Shaurya Chakra awardee who survived militant attacks shot dead in Punjab

Chandigarh, Oct 16 (IANS) A man who fought Sikh militants in Punjab and was awarded military decoration for his exemplary bravery was shot dead by two unidentified assailants in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district on Friday, police said.
A diehard Communist and 1993 Shaurya Chakra awardee, Balwinder Singh Bhikhiwind was shot at point-blank range around 7 am at his hometown Bhikhiwind, some 35 km from Tarn Taran town, once a hub of militancy in the 80s and early 90s.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital with five bullet injuries but doctors declared him dead.
Balwinder, 62, had survived several attacks when the Sikh militancy was at its peak in the state.
Superintendent of Police Jagjit Walia said the attackers came in a four-wheeler.
Balwinder, a Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI) district committee member, rose to fame internationally for his bravery and once featured in a National Geographic documentary.
His wife, Jagdish Kaur, is also a district committee member of the RMPI, led by Mangat Ram Pasla.
Balwinder was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for his exemplary courage.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered the constitution of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by the DIG of Ferozepur to probe all angles of the fatal attack.
The SIT has already formed four special teams to crack the case and arrest the accused.
Condoling the death, the Chief Minister directed Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta to ensure speedy investigation to identify and bring the culprits to book at the earliest.
He said the probe would take into account all possibilities and that those found guilty would be dealt with strictly.
A CCTV footage from the area shows that one of the two assailants entered the house of the victim and fired at Balwinder Singh.
The details of the vehicle involved and its registration number are being probed, said the DGP.

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