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8) Paramjit Singh Panjwar

June 24, 2008
Panjwar is the head of the only surviving faction of the third Khalistan outfit that works in close cohorts with the ISI and Kashmir militants -- The Khalistan Commando Force.

In recent times, Panjwar, who was a peon in the Central Cooperative Bank in Tarn Tarn's Sohal village, joined the militant ranks in 1986 and over the course rose to head the KCF. He has been in Pakistan for the past 13 years and pioneered narco-terrorism, thanks to his close ties with Pakistani narcotics smugglers.

KPS Gill, in his analysis of terrorism in Punjab in 2007 for the think tank South Asian Terrorism Portal, said: "This group currently has limited striking potential. Nevertheless its alliance with ISYF, Sikh Youth of America and Sikh Youth of Belgium makes it a numerically large group, adding to its influence. The faction has a number of sympathisers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, USA and Canada."

About 100 youth in small batches belonging to these countries have undergone training in the handling of weapons and explosives from time to time. Panjwar's links with smugglers and Islamist terrorist groups are old and well-known.

Image: Kin mourn their dear ones, who fell victim to a terrorist attack that saw Air India flight 182 exploding in mid-air on June 23, 1985.
Photograph: Ajit Jain

Also read: Was it angst or a stab at Khalistan?
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