Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha on Thursday attended the death anniversary function of former Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Labh Singh at Panjwar village in Tarn Taran district.
Besides Valtoha, United Akali Dal (UAD) leader Bhai Mohkam Singh, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, Dal Khalsa chief Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann also attended the function to mark the 30thdeath anniversary of Labh Singh, also known as Sukhdev Singh.
Labh Singh was a former Punjab police officer who took command of KCF after its first leader Manbir Singh Chaheru was arrested in 1986. He was also a close associate of militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and fought against the army during the Operation Bluestar.
Labh was also involved in the attack on the then Punjab director general of police (DGP) Julio Francis Ribeiro. He allegedly masterminded the bank robbery in which ₹60 million were robbed from the Punjab National Bank’s Ludhiana branch, which enabled KCF to buy weapons. He was killed in a police encounter near Tanda in Hoshiarpur on July 12, 1988.
Valtoha said Labh was with him when they were detained in the Jodhpur jail after the Operation Bluestar. Without naming anyone, he said there were some Sikh leaders sitting in the function who are inclined towards the Congress which had perpetrated the attack on the Golden Temple.
Later, the SAD leader also posted his picture of addressing the function on his Facebook page.
Dal Khalsa Spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said, “We also honoured around 100 families whose members were martyred in fake police encounters during militancy in Punjab.”
Mann taunts Damdami Taksal
After paying their tributes to Labh Singh, Valtoha and Damdami Taksal’s chief Harnam Singh Dhuma left the function. After this, SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann took the stage saying, “The Damdami Taksal, which gave leaders like Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Labh Singh, has now become an alliance partner of SAD-BJP, which is very shameful.”
His address was interrupted by some Damdami Taksal leaders but he continued his tirade. Mann’s supporters also raised pro-Khalistan slogans on the stage.
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