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Manik Sharma Murder : Exposing the ISI - Khalistani Terror nexus in Punjab

  • Saswat Routray | Updated: Sept. 25, 2020, 2:43 p.m.

The brutal murder of a youth leader Manik Sharma in Amritsar has opened a can of worms for the infamous ISI – Khalistani Terror nexus of Punjab. Manik was not the first victim and neither will he be the last. The deep ISI hand in the growth of Khalistani Terror modules in Punjab is uncanny and cannot be ignored. It is only a matter of time till this gets blown up into something the Nation would not be able to undo.


Youth leader Manik Sharma shot dead by Khalistani assailants

On August 15th, 2020, Shiv Sena activist Manik Sharma from Chheharta, Amritsar, Punjab, had hoisted national flag at his residence leading to a severe quarrel with pro-Khalistani Sikhs. Few pro-Khalistani Sikhs had burnt national flag and had posted the videos and photos on Facebook. Manik Sharma, being a patriot by nature, had protested against the anti-India attitude of the pro-Khalistani lepers and had engaged in a verbal fight with them. This wasn’t tolerated by pro-Khalistani lepers and eventually Manik Sharma had to pay for his patriotism.

On the night of 16th September, Wednesday, Manik Sharma was playing volley ball with his friends at a field near a Gurudwara Sahib when three youth came on a bike and approached him. Initially, they had verbal argument and when the argument became heated, they tried to physically assault him. One of the three youth grabbed him from behind when another one took out a gun and shot five bullets. One of the five bullets hit Manik on his belly and the assailant grabbing Manik from behind got injured too. They all fled after the shoot out. Manik was immediately taken to the nearest hospital and doctor had removed the bullet from his abdomen. However, after struggling with death for more than 48 hours, Manik Sharma has eventually died.

Punjab, a victim of Khalistani Terrorism

Punjab, once known as the land of five rivers, is gradually all set to gain a new nickname for itself- the land of bloodied rivers. Yes, that’s right. With the slow but steady re-rise of Khalistani activities, Punjab is all set to qualify for the new nickname for sure. Back in 2017, Punjab suddenly came into limelight with a murder spree where Hindu political leaders and social activists were targeted and murdered continuously. To name a few Hindu activists who were killed, here is a small list :-

• On April 23, 2016, Shiv Sena leader Durga Prasad Gupta was shot dead in Khanna.

• RSS leader retired Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja was shot dead in Jalandhar on August 6, 2016.

• On January 14, 2017, Shri Hindu Takht district president Amit Sharma was shot dead in Ludhiana.

• RSS leader Ravinder Gosain was killed in Ludhiana on October 17, 2017.

• On October 30, 2017, Vipan Sharma of Hindu Sangharsh Sena was shot dead in Amritsar.

Murders of Brigadier Ganeja and others

Apart from the five Hindu leaders mentioned above, three other people were also murdered. Satpal Kumar and his son, Ramesh Kumar, both followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda were murdered on 25th February 2017, in Khanna. Pastor Sultan Masih was killed in Ludhiana on 15th July 2017. There were reports of other attacks too, where the members of Hindu outfits were lucky to escape death. On January 18, 2016, two bike-borne masked assailants tried to kill RSS pracharak Naresh Kumar Chauhan  in Kidwai Nagar, Ludhiana.

In case of Jagdish Gagneja, eye witness Pramod Kannojia had given statement that two bike-borne assailants wearing yellow turban had shot Gagneja. Immediately after Gagneja’s murder, a Sikh militant outfit named Dashmesh Regiment had taken responsibility of the murder of Gagneja, whom our media houses addressed as unknown or little-known militant outfit. However, according to NIA, Dashmesh Regiment was a prominent militant group which was founded by two of the closest associates of Bhindrewale, General Saheg Singh and Surinder Singh Gill back in the 80s. This group is notorious for attacking Hindu activists, political leaders and moderate Sikhs who don’t subscribe to its extremist views.

All these murders bear a systematic pattern. In Ravinder Gosain murder case, police had arrested a person who was suspected to have links with notorious gangster Sukhpreet Singh alias Sukha Barewalia. In case of the murders, police had also found link with a Canadian resident pro-Khalistani person. Within a small span of time after the murder of Gagneja, police had arrested four persons in connection to the murders who were actively involved with ISI-terror module :-

1. Dharmender (Guggni), a gangster from Meharban (Ludhiana) who was in the high security prison at Nabha. Police believes that he had supplied weapons for the murders.

