Saturday, 31 March 2012

Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa

Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa
Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa

Walsall sangat and the panth as a whole will always feel the loss of Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa. Gursikhs such as Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa are truly few and far between. Bhai Sahib always put the panth first and always ready to put his neck on the line for Panthic benefits.
Bhai Sahib was heavily influenced by the Indian government assault on the Akhal Takhat, the surrounding Harimandir Sahib complex and the attacks on the other 38 Gurdwaras throughout India in June 1984. After these events Bhai Sahib became more religious and he took Amrit along with his family. He became a member of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) and was a fervent Sevadar, his Seva overwhelmed the Jathebandi and he was appointed the president of the Walsall Branch ISYF.

Bhai Sahib started many commendable projects in Walsall along with other Gursikhs of the town. Bhai Sahib was one of the founding members of the Walsall Nagar Kirtan, which was one of the first Nagar Kirtans in the country. He transferred the dream of Amar Shaheed Bhai Amrik Singh into reality, Bhai Amrik Singh dreamt of Gurmat Camps being held throughout the world – to raise awareness about Sikhi. Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa with this in mind started the Walsall Gurmat Camp along with his co-workers of ISYF, the camp is still going strong and it occurs annually every summer. There are some misguided Sikhs who argue that such camps are a waste of time and money, yet great souls such as Bhai Amrik Singh, Bhai Fauja Singh and Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa organised and promoted such camps. I want to narrate a few examples of the effectiveness of such camps and the lasting effect it can have upon those that attend.

A few years ago I was a group leader at the Walsall Camp and one of my duties as a group leader was to wake up my group in the morning and get them ready on time. It was early in the morning and I started going around my group to wake them up, I went up to one of the boys and shook him to awake him, the boy replied to my shaking by saying “ Vaheguru” and I was baffled. I went to a couple of other boys and they too replied by saying “Vaheguru,” I couldn’t believe what had just occurred in front of me, these boys were even doing Simran in their sleep. I did not have it in me to try and awake them and I just let them sleep in their meditative moods.

At the Walsall Gurmat Camp Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa is sorely missed. I have never come across any Sevadar of the camp that commanded and received the respect that Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa did. He was a great role model for the children of the camp to look up to and aspire to be like. I remember the manner in which all the boys attending the camp including myself used to get scared of even the mention of Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa’s name. The boys did used to get restless at night in their sleeping quarters as would be expected from children, and the Sevadars who were in attendance used to say that they are going to call Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa to calm us down, all the boys would fall silent at this and would go to sleep at once. The Walsall Gurmat Camp has brought forward many Panthic Sevadars from varying backgrounds and nurtured many children towards Sikhi.

My mother used to do Akhand Path roles on a regular basis and on many occasions Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa used to come and pick my mother up and drop her off, as in those days we did not have a car. I vividly remember how he used to consistently doing ‘Choupai da Path’ whenever he used to come and pick my mother up, or drop her off, I remember sitting in silence in the car as a child, whilst Bhai Sahib would be doing Path.

Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa
Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa

Bhai Sahib was always in Chardi Kala and forever attempting to improve his practice of Sikhi. Baba Jagjit Singh (Harko Vale) was doing Gurbani Katha at Nanaksar Gurdwara, Pleck, and Walsall and where Bhai Gurcharan Singh was in attendance, Baba Ji told of the importance visiting Hazur Sahib for a Sikh. He said a Sikh should visit Hazur Sahib at least once in a lifetime and that our Father Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji waits for each Sikh to visit this Gurdwara until the age of 60 years. Upon hearing this Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa instantly made his mind up to go and visit Sachkand Sri Hazur Sahib. He did not want to take the risk of waiting to go and visit Hazur Sahib, as he was wisely aware that this life gives no Guarantees of how long we will live. Bhai Sahib got ready to embark for his trip. But his friends and Baba Jagjit Singh advised him that he should not go to India, under the current climate, as his life would probably be under treat. We must remember that Bhai Sahib did not hide his beliefs and was a prominent figure in the Khalistan movement in the UK, and there was political turmoil in India because of the Sikh struggle for self-determination.

