre was simply playing games. The Government had no
intention of combating communal terrorism; instead it was biding for the
appropriate time to strike a deal with one or the other terrorist faction.
Ultimately what was at stake was only the question of allocation and sharing
of power. [Last few paragraphs taken from the democratic rights journal, 'In
Defence of Democratic Rights'.
The Front against Repression and Communalism was formed by
Some Revolutionary Groups namely the Unity Centre of Communist
Revolutionaries of India,(Nagi Reddy Group),the Central Team of he
C.P.I(M.L ) the O.C.C.P.I.(M.L) and few other groups.The purpose of he Front
was to organize mass revolutionary resistance against Khalistani and state
terrorism. It initiated a programme to combat the Khalistani terrorism in
building 'cores' of revolutionary resistance.'No political leader could use
the image of the front to project their political image. The Front would
also not play a role of mass sectional organizations nor be attached to any
group as 'front' organization. It would have it's independent structure, in
order to pool all the possible resources against the twin enemies of
Khalistan and State terrorism.It was reviewed that mere propaganda was
insufficient and a separate organization had to be created as a mass
political platform to combat the enemy.A clear cut programme had to be
allotted to he organsiation depending on the comparative strength of the
enemy forces.F ront leaders refused to accept he armed license of he Indian
state and instead mobilised people into using traditional weapons.
First Resistance(From Frontier Artile by N.K Jeet and article
'In Defence of Democratic Rights'0
On April 10 the the first sign sof resistance was demonstrated by he
Punjabi people led by Front leader Megh Raj BahtuanaIn March in 1987 the
ringleaders of the United Akali Dal and the A.I.S.S.F,in the course of a
conference at village Chaina,near Bhagtuana,threatened to assassinate front
leader Megh Raj Baghtuana,who was holding meetings against them.Despite
these threats Megh Raj,a front organiser,refuted the fascist ideology of the
communal terrorists programme.The masses in Bhagtuana responded
heroically,organising a demonstration armed with traditional
weapons,surrounding the supporters of the Khalistani ideology. material.
Those supporters had to beg mercy from the people Semi-secret mass meetings
were organised and a score of volunteers armed with conventional weapons and
under-cover illegal firearms toured the villages to raise funds and to
propogate anti-Khalistani material. 9units of the Front in
Goniana,Rampura,Malout, Lambi, Lehra, Kotkapura, Nihalsinghwala, Moga and
Jaitu organised a massive armed conference in Jaitu on April10th.Thousands
of people assembled in the conference shouting Slogans" a Hindu Raaj na
Khalistan,Raaj Kare Mazdoor,Kisan.(Neither Hindu Rule or Khalistani rule, we
want the rule of Workers and peasants)They were armed with traditional
weapons like Lathis,swords,and spears.The village of Jaitu seemed to be
staging a festival of the masses. From various towns and villages people
approached leaders of the front to hold such programmes at their places. In
Bishnandi and Bazakhana,terrorists destroying tombs of the dead were beaten
mercilessly by the masses.At Jaitu,an Amrithdari Sikh who tried to forcibly
close a cigarette shop was beaten up by the villagers.Similar incidents took
place in Kotli,Chaina,Matta,Sedh SinghWala Villages. with people armed with
traditional weapons showing mass defiance Such mass resistance reminded
people of the heroic resistance and courage of ranks formed from common
people during the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi Fascists On April
14th a truckload of terrorists armed with naked swords and firearms came to
attack the house of Front leader Megh Raj.They were met with a shower of
brickbats and stones from the housetops. T he Front workers armed with
traditional weapons,forced the terrorists to retreat.5Khalistanis were
literally beaten by the villagers.In the end the police raided the office of
the Front in Rampura Phul showing whose side they were on
July 10th Rally(From Bleeding Punjab report)
On July 10th the scene was reminiscent of he resistance the Vietnamese
masses staged combating the American oppressor enemy.. The people thronged
from all over Punjab. The rally was held when the Khalistani terrorists were
at the peak of the onslaught and t did not permit any democratic cultural
activities.Silmuntaneously the ruling Barnala govt.did not permit any
democratic assembling of people under the pretet of urbing terrorist
activities.In the same area where the rally was being held an activist of
the Front namely'Lal INderSingh Lalli was murdered by the terrorists. The
entire family of a C.P.I.worker was eliminated.The Front's understanding and
perspective was projected and explained.Later a masive demonstario was held
in the city.The demonstration was a great succes in 3 ways:
I 1nrespect of projecting the basically correct revolutionary perspective of
the resistance against bot types
In respect of expressing the militant mood and valiant spirit of the Punjabi
people against both form sof terror.
