Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha were members of the Khalistan Commando Force. They were responsible for the death of Arun Vaidya, Arjan Dass, and Lalit Maken.


Early life

Harjinder Singh's mother's and father's names were Gulzar Singh and Gurnam Kaur. Jinda had two older brothers, Nirbhail Singh and Bhupinder Singh and one sister, Balvinder Kaur. He belonged to a farming family. He was born in 1961 and received his early education in his village of Gadli in dist. Amritsar. After completing his early education, he enrolled in Khalsa College Amritsar. He was in BA part II when Operation Bluestar occurred. He left his studies and joined the Khalistan separatist movement.

Sukhdev Singh was born in Chak N: 11 F, Tehsil Karanpur, Distt Ganganagar, Rajasthan. His parents, Mengha Singh and Surjeet Kaur were farmers. He did his early schooling from village Manakpur. He received his BA from Gian Joti College and was studying in MA English when Operation Bluestar occurred. He also left his studies and joined the Khalistan separatist movement.

Assassinations

Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha along with Ranjit Singh Gill gunned down Congress(I) Member of Parliament Lalit Maken on July 31, 1985, when he was moving towards his car parked across the road from his house in Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. They escaped on their motorcycles. Lalit Maken was involved in the killings of Sikhs during the 1984 government sponsored Anti-Sikh massacre. In a 31-page booklet titled 'Who Are The Guilty', People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) listed 227 people who led the mobs, which killed up to 3,000 Sikhs over three days. Lalit Maken's name was third on the list. Ranjit Singh "Gill" was arrested by Interpol in New Jersey, USA on May 14 1987, he was deported back to india in May 1997 after lengthy legal cases and was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 24 2003.

General Arun Vaidya was the Chief of the Indian Army who carried out the attack on the holiest Sikh shrines the Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar. He had moved to Pune after his retirement from the army. On August 10, 1986 General Arun Vaidya, the Chief of Indian army and architect of Operation Bluestar, was shot to death by Jinda and Sukha while he was driving his car home from the market. According to the police, the assailants pulled up next to his car on motor scooters and fired eight or nine shots into the car. Vaidya reportedly died instantly of head and neck wounds. Following the assassination, the Khalistan Commando Force issued a statement declaring that Vaidya had been killed in retaliation for the Golden Temple operation.

Congress (I) leader Arjan Dass was also assassinated by the duo because of his involvement in 1984 government sponsored Anti-Sikh massacre. Arjan Dass's name appeared in various affidavits submitted by innocent Sikh victims to Nanavati Commission which was headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

On September 17, 1986, Sukha got into an accident with a truck in Pimpri, Pune and was arrested. He was riding the same black motorcycle which was used at the time of assassination of General Vaidya.Jinda got arrested at Gurdwara Majnu Da Tilla, Delhi in March, 1987. He was shot in the legs at the time of his arrest. During their court trial, despite admitting to the killing, they pled not-guilty, justifying their actions by saying that Vaidya was "guilty of a serious crime, the punishment for which could only be death". They were awarded death sentences at 2:05 pm on October 21, 1989. Upon the news of the sentence they distributed sweets to the guards and inmates. On October 9, 1992, early in the morning, Sukhdev Singh "Sukha" and Harjinder Singh "Jinda" were hanged until death in Pune Jail. Their dead bodies were cremated on the same day at 6:20 am near Moola river.

Aftermath

On October 9, 2000, representatives of all major Sikh bodies, including ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, the SHSAD, the SGPC, the Damdami Taksal, AISSF and the Dal Khalsa attended the eighth death anniversary of Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha. To honour Jinda and Sukha, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Head of Akal Takht (Supreme Sikh temporal seat), performed the ‘ardas’ (a Sikh religious rite). Both Sukha and Jinda were declared as “great martyrs’ of the Sikh religion during this event.