Upon arrival in Punjab Bhai Sahib went to Harimandir Sahib and many other Gurdwara’s, meeting many influential Panthic leaders along the way and then made arrangements to go to Sri Hazur Sahib. The Indian intelligence was keeping a close eye upon the movements of Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa and the notorious Black Cats of the Punjab police started to follow Bhai Sahib.

Bhai Sahib joined the Nagar Kirtan as soon as he could when he got to Sri Hazur Sahib, meanwhile some of the Black Cats were searching his room and others were still following him. Bhai Sahib started to get suspicious and thought that there would be some sort of attack upon him, so he made plans to return to Britain along with his family (wife and four children) who were travelling with him. But Bhai Sahib was unaware that the Black Cats were determined to eliminate him, at whatever cost. Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa and his family were travelling on train back to Punjab, after doing his Nitnem and 5 Choupai Sahibs (for Chardi Kala of the Panth) went to the toilet. The Black Cats claimed their opportunity as Bhai Sahib was caught alone and unaware, they threw him off the train and he got run over by another oncoming train. His body was severed into pieces by the oncoming train and he attained Shaheedi on the 9th November 1989.

Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Khalsa will be remembered as a Gursikh of high morals and fortitude. The youth of Walsall will all confirm that Bhai Gurcharan Singh had a lasting effect upon their lives.

Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande

Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande

If we explore the annals of Hindustan’s history and observe the condition of the Hindu majority, we see a feeble people, oppressed in every way. At the time of Mughal rule, their women were taken away, kidnapped, raped and the community was unfortunately not able to raise hue or cry. This same community which was victim of the Mughal state for so long is, at this time, trying with all it’s might to enforce a Brahmanical hegemony on the minorities of India. But why have they forgotten that when they were being beaten, plundered and their women were being dishonored, that it was the Sikh Nation that spilled its blood to defend the poor and helpless.

It becomes difficult to see, then, why this community has trouble understanding that the Nation that could fight to protect others will and is also fighting to protect its own. Sikhs in today’s India are slaves in every sphere – economically, politically and socially. When have the children of Dasmesh Pathshah (10th Guru) ever accepted slavery?

Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande in Army
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande in Army

One of the beloveds, who fought to remove this slavery and establish an independent Sikh rule, was Bhai Karaj Singh Thande. Bhai Sahib was born in 1959 to Mata Balvir Kaur and Sardar Makhan Singh. Of his 5 brothers and sisters, Bhai Sahib was the youngest. He was exceptionally fond of sports and throughout his school years won countless awards. Upon passing the tenth grade, Bhai Sahib enlisted in the army at the age of 18. Throughout his time in the army, Bhai Karaj Singh would spend his time boxing and weightlifting – two sports he excelled at because of his build.
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande with family
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande with family

Around the time Bhai Sahib was married to Surjit Kaur and had 2 sons, the name of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji was beginning to be heard more and more often on the countryside. Sant Ji was traveling the rural areas of Punjab, encouraging youth to abstain from drugs and other negative influences and instead live positive lifestyles according to the Guru’s glorious teachings. He implored all Sikhs to gather under one Nishaan Sahib and be prepared for the attacks on the faith which were being seen in Punjab so often. Bhai Karaj Singh would regularly visit Sri Darbar Sahib and listening to Sant Ji’s speeches, he slowly became aware of the Indian government’s injustices against the Sikhs.

To add salt on Bhai Sahib’s freshly opened wounds, the Brahmanical forces of India launched a full scale military operation on the Darbar Sahib complex in June, 1984. Operation Bluestar resulted in the destruction of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and the massacre of hundreds of innocent pilgrims – including women, children and seniors. But this carnage alone would not satiate the forces of Indira Gandhi. The armed forces of India went to all lengths to humiliate and break the spirit of the Sikh people. Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji were burnt and shot at, the Sikh Reference Library was destroyed, and young men were rounded up to have their hands tied behind their backs with their own Dastars (turbans) and shot.

Bhai Sahib was heart wrenched when he heard new of the attack. He immediately abandoned his army post and joined the Guru’s army.