3.In respect of demonstrating positive hopes to he masesin succesfuly
combating the enemy.
Other Front Struggles(From Bleeding Punjab report)
In July 1989, a state level demonstration was held at Moga,in memory of
local Front worker,Lal Inder Lali,Prithipal Singh Randhawa and Avtar Sinh
Dhudke.It had agraet impact on the peole of Moga.
In Lehra Gagga in Sangrur in Oct.1988,district the Khalistani terrorists
issued a threat to the life of Front leader Balbir Singh,as he staunchly
opposed the harassment of a wine shop worker.In the form of rallies the
Front stateda prolonged campaign. And the local Khalistani Sikh student
supporters had to plead for mercy.
Khalistanis attacked an R.S S Shaka at Moga on June 25th.1989,killing 27 and
injuring 30 people.The Front gave a bandh call in Moga ,the next day Some
Hindu Communal organizations tried to manipulate the situation for their
ends but the Front was alerted and they exposed this by issuing
pamphlets,pasting posters and holding public meetings.
In September 1989 a fortnight campaign was taken up in Khanna ,in
Ludhiana,educating people about Khalistan and state terrorism.It ended in a
public rally in Khanna.
In Aulakh,some Khalistani terrorists looted a peasant of 60 grams of
gold,8000 Rupees Etc.The Front mobilized people against this and mentally
prepared them to fight the enemy. The villagers then went to the house of
one marauder they identified and seized 60 Gms of gold and recovered other
looted property. The culprit was beaten severely by village people and then
handed over to the police.
In Saido village in Faridkot district the Khlaistani forces snatched
rifles(licensed) from innocent villagers and insulted several men and
women.The police took no action. The Front explained the political situation
to he villagers and the need for people to organize their own self-defence.
In Rampura Phul a gang of Khalistanis abducted an Industrialist.Nohar Chand.
And demanded 5 lakh ransom.The local Front people explained the victim's
family not to pay the ransom,but the family refused and in turn were all
slain by the terrorists.Front activits now staged a protracted campaign
organizing rail and road blockades. as well as demonstrations and sit-ins I
front of police stations. The Front leaders detected the culprits, who
belonged to nearby villages and when they revealed the names to the
villagers ,they were so enraged that they wanted to murder the culprits. The
Front however explained that such an action would be counter-productive and
would lead to further communal tension..
In De 1989 in Saido in Faridkot, terrorists snatched guns from the people
and beat up and insulted several people. They even killed 2 men.Led by the
Front the people prepared themselves. The police paid no attention to
suspected men who wore covered faces .The Front explained the villagers the
need to organize self defence.
In Malout 35 people were killedinI the nearby own of Abohar..The Front
committee of the area organized a bandh in the city and organized rallies at
many places in the city.The Front leader had earlier carried out a
sustained campaign educating the masses in the need for self defence when a
gang of robbers raided the village.he Police hardly came to their help.A 250
strong committee was formed by he villages including 2 Front members.
In Bagli Kalan in Ludhiana, one teacher Kulwant Singh and Front activist was
attacked by he terrorists.Kulwant immediately grappled with them This act
was a boost to all he people in the area. Teachers of the area went on
strike just on hearing the news, and different teachers organizations formed
a action comitee. Later,on May 15th a militant demonstration was held ,A
miltant public rally was held by the Front,the Moulder and steel Workers
Union and other mass organizations.
And mass rallies
Resistance in Bhoenpur â€"Machiwara Vilage of Ludhiana district(From Bleeding
Punjab report by Surkh Rekha Group)
The people of Bhoenpur exhibited phenomenal revolutionary tenacity..In
Machiwara village they resisted any terrorist attack. Their Sarpanch,Jasbir
Singh had been assassinated by terrorists.The masses of Bhoenpur armed
themselves with rifles They armed themselves with rifles and other weapons
and guarded important points of defence for 24 hrs. Even when he Front
workers went to work on the fields, they were prepared to resist he
In March 19991 a gang of Khalistani terrorists attacked he hose of Co Jasbir
but his sister resisted valiantly. She started showering brickbats from
top.Within minutes the entire village came o the scene with rifles ,swords
and spears and chased he terrorists for long.Now they dared to enter the
I April 1992,a village volunteer force overpowered a terrorist who had been
spotted by an alert owner of a clothes shop. The terrorist confessed all his
crimes to the voluinteers after being intensely interrogated by the
volunteers. He confessed he was a member of te Khalistani Libraton Force
and having killed a girl in the neighbouring cotton factory and a temple
priest. He also confessed that his gang was responsible or bomb blasts in
Machiwala and SAmrala towns and that they wee planning amass killing of
factory workers.The following day the terrorist was producedin a Peoples
Court and they found hmi guilty of serious crimes. He was awarded a death
sentence and shot down by a bullet.