2. An UK national named Jagtar Singh Johal (Jaggi), who got married in Punjab in October, 2017. He was arrested in Jalandhar.

3. A resident of Jammu named Jimmy Singh who had returned to India from UK. He was caught from Delhi airport.

The main killer Ramandeep Singh  (Raman Canadian) who is a resident of Chuharwal, Ludhiyana.

During interrogation, Ramandip confessed that he had selected the victims himself on the behest of ISI and a Sikh militant group named Khalistan Liberation Force which has taken refuge in Pakistan. This was all done to spread distrust and chaos among the communities and to destabilize Punjab.

Since then NIA probed the murders in detail and had filed chargesheet against 11 accused by November 2019. The 11 accused included:-

Hardeep Singh Shera, the main accused,

Dharminder Singh alias Gugni,

Pahar Singh,

Malook Singh,

Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian, the main killer.

UK resident Jagtar Singh alias Jaggi Johal,

Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwal,

Harmeet Singh alias PhD who is supposed to be operating from Pakistan.

By December 2019, three accused Pahar Singh, Malook Tomar and Parvez alias Faru got bail.

The ISI hand in Khalistani Terror Module

Slowly, Punjab has become the breeding ground of Khalistani lepers. Harminder Singh Mintoo, the chief of Khalistani terrorist outfit, Khalistan Liberation Force was arrested in 2014. During interrogation, Harminder Singh Mintoo had revealed that ISI lures gullible Punjabi youth into terrorism by promising them glamorous life in foreign nations like Thailand, Malaysia, etc. Mintoo himself was in Thailand when he was arrested and deported to India in November 2014. Mintoo revealed that ISI had organized a training camp in Thailand where chiefs and members of various Khalistani terror outfits like Khalistan Liberation Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force, etc. participated in the event. Mintoo had met Khalistan Zindabad Force chief Ranjeet Singh Neeta who is a native of Jammu and Kashmir. KZF and ISI were committed to joint actions along with Hizbul Mujahideen.


Image of Mintoo Singh, Image Source: IndiaTV News

On 27th November 2016, Mintoo and some of his aids were freed from high security prison, the Nabha Jail. But before they could flee to Goa, they were arrested next day from Delhi’s Nizamuddin Railway Station. The above picture is of Harminder Singh Mintoo. See how he shaved his pride, the Sikhi beard, so that police can’t recognize him.

On June 4, 2017, three key Khalistani hitmen Gurdial Singh, Jagroop Singh and Satwinder Singh were arrested by counterintelligence unit of Punjab Police. The three men belonged to the Sikh militant outfit International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) and they had plans to carry out widespread terror attacks in Delhi and Punjab. They were assigned to the task by ISYF chief Lakhbir Rode and Harmeet Singh alias Happy, who reside in Pakistan. It should also be noted that Mintoo received funds from England , through Hawala. Mintoo had met Harmeet Singh at Malaysia. Mintoo died of cardiac arrest in Patiala on April 18, 2018.
Between April 2017 and November 2017, 6 Khalistani terror modules were busted and 23 Khalistani terrorists were arrested. In August 2020, two member of another Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa were arrested by Delhi police after a severe gunfight. The arrested members are Bhupinder Singh alias Dilawar Singh and 39-year-old Kulwant Singh, both hailing from Ludhiana. They had allegedly come to Delhi to receive a huge cache of arms and ammunition to execute the conspiracy.


Image of Babbar Khalsa terrorists, Bhupinder Singh & Kulwant Singh, Image Source: The Print

Police had retrieved seven pistols, 45 live cartridges and two Android phones containing videos and photos related to the Khalistani movement. The two men had joined Khalistan movement through Facebook, were trained by ISI and were assigned for various terrorist activities including the assassination of engineers of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal.

In September 2020, another pro-Khalistan terror module was busted when Punjab Police arrested two men Harjeet Singh, alias Raju, and Shamsher Singh, alias Shera, both residents of Mianpur village in Tarn Taran district. Six sophisticated weapons (a 9mm pistol, four .32-calibre pistols and one .32 revolver), eight rounds of ammunition, mobile phones and an internet dongle were recovered from the duo, who were arrested at the checkpost near Hotel Jashan on the Rajpura-Sirhind road by a police team.