After several months of absence, Bhai Sahib was arrested and sent back to the Army Camp. He was soon released and reposted, but his conscience would not let him sit idle and work for the very same power which committed so many excesses against his brothers and sisters.
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande

Bhai Karaj Singh soon joined the armed resistance and began working with Bhai Ranjit Singh Rana. Upon Bhai Ranjit Singh’s Shaheedi (martyrdom), Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal appointed Bhai Karaj Singh as Lieutenant General of the Bhindranwale Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK) Jathebandi.

The shaken government took notice of Bhai Sahib’s courageous actions and decided to put a stop to his Seva. In doing so, Bhai Sahib’s mother was ruthlessly butchered in her own home and when he was not found, a reward for Rs. 100 000 was placed on Bhai Sahib’s head.
Bhai Sahib, however, was undeterred from his mission. He had resolved to live according the principle of Puaatan Singhs, “Baaghi Ja Baadshaah.” (Rebel or Ruler – referring to the idea that the Khalsa will always be and will always protect it’s sovereignty). Bhai Sahib had declared his allegiance to Shaheeda-De-Sirthaaj Sahib Sri Guru Arjun Dev Jee Maharaj and would only end his struggle through accomplishment of his task or death.

On May 1, 1988, Bhai Sahib visited Sri Darbar Sahib to attend an important meeting of underground Singhs like Bhai Surjit Singh Painta, Bhai Dilbaagh Singh Bagga and Bhai Sukhdev Singh. As the CRP caught wind of the meeting, they cordoned off Sri Darbar Sahib and moved in on May 9, 1988 to follow through with ‘Operation Black Thunder.’ The Indian forces immediately called reinforcement and special commandoes soon joined in on the attack.

Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande
Shaheed Bhai Karaj Singh Thande

The Singhs immediately took up their positions; Bhai Karaj Singh had taken command of the Ramghariay Bungay and continued to defend the sacred shrine from being defiled by the Indian forces. Finally, on May 18, 1988, Bhai Sahib’s gun fell silent as he joined the long line of Shaheeds before him.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju

Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju
Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh 'Raju'
There are many unsung hero’s who laid down their lives for the freedom of Khalistan. Many Singhs did Seva with their mind, body and soul but are unfortunately unheard of today. One shining example is that of Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh ‘Raju’, an unsung hero of the Khalistan liberation movement. Bhai Sahib joined the armed struggle for independence and carried out operations alongside the likes of Shaheed Bhai Harjinder Singh ‘Jinda’, Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh ‘Sukha’ and many more freedom fighters of the Khalsa Panth.
Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju was born on the 13 August 1961, at the house of Sardar Santokh Singh and Mata Surjit Kaur. Bhai Sahib has an older sister; Baldev Kaur and a younger brother; Jaswinder Singh. Bhai Sahib came from a very blessed family. Bhai Raju’s father and Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda’s mother are brother and sister, making Bhai Raju and Bhai Jinda cousin brothers.
Bhai Sahib was brought up in Ganganagar, Rajasthan and studied at Gian Joti College with Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh ‘Sukha’. They were very good friends and looked upon each other as brothers. Incidentally, both Singh’s families were also very close to each other. Bhai Sukhdev Singh used to visit Bhai Baljinder Singh’s house, where his mother would teach him about Gurmat and Gurbani. At a young age, Sukhdev Singh ‘Sukha’ learnt the following Shabads from Mata Surjit Kaur (mother of Baljinder Singh):
Tatee Vao Na Lagee…
Thir Ghar Baiso…
Ja Tu Mere Val Hai…
As they lived in Rajasthan, there was no Punjabi or Gurmat taught, so the only Gurmat they were taught was at home. Both of the Singhs were very courageous and showed a fearless character from a young age.
Bhai Baljinder Singh had the desire to do Seva for the Panth because of his Gurmat based upbringing. He was taught Shabads at a young age and his mother would read Sikh History books to him. They had Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj Parkash at their house, where Bhai Sahib used to sit for hours and read a lot of Bani. Bhai Sahibs Nitnem consisted of 5 Sukhmani Sahibs in addition to the compulsory Bania read by a Gursikh. He would rise at 12.30am and recite Nitnem, sometimes he would recite Gurbani until 8.30am. Bhai Sahibs thirst to read Gurbani continued throughout the day and he would regularly recite Chaupai Sahib on the way to College, and whilst walking around.
Bhai Raju had a keen interest to read and study CID novels in his spare time. His mother would tell him off and say “why are you reading these books? Why don’t you read more Bani?” Only later she realised that he read those CID novels to prepare himself for the seva he was going to accomplish.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”
(Sun Tzu, Art of War)
Sant Jarnail Singh 047 Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju
Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale
Bhai Baljinder Singh and Bhai Sukhdev Singh ‘Sukha’ often travelled to Punjab to listen to Sant Jarnail Singh Ji’s diwans. They were inspired by the ‘Bir Ras’ (warrior spirit) in the speeches of Sant Ji. Mata Surjit Kaur encouraged Bhai Sahib to meet Sant Jarnail Singh Ji, as she believed it had a positive effect on him. She saw an increase in his love for the Panth and eagerness to help others.
Jabai Baan Laagiyo Tabai Ros Jaagiyo
(when the arrow struck, the spirit was awaken)
Like many other Sikh youths, the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1984 was the turning point in their lives. The army led invasion to slaughter thousands of Sikhs on the ‘Shaheedi Purab’ of Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj, under the orders of the devious Indira Gandhi laid the foundation for Khalistan. Sant Jarnail Singh Ji stated that the day Sri Harmandir Sahib is attacked this will lay the foundations for Khalistan, Sant Ji’s word came true. On the 1st June 1984, the Hindustan government surrounded Sri Harmandir Sahib and many other Gurdwara’s in Punjab. Bhai Sahib had heard that Sikhs were being murdered, tortured and even raped in Sri Harmandir Sahib by the Hindustan army, and as a true son of the Guru, he quickly came home and without any care for his life, left with his father’s rifle. Not much is known about where Bhai Sahib went or what he did. All that is known is that throughout Hindustan, some sat in disbelief, some cried, but then there were a handful of brave warriors who came to the rescue of those being persecuted throughout Punjab. Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju left everyone, and everything he knew, at the cries of his fellow Sikhs being persecuted at the hands of the enemy.
Later that day, the local Sangat (about a thousand people) got together at Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sahib and did Chaupai Sahib Paat as they felt helpless many miles away from Sri Harmandir Sahib. They protested the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib; however the Gurdwara was suddenly surrounded by the CRPF and the sangat were told to go back to their houses or they would be shot.
bhai baljinder singh raju Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju
Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh 'Raju'
On the 5th June 1984 Mata Surjit Kaur was about to do Sukhasan Seva of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj at home, when all of a sudden, Bhai Raju returned home with Tajinder Singh, Ravinder Singh and Amritpal Singh. The Singhs told Mata Ji to do an Ardas for them that ‘may we give our lives to avenge the attack on Sri Akaal Takht Sahib’. Mata Ji did an emotional Ardas with love and devotion, she then read the Hukamnama and explained the meaning. Mata Ji recalls the Hukamnama mentioned a swan and a crane. She explained that you must be a swan of the Guru and not a crane. She then asked the Singhs: “who will be a swan and who will be a crane out of you three?”

Which is the swan, and which is the crane? It is only by His Glance of Grace.
(Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj, Ang 91 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj)

The Singhs left in the morning for Pakistan, they went for training and to build links with other freedom fighters. Later, Tajinder Singh, Ravinder Singh and Amritpal Singh returned to Punjab and were unfortunately caught by the police. They were severely tortured; they were beaten for days on end without any food or water. The Singhs were hung upside down repeatedly asked who their associates were. All them, one by one was severely electrocuted; this was to not only weaken their body but also their minds, so that they might reveal the whereabouts of other Singhs. The police thought these techniques would dispirit Singhs from joining the armed struggle for Khalistan, little did they realise that these were the sons of the same people that were sawn in half, cut limb my limb and had their own children cut into pieces and put around their necks.

Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda 05 Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju
Shaheeds: Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda

Bhai Raju returned from Pakistan in August and met with Bhai Sukha. Bhai Raju introduced Bhai Sukha to his cousin brother; Bhai Harjinder Singh ‘Jinda’. Arguably two of the most lethal and skilful Singhs of the movement were finally united. Unknown to the world and themselves Sukha and Jinda’s names would go down in history alongside many of the great martyrs of the Khalsa Panth.

The Singhs discussed plans in Punjab and then masterminded a strategy on how they would go about to fight for Khalistan. A conclusion was reached that it would be best to carry out their operations in Delhi. The Singhs made their way to Delhi and set up a base there to operate from. This was a very dangerous but necessary move. They knew by going to Delhi they stood a higher risk of getting caught, however they could also get closer to the enemy and avenge the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib and the November 1984 Delhi massacre. Their idea was to shake the central government and to pressure them to give us Khalistan.
bhai baljinder singh raju and harjinder singh jinda Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju
Shaheeds: Bhai Baljinder Singh 'Raju' & Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda

One day Sukha, Jinda and Raju came to see Mata Surjit Kaur at her house in Ganganagar. The Singhs told Mata Ji to do an Ardas to seek blessings from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. Bhai Jinda put Mata Ji’s hands on his head and said:

“Mami Ji, please do an Ardas to Guru Sahib for us, may we do seva with our ‘Tan, Man, Dhan (body, mind and wealth)’ for the Khalsa Panth. May we belong to Guru Sahib. Please do not tell anyone else regarding our plan to avenge the attack on Sri Akaal Takht Sahib.”

Mata Ji replied: “There have been many who have walked this path and eventually got caught. Is that what you Singhs want to do? In Operation Bluestar the government didn’t hold back, even women and kids were not spared, they were ruthless. What will you three Singhs do against a government?”
On hearing this Bhai Raju said in a fierce voice: “Mother, have you forget the words of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj? Sava Lakh Se Ek Laraon, Tabhe Gobind Singh Naam Kahaon. Whatever Waheguru will make us do we will do…’tan, man, dhan”

Mata Ji realised that the Singhs had made their minds up on what they wanted to do. She did a heart felt Ardas to Guru Sahib for the Singhs to start their seva and for the Khalsa Panth to remain victorious. Later, while the Singhs rested sleep, Mata Ji remained awake all night reciting Sukhmani Sahib. Mata Ji woke the Singhs up at 4am and they left early morning; their mission to strike fear in the heart of the central government had begun.

Many high profile characters were eliminated by this group of fearless Jujharoos, the likes of General Vaidya (who the commanded in the army into Sri Harmandir Sahib), Lalit Maken and Arjun Dass were all systematically assassinated one by one. A close associate of Sukha and Jinda once said: 

“whichever target we went for we eliminated, that was our record, no one escaped our hands”. They reached their goal in shaking the central government, and all those who instigated the attacks on the Sikhs were continually looking over their shoulders, wondering if they would be next.

Due to this the Punjab police stepped up their efforts to catch these Singhs. They were unsuccessful, so they resulted to regularly terrorising their families. The police would threaten them, taking them away, and often severely torture innocent members of the family. On one occasion the police came to Bhai Raju’s house and spoke very rudely to his mother. The police DSP said:

“When we get hold of him, we will torture him to death. You’ve seen what’s happened in Punjab, we will do the same here in Rajasthan.”

Mata Ji replied without any fear, “Whatever Waheguru wishes, that will happen! What can you do? We’re not scared, our Singhs have been cut limb by limb, their scalps have been removed, we never faltered then and neither will we now!”

The police left with nothing, however, the more the Singhs became wanted by the police; the more brutal the police treated the Jujharoos families. Bhai Raju’s father was once unlawfully arrested by the police in 1986 as they wanted to find his son. He was stripped down to his Kacchera, tied to the back of a police jeep and dragged across the roads. He was then taken to a police station where he was brutally tortured for 15 days. His legs were pulled apart forcefully, all his muscles were torn and he was ferociously beaten. Though he knew nothing, due to these cruel acts, Bhai Raju’s father wasn’t able to walk for many weeks.

