The recent input by the Intelligence Bureau -- suggesting that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is being targeted by militant Khalistani groups -- indicates that the Inter Services Intelligence is planning to re-launch its covert movement in India.
Rumours about Khalistani militancy have been swirling around for the last five years. A blast at Ludhiana in 2007 suggested that the group was slowly crawling back into business.
Investigations into an attempt to smuggle in a large cache of arms in Delhi last year revealed that an attempt was being made by terror group Babbar Khalsa International to target politicians.
Intelligence Bureau sources point out that the Babbar Khalsa International and other Khalistani groups have always undertaken political assassinations. The ISI, which has sheltered these militants for over a decade, ensured that they were trained alongside the personnel of Lashkar-e-Tayiba while they were hiding in Pakistan.
While helping Khalistani terrorists re-launch their movement, the Pakistani spy agency made it clear that they won’t be able to use any of the routes or modules set up by the Lashkar.
Targeting a high-profile target like Narendra Modi would be a major comeback for the Khalistan militants, and it would ensure an all-out battle between them and security forces.
A powerful blast using lethal RDX is the signature move of Khalistani terror outfits. They are also not averse to carrying out suicide strikes.
Intelligence Bureau officials have, in recent times, been alarmed by the wide-scale movement by Khalistani militants. Those who have completed their training are moving out of Pakistan and shifting base to Malaysia, where they have been asked to wait till further orders.
According to the information put together by the IB, there are four active Khalistani militant groups operating independently in Punjab and Delhi.
The Babbar Khalsa International, run by Wadhwa Singh and Mehal Singh, was responsible for the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. This group has considerable experience in perpetrating terror at an international level and it is most likely to be entrusted to carry out a political assassination.
The International Sikh Youth federation, another terror outfit, will restrict its subversive activities to Punjab. Brainwashing the youth of Punjab into joining the violent fight for a separate nation is on the agenda of this group.
The Khalistan Commando Force, another ruthless outfit, was responsible for the assassination of General Arun Vaidya who had led Operation Blue Star. This group, headed by Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, specialises in bomb attacks.
The fourth group, the Khalistan Zindabad Force, has been entrusted with the task of carrying out attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and New Delhi. The Force, headed by Ranjeet Singh Neeta, has been helping fidayeens wage their war in Kashmir and the ISI smuggle arms and ammunition into India.
Image: Protesters demand a seperate state of Khalistan ' Photograph: Reuters