These two men were operating in connivance with five criminals, including a Khalistan Zindabad Force operative in Amritsar jail.

Shubhdeep Singh of Cheecha, Amritsar, now lodged in Amritsar jail. He is the operative/ terrorist of Khalistan Zindabad Force.

Amritpal Singh Baath of Mianpur in Tarn Taran district, wanted in 12 cases of murder, attempt to murder, Arms Act in Tarn Taran and Amritsar Rural districts.

Randeep Singh of Chheharta, Amritsar, wanted in drug cases in Amritsar.

Goldy and Ashu, both from Karnal district in Haryana.

In April 2019, the NIA had filed a chargesheet against Shubhdeep Singh along with eight others, including Akashdeep Singh, Balwant Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Balbir Singh, Maan Singh, Gurdev Singh, Sajanpreet Singh and Ramandeep Singh before the special NIA court in Mohali. This case is related to information that Pakistan-based KZF chief Ranjeet Singh Neeta, in connivance with Gurmeet Singh, alias Bagga, a Germany-based KZF operative, had smuggled arms, ammunition, explosives and fake Indian currency notes (FICN) into India via drones from Pakistan.

Khalistani Terror, not a minor issue that can be neglected

If anyone thinks that these Khalistani supporters are just very few in numbers and are just fringe elements, then he is seriously wrong. There are numerous pro-Khalistan organizations like :-

• Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)

• Babbar Khalsa (BK)

• International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF),

• Khalistan Commando Force (KCF),

• Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF),

• Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA),

• Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF),

• Dashmesh Regiment, Shaheed Khalsa Force (SKF)

All these organizations are backed by ISI .

Year 2020 will be remembered for many things. Yes, off course it will be remembered for Covid-19 outbreak, but there is other significance for this year too. 2020 is also the year which the pro-Khalistan Sikhs had marked as benchmark, within which they will create a separate country for Sikhs by tearing out the Indian state Punjab. This campaign was started by the pro-Khalistan secessionist group called Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and is known as “'Referendum 2020”. This UK-based SFJ group is highly anti-India in nature and recently, they even used pre-recorded calls and asked Sikh soldiers to desert India during the recent border tensions and China-face off back in July 2020. The details of the pre-recorded call are as under:-

• The individual in the call is motivating Sikh Indian Soldiers not to get martyred for India.

•  He is inciting people by saying that India has a history of not supporting Sikh people that is why they should leave Indian Army.

•  As per the message, Sikh people are being asked to join ‘Sikh For Justice’ campaign wherein on joining they will get Rs 5,000/- more than their present salary in Indian Army.

• The messages holds relevance in light of the registration of voters for “Khalistan Referendum 2020” which has started on 04 July 2020 under an international body of ‘Rights and Declaration’.

• On 05 June 2020, a commission has been set up of ‘Independent Experts with respect to the referendum. This commission will set out the procedure for casting of the ballot and consolidation of the entire procedure.

• Further, it has been learnt that Punjab Police on 18 June 20 has booked Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, USA based legal advisor of the banned ‘Sikh For Justice’ (SFJ) for sedition, unlawful activities and enticing Punjab youth for ‘Referendum 2020’ and attempts to spread dissatisfaction among the Indian armed forces.


Each year, pro-Khalistan slogans are raised on the anniversary of Operation Bluestar. This year too, similar pro-Khalistan slogans and anti-India slogans were raised at Amritsar Golden Temple which led to serious heated argument between the pro-Khalistani lepers and Police personnel. Akal Takht is one of the highest religious bodies of the Sikhs. On 6th June 2020, a journalist was taking an interview of Akal Takht chief priest Giani Harpreet Singh. On being questioned regarding the pro-Khalistan slogans at Golden Temple, Akal Takht chief priest had said “ All Sikhs want Khalistan and if government offers it, they will be very happy to accept it.”

All Sikhs don’t want Khalistan. The time has come to call out the Khalistani Terrorism in Punjab. Manik Sharma was not the first and neither will he be the last. The patriotic Sikhs in the nation need to come out and counter the propaganda that makes the basis of such anti national sentiments. The same ISI which is funding Khalistani Terror has been hypocritical in taking stand for the Sikhs in Pakistan. What happened in Nankana Sahib is enough to be a wakeup call for the misguided youth in India.

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