Who is Balwinder Singh Bhikhiwind, the Shaurya Chakra awardee shot dead in Punjab?

Team Udayavani, Oct 18, 2020, 2:00 PM IST

Shaurya Chakra awardee, Balwinder Singh, who had taken on militants at the height of insurgency in Punjab in the 1990s, was shot dead at his house in Bhikhiwind, in Tarn Taran district, on Friday morning, six months after his security cover was withdrawn.

Balwinder Singh Sandhu and his brother Ranjit Singh Sandhu are opposed to the activities of terrorists. They were on the hit lists of terrorists. Terrorists so far have made 16 attempts to wipe out the Sandhu family within about 11 months.

After providing him security for more than three decades for his fight against terrorism, the Punjab Police had withdrawn three of his four gunmen in July 2017 and the lone security guard left with him in late March this year.

The police reasoned that Balwinder Singh had no threat to his life and the police needed additional force to fight Covid-19.

According to India Today, Balwinder Singh’s bravery made it to international media and he once featured in a National Geographic documentary. He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for his exemplary courage.

The Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy. It may be awarded to civilians as well.

Singh, a former CPI(M) member who joined the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India in 2009, and his family had faced numerous attacks during Punjab’s days of militancy. The 42 FIRs registered for attacks on Singh and his family are a testimony to the constant threats they faced.

As reported by Indian Express, One of the deadliest attacks was on September 30, 1990, when around 200 terrorists led by Parmjit Singh Panjwar, head of Khalistan Commando Force, had laid siege to the family’s house in Bhikhiwind village and attacked them continuously for five hours, including with rocket launchers.

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