Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

Formation :

Origins of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) can be traced back to Babbar Akali Movement in 1920. However, its latest violent incarnation was created in the aftermath of sectarian clash on April 13, 1978 between Nirankaris and activists of Akhand Kirtani Jatha. The clash had resulted in the death of Akhand Kirtani Jatha Chief Fauja Singh. In the aftermath during 1979-80, members of Akhand Kirtani Jatha under the leadership of Sukhdev Singh Babbar and Talwinder Singh Parmar formed the BKI. The BKI’S existence first came to notice in leaflets which were distributed after the killing of Nirankari Sect head in 1980. There are at least two known factions of BKI. The first splinter faction was formed in 1992, when Talwinder Singh Parmar the co-founder of BKI split from the principal body and formed Babbar Khalsa Parmar.

The faction has presence primarily in Europe (UK, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland) as well as North America. Since 2017, another splinter faction of BKI, identified as Jatha Bir Khalsa has come into existence.


The main objective of BKI is the secession from India and the formation of Khalistan, a separate Sikh country. Babbar Khalsa is a sectarian group. It targeted the Nirankari sect as well as its sympathizers. BKI was involved in killing of Baba Gurbachan Singh, the head of Nirankari Sect on April 24, 1980.

Location of activity:

Besides being active in Punjab, BKI also has presence in foreign countries. BKI formed its first Overseas unit in Canada in 1979. BKI’s presence has been reported in UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Portugal and Pakistan. It also has presence and linkages in Thailand and Malaysia.

Funding Sources and External Linkages:

Main avenues of funding for BKI has been drug smuggling and funds from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). ISI has also imparted training in sabotage, handling explosives, arms and ammunition to BKI cadres. It has been reported that ISI has attempted to make Wadhwa Singh of BKI give unequivocal support to ‘referendum 2020’. After Ajmal Kasab’s hanging, ISI had funded BKI to revive Khalistani terrorism and target Indian nuclear facilities, hijacking Indian aircrafts and attack any US targets in India. BKI also have dependended on donations from the Sikh Diaspora in US, Canada and European countries. According to NIA, Sikh Organisation for Prisoner Welfare (SoPW), Akhand Kirtanee Jattha (AKJ) and Khalsa Aid are front organisations for BKI. BKI also has nexus with ISYF, Sikh Youth of America and Sikh Youth of Belgium

Numeric Strength:

More than 100 Sikh youths in small batches from U.K., Germany, Belgium, USA and Canada have been trained by BKI from time to time.

Modus Operandi:

BKI has specialized in targeted assassinations as well as mass killings. It has been involved in killings with small arms as well as explosives. BKI was considered to be the most fanatical of all Khalistani groups. They have used the tactic of suicide bombing to kill then then Punjab CM Beant Singh. BKI was also involved in the assassination attempt on retired General Kuldip Singh Brar in London in 2012.

Leadership & Key Figures:

Sukhdev Singh Babbar and Talwinder Singh Parmar founded BKI. Wadhwa Singh Babbar is the current leader of BKI and is based in Pakistan. Wadhawa Singh, Mehal Singh (Deputy Chief, BKI, are based in Pakistan, Joga Singh, the ‘general secretary’ is based in UK, Avtar Singh Sanghera ‘vice president’ of BKI is based in UK. Meanwhile Jatinder Singh alias Kaka and  Hardevinder Singh are based in Germany, and other leaders Jagdish Singh Bhura and Massa Singh are based in Denmark and Norway respectively.

Other known high-profile activists of BKI based in Canada are Manvir Singh Dhura (also associated with ISYF), Gurjit Singh Cheema (also associated with ISYF), Gurjinder Singh Pannu (also associated with ISYF), Gurpreet Singh (also associated with ISYF), Malkeet Singh alias Fauji (also associated with ISYF), Moninder Singh. Some of its UK based known members are  Gursharanbir Singh (also associated with KLF), Satnam Singh, Jagjit Singh, Kulwant Singh Hayer, Sarabjit Singh Banur.

Some of known USA based members of BKI are Gurnek Singh Neka, Gursharan Singh and Karnail Singh. Some of the BKI cadres currently known to be operating in Germany are Resham Singh Babbar, Gurbinder Singh alias Goldy, Harjot Singh alias Happy and Balwinder Singh Adtiya A BKI member known to be active in France is Parshotam Singh Pamma.


BKI is banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by the Union Ministry Home Ministry, Government of India.

High Profile Incidents:

Shingar Cinema Blast

Date: 14-Oct-2007

Casualties: Six killed and 35 injured

Details: Six persons were killed and 35 wounded in BKI orchestrated blast in Shingar Cinema in Ludhiana, Punjab.

Panipat Bomb Blast

Date: 15-Apr-1990

Casualties: 11 killed and 39 injured

Details: BKI orchestrated explosion killed 11 and wounded 39 in a Delhi bound bus at Panipat, Haryana.

Kanishka Bombing

Date: 23-Jun-1985

Casualties: 329 Killed

Details: BKI executed a bomb blast in an Air India Flight - Kanishka - in mid-air over Atlantic Ocean killing all 329 passengers and crew members.

Activity Dateline

Incident Date Incident Civilian Killed Military Killed Security Force Killed Civilian Injured Military Injured Security Force Injured Civilian Abducted Military Abducted Security Force Abducted
12-Aug-2019 Former MLA, Virsa Singh Valtoha had to face ire from the locals during his address on the death anniversary of Sukhdev Singh Babbar of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) at Dasuwal in Tarn Taran District in Punjab. Valtoha talked about his association with BKI. When he spoke on opening an old murder case of Patti-based surgeon Dr Sudarshan Trehan, who was shot on November 15, 1984, the organisers switched off the public address system and Valtoha was made to sit.