The viciousness did not stop there; Bhai Jaswinder Singh (the younger brother of Bhai Raju) was taken by the police and was ruthlessly beaten and tortured for many days. His injuries were so bad that he had to stay on a hospital bed for 9 months and had consequently been diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone. His spine had also been damaged due to torture that was carried out.

As years went by the police had realised that these Jujharoos were not going to stop their armed struggle. They stepped up their efforts to catch these warriors of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. Unfortunately, Sukha and Jinda eventually were arrested and were kept in Jail. Bhai Raju in the meantime had assassinated police black cat ‘Santokh Kala’. Due to this, the police stepped up their attempts to apprehend Bhai Raju and was high up on the Punjab police’s wanted list.

Bhai Kanwarjit Singh Sultanwind Shaheed Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju
Shaheed General Kanwarjit Singh Sultanwind

Gradually, Bhai Raju built a strong link with (Shaheed) Bhai Kanwarjit Singh Sultanwind. They had made a plan to kidnap a very high profile personality and negotiate with the Hindustan government to release Sukha and Jinda in return for the VIP. The mission was half way in motion and the Singhs were ready to execute a flawless plan. However, due to an informant, Bhai Raju was caught by the police on the 9th June 1989 in Jalandhar. The Lion was finally trapped at the hands of the Jackals. He was relentlessly tortured for days upon end; he was not given any food or water. The enemy tried to break the brave soldier of the Guru into pieces, but he did not falter, the Guru’s Singh was made of iron. The police did not want to give up, they thought they could obtain some information about other Jujharoos from Bhai Raju but with the grace of Waheguru he never spoke a word.

(Shaheed) Bhai Satnam Singh Bawa was also logged in the same police station as Bhai Raju and witnessed the torture of Bhai Sahib. Bhai Bawa met the family of Bhai Raju in July 1989 when he broke free from jail. He told them that the police, under the command of SSP Suresh Arora, became frustrated because Bhai Raju would not tell them anything. They tried every form of torture but this courageous Jujharoo did not break. Bhai Satnam Singh said they could not even get Bhai Raju to admit his name, even whilst being electrocuted.

Another Gursikh, Bhai Sukhminder Singh also met the mother of Bhai Raju on a Jail visit. He was also present in the Police station at the time, he said while they were torturing Bhai Raju, Suresh Arora left his pistol on a desk, Bhai Raju launched for the pistol but was overpowered by all the surrounding officers. Bhai Sukhminder Singh said upon meeting Mata Ji:

“I feel blessed to meet you, who have given birth to such a brave warrior. He was tortured so badly, but he didn’t say a word. They would torture him until he was unconscious, when he regained consciousness he would hurl abuse at the officers and challenge them.”

Eventually, these cowards killed Bhai Raju. The police did not disclose any information to the family, media or anyone else. They thought this would encourage and inspire other young Sikhs to come into the Gurus fold, but they did not realise that the Khalsa spirit lives on forever. The exact day, the time, the place and how Bhai Sahib became Shaheed will never be known. However, one thing is for sure, Bhai Baljinder Singh Raju, a Saint Soldier of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s army will never be forgotten…

Shaheed Bhai Mangal Singh Bamb

bhai mangal singh bamb Shaheed Bhai Mangal Singh Bamb
Shaheed Bhai Mangal Singh 'Bamb'
Bhai Mangal Singh ‘Bamb’ was born in the year 1964 in village Arjan Manga, PS Mehta Chowk, Tehsil Baba Bakala, District Amritsar. Upon completing his primary education from the local village school and passing 10th grade at Rangarh Nangal High School, Bhai Mangal Singh began taking responsibility of his household duties. During these times the Sikh freedom movement was at its peak, Sikh youth from across the nation had taken arms to avenge the desecration of their holy shrines and free themselves from the shackles of slavery. Born and raised in a Gursikh family, the concept of self-sacrifice and martial tradition came naturally to Bhai Mangal Singh, consequently he became a recruit of the Khalistan Commando Force and participated in completing many successful actions alongside the Jathebandis Lt. General – Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh Jhamke.