The people of Mamjh depended on their own self-defence to guard their
village.They prevented many Hindu families from fleeing by giving hem
protection.The villagers literally never bowed down to the terrorists
despite being attacked atleast on 10 different occasions.
Resistance of families(From Bleeding Punjab report)
Families were encouraged in offering mass rseistance.This was demonstrated
by many examples.8 Brick kiln workers of Ghanaur Kalan in Sangrur district
fought the 'Azad Babbar Khalsa' gang.Although 5 terrorists encircled their
houses,the kiln workers fought back like tigers with conventional
weapons.(terrorists were armed with Assault rifles)Women were armed with
An activist of a Dalit family ,Narang Singh in Sangrur district valiantly
thwarted terroristsThre times the terrorists attackerd his house but Narang
resisted with his rifle.His son grappled with a terrorist.Similarly Pritam
Singh's family fought terrorists in Niammat Pura in Sangrur.While sleeping
they were attacked. However Protam Singh and his family fought like tigers.
His wife was martyred (Gurbachan Kaur.
Manjit Singh,a teacher in Village Kot in Amritsar ,combated 3 terrorists
demanding money.Her husband was attacked by a chopper but Manjit retaliated
and snatched the chopper hitting the assailant with full force.By now many
villagers assembled to support Manjit. The terrorists had to flee. They
returned some time later, but the people were prepared to face
them.Ultimately all 5 terrorists wee thrashed by the people.
Bhgawan Singh and his family wee attcked thrice.Bhagawn Singh retaliated by
firing his 12 bore gunUltimately he terrorists had to run away.In the 2nd
attck his family members participated in the resistance and he terrorists
had to flee.The family was effectively trained in handling weapons for
Swaran Singh ,a Sarpanch in Ghora Nab of SAngrur district resisted the
Khalistani attacks,along with his 6 brothers.His family always assisted him
and his nephew was killed onMarch 12th 1992.
Lastly,Balwinder Singh from Biwind in Amritsar district,was attacked but
refused to surrender His family aided him as welL as friends and comrades.
Everyone in the family vows to fight till the last after having been
attacked 12 times.
Martrydom of Sewewala Martrys(From Frontier June 1991issue)
OnApril 9th 1991 Megh Raj Jagpal Singh, Karam Singh, Pappy, Gurjant Singh
and 9 other Front activists were massacred in Sewevala in Faridkot district.
To commemorate their death a statewide protest took place which culminated
in a 10,000 strong rally in Sewewala where people assembling from allover
the state, armed with traditional weapons as well as raising anti-Khalistan
and anti-State slogans were mobilised. A self-defence barricade was made
against the Khalistani terrorists and police protection was
opposed.Thousands of peole assembled at Bhagtuana,Dilwan Kalan,elbrah,
Rampura Etc.Mettings and processions were held throughout the state. Echoes
of the revolutionary spirit reverberated in the hearts of the people
assembled like a light radiating over them. It appeared like a huge red
flame had lit the Sewewala village. The martyrdom of the Sewewala Martyrs
wrote a new chapter in the history of the Indian Communist Movement. Months
after the martyrdom of front activists,a agng of terrorist attempted to
snaek in the village at night .However vigilant volunteers noticed hem and
pened fire on hem.The terrorists fled.A l;arger contingent of people came
out armed with whatever weapons available.
