Sikh terrorism has been sponsored by expatriate and Indian Sikh groups who want to carve out an independent Sikh state called Khalistan (Land of the Pure) from Indian terroritory. In recent years, active groups included Babbar Khalsa, International Sikh Youth Federation, Dal Khalsa, Bhinderanwala Tiger Force. A previously unknown group, the Saheed Khalsa Force, claimed credit for the marketplace bombings in New Delhi in 1997. Previously active groups included the Azad Khalistan Babbar Khalsa Force, Khalistan Liberation Front, and Khalistan Commando Force. Many of these groups operate under umbrella organizations, the most significant of which is the Second Panthic Committee.
Sikh attacks in India have been mounted against Indian officials and facilities, other Sikhs, and Hindus; they include assassinations, bombings, and kidnappings. These attacks have dropped markedly since 1992, as Indian security forces have killed or captured a host of senior Sikh militant leaders and scored other successes against extremist groups. Total civilian deaths in Punjab have declined more than 95 percent since more than 3,300 civilians died in 1991. The drop results largely from Indian Army, paramilitary, and police successes against extremist groups.
Location/Area of Operation
Northern India, Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America.
Silk militant cells are active internationally, and extremists gather funds from overseas Sikh communities.