Bhai Sukhdev Singh Jhamke Shaheed Bhai Mangal Singh Bamb
Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh Jhamke
In 1988, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Jhamke faced an encounter with the Govt backed fake Nihang Ajit Poohla. Ajit Poohla was a vicious thug who had been given the official police rank of DSP, together with the backing of Police Cheif JF Ribeiro and Punjab Governor SS Ray was given full permission to rape, loot and murder families of Jujharoo Singhs. Despite being outnumbered in the encounter, the KCF Singhs did not back down and accepted the challenge head on, as a firefight took place the Jujharoo Singhs immediately eliminated 2 of Poohlas men and very soon the police CAT along with his gang of cowards were seen escaping in their CRPF jeeps.

The very next morning Poohla attempted to save face and avoid the embarrassment of the nature of his escape by planning another attack on a group of Jujharoo Singhs. On the advice of local Akali leader Jeevan Singh Umranangal a statement was published in Jagbani newspaper on their behalf which read “We have identified Sukhdev Singh Jhamke as the man who attacked Poohla and I. As a result of punishment, ‘Nihang’ Ajit Poohla will bring a 90 year old man to Sukhdev Singh’s village of Jhamke and marry him off to a girl from the village.” In November, 1988 Ajit Poohla reached village Jhamke along with ‘Sarkari Jathedar’ Umranangal, they brought with them a wedding party, group of musicians and a 90 year old man to carry out the humiliating act. The ‘wedding party’ marched through the village until they reached the home of Bhai Jhamke, Poohla instructed the ‘wedding party’ to stop and for the musicians to continue playing as the rest surrounded Bhai Jhamka’s home to began singing, dancing and shouting obscenties. This continued throughout the entire day and news had reached Jujharoo Singhs in the nearby areas. Bhai Mangal Singh met with Bhai Sukhdev Singh Jhamke and together armed with rocket launchers attacked the police post which had been setup to provide security for Umranangal. Both Umranangal and Poohla narrowly escaped this attack but the name of Bhai Mangal Singh was now imprinted in the memory of the enemy.

Bhai Mangal Singh remained with Bhai Jhamke until the fateful day of April 14, 1989 when Bhai Jhamke breathed his last and attained Shaheedi. Bhai Mangal Singh continued with his Panthic Sewa and joined the ranks of the Khalistan Liberation Force under Lt. General – Shaheed Bhai Jugraj Singh ‘Toofan’.
bhai ravinderbeer singh bhola Shaheed Bhai Mangal Singh Bamb
Shaheed Bhai Ravinderbeer Singh 'Bhola' - Lt. General Khalistan Liberation Force

Under the KLF Bhai Mangal Singh participated in a number of successful actions including the kidnap of Congress leader Satpal Mittal’s grandson in order to secure the release of Shaheed Bhai Ravinderbeer Singh ‘Bhola’ who had been arrested by Maharashtra police in the course of their investigation following a sensational bank robbery in the heart of Mumbai (Bambay). Shaheed General Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala planned and executed a number of kidnappings of top MP’s, Judges and senior Govt officials. This series of high profile kidnappings forced Rajiv Gandhi to personally intervene and coordinate the release of Bhai Ravinderbeer Singh ‘Bhola’. During the time the politican’s grandson was held captive, Bhai Mangal Singh personally ensured that the hostage faced no harm and was well looked after. Upon the release of Bhai Ravinderbeer Singh, the hostage was returned home safely and unharmed.

Until 1991 Bhai Mangal Singh operated in and around the Ludhiana District, where impressed by the nature of his daring actions he was given the nickname and began to be known as ‘Bamb’ by the other Singhs active in the area.

One of the Singh’s very close to Bhai Mangal Singh was Shaheed Bhai Beant Singh ‘Buta’ of Ludhiana. In an unfortunate incident as Bhai Beant Singh was returning from a successful hit on a police Thanedar he crossed paths with another Jujharoo group. Bhai Beant Singh was in the disguise of a police officer in order to complete his mission but this led the other group to believe he was indeed an actual police officer, as a result the group fired upon Bhai Beant Singh. Bhai Beant Singh was forced to return fire, in this cruel twist of fate Bhai Beant Singh and another Singh from the other group attained Shaheedi.