2 years later a commemoration programme.After a considerable study of the
political situation it was decided to launch a commemoration programme for
the Sewevala martyrs.The Harijan basti region was where the programme was
launched .The revolutionary forces made adequate security
arrangements,taking the necessary precautionary and retaliatory measures,to
thwart the terrorists suspected moves.The Harijan peasntry playe the biest
role I he conference while sections of the Jat peasntry wre
neutralisd.(Earlier some wee sympathetic to he Khalistani forces)
A day before the programme security was installed on the roofs of the
exterior of the basti .Trained volunteers manned them. Barricades were
installed in the lanes and by-lanes to prohibit the entry of suspicious
elements. The Barricades were provided cover by armed volunteers positioned
on rooftops. All security posts were covered with a special signal system A
network of couriers was organised which raced from one spot to the other
exchanging information. All posts had their own commanders and an
operational zone operating under a unifying a higher command.
On the day of the programme, entry was entitled only by identity passes. A
Harijan Dharamshala staged the programme.Slogans such as "Down with
Khalistani and State terrorism "and "Long Live the Sewewala Martyrs "were
painted on the boundary walls of the building.The ground was decorated with
red Flags and a bed of red sand. Amidst flower petals name plates of martyrs
were placed. A community kitchen served cooked and sweet packed rice to the
participants. From the home village of martyred comrade Megh Raj Baghtuana,
a contingent of 70 men, women and children carrying red flags and escorted
by girl volunteer reached Sewewala.The women participants numbered more than
150 in the conference. By 12 o'clock,3,000 people had arrived, more than2/3
from the agricultural labourers,industrial labourers,electricity workers and
other working sections. At 12.30 the Family members of the martyrs came on
stage. 2.05 was the exact time of the attack on the Sewewala Martyrs 2 years
The great achievement of the martyrs conference was that a most favourable
situation was turned into a favourable situation reminiscent of the Vietcong
who heroically defeated the American forces in the Vietnam war.The campaign
also effectively answered the question of the mass revolutionary line over
the line of squad actions.A n earlier supporter of Squad actions stated"What
we achieved here can not be achieved by a squad action."Another Student
leader stated"Mass revolutionary line is invincible and armed squad action
cannot substitute it".A volunteer Student Group stated"We have gained a
valuable experience in the mass revolutionary line." The policy of learning
from the masses and then educating them and learning correct ideas from the
masses was meticulously applied.
Analysis of the work of the 'Front'
The' revolutionary mass line' of the 'Front against Repression and
Comunalism' was an education to the Communist movement worldwide. These
were the salient features.
1. Irrespective of political Ideology people would be moblilised against the
twin onslaught of Khalistan and State terror.The Front never attached class
sectional mass organizations to the Front or used it to project party
2.Mantaining a clear-cut programme to resist the Khalistani fascist attacks
as well as state terror on the masses to enable the masses to form
self-defence combat forces.A programme was chalked out studying the strength
of the Khalistani fascists and the capability of the Front in resisting
them.Similarly programmes were taken against police terror.
3.Making the people involved and the center of all activity through
organizing self -defence and never substituting the role of the masses.Some
groups launched Armed Squad actions.The front answered this with democratic
mass revolutionary resistance.Mass preparation was made for all
programmes.Infact through their involvement the people learned a lesson in
fighting the enemy and their own capacity in self â€"defence against
reactionary forces.Planning and political preparation was emphasized.
4.No form of soft-pedalling with the Khalistani forces like some groups and
giving equal emphasis to opposing state terror.The Front leaders refused to
accept the armed licences of the Indian State.
5.The Front was a launching pad for other sections of people to struggle
against he enemy. Teachers, shopkeepers Etc could all pool into he
Several other remarkable struggles took place led by the Front.Here are some
The struggles of the Front will be written I the annals of the revolutionary
Movement worldwide)The methods devised have a permanent place in the
revolutionary polemic s in combating he reactionary forces.(particularly
with regards to Communalism)Let us remember al those Front members who
dipped heir blood on the 20th anniversary day of the Moga raly.The study of
the 'Front against Repression and Communalism' demonstrates the results of
persisting educating the masses, which is so important or the launching of
[peoples revolutionary armed struggle.It was similar to the methods he
Chinese Communist party used in heir agrarian revolutionary movement to
combat he enemy.
This year is the 20th death anniversary(assassinated in June 1987) year of
Comrade Lal Inder Singh Lalli, an activist of the Front. Although a
C.P.I.worker he playd amajor role I the work o he Front and valiantly fought
I have comiled the struggle reports from a booklet 'The Bleeding Punjab'
written by 2 revolutionary journasl fro Punjab-'the Surkh Rekha' and the
'Inquilabi Jantakh Leh".The author recommends readers to purchase the
report which is of historical relevance.
posted by Resistance 7/12/2007 03:12:00 PM,