On November 5, 1991 Bhai Mangal Singh ‘Bamb’ was en-route to Mehta Chowk when he was intercepted by the Police CATS of village Channan. Bhai Mangal Singh was severely tortured for 2 days which left him unable to walk or use of his arms, but the police were unable to extract any information from this brave soldier. Frustrated with Bhai Mangal Singh’s response to their torture, Bhai Mangal Singh was killed in a fake police encounter. On November 7, 1991 SSP Parmjeet Gill announced to the media:

“Mangal Singh ‘Bamb’ who was wanted in connection with other 30 cases has been killed in an encounter at village Bhoewal near police station Jandiala, a large number of weapons and ammunition were also recovered from him.”

Following Bhai Mangal Singh’s Shaheedi, his body was not released to the family. Large numbers of sangat from surrounding villages and cities wishing to pay their final respects by attending Bhai Mangal Singh’s Bhog were stopped at the entrance of the village by the Police and unable to proceed. The Keertani Jatha sent by Damdami Taksal was also refused entrance to perform Keertan at the Bhog ceremony.

Bhai Mangal Singh ‘Bamb’ following in the footsteps of his beloved brothers and comrades Bhai Sukhdev Singh Jhamke, Bhai Jugraj Singh ‘Toofan’, Bhai Beant Singh ‘Buta’, Bhai Rajwinder Singh ‘Fauji’ & Bhai Ravinderbeer Singh Bhola gave his life for the Sikh nation. Such sacrifices will forever shine on the pages of modern Sikh history and shall never be forgotten.

Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar

Since the birth of the Khalsa in the Land of Five Rivers, countless sons and daughters of Punjab have given their lives to protect their freedom, their people and their natural resources. Just like the looting foreign invaders have taken different forms in the army of Ahmad Shah Abdali, the British colonialists, and today’s foreign and Indian capitalists, Punjab’s organized resistance has manifested itself from time to time in the Babbar Akalis, the Gadhr Party and the Kharkoo Jathebandis of the Sikh Liberation Movement.
Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar 2 Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar
Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar

Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar was one of the Sikh Liberation Movement’s heroes, who struggled endlessly to end the looting and subjugation of Punjab. Bhai Sahib was a dedicated and determined Naujavaan – steadfast on his principles – who made the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of the Sikh Kaum. At the young age of 25, Bhai Balwinder Singh left the peace of his own home and his education to to fight for an independent Sikh homeland. Bhai Sahib entered the battlefield fearlessly and quickly rose to prominence in the Malwa region of Punjab. Recognizing his leadership qualities and his Gursikhi Jeevan, Bhai Balwinder Singh was soon established as Babbar Khalsa’s Malwa Area Commander.

Bhai Charanjit Singh Channi Babbar 6 Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar
Shaheed Bhai Charanjit Singh 'Channa' Babbar

Bhai Balwinder Singh and his companions, such as, Jathedar Bhagat Singh Bhagta (Ropar), Bhai Harmeet Singh Bhaowal and Bhai Charanjeet Singh ‘Channa’ were responsible for many courageous actions in their area and struck fear in the hearts of the police. One such action took place on July 23, 1990 in Chandigarh’s Sector 26 at the SYL Canal’s head office.

Since the British colonizers made their exit from the Indian subcontinent and transferred power to India’s Brahmin, “free” Hindu India has oppressed, looted and exploited the people of Punjab unceasingly. One such scheme to cripple the Sikh’s of Punjab economically and ecologically, was to divert and steal Punjab’s river water. With this end in mind, the Satluj-Yamuna-Link canal was proposed in 1982 to carry Punjab’s river water to neighboring Haryana and despite the democratic protest of Punjab’s people, construction of the project began over the next few years. Remembering the words of Guru Gobind Singh Jee that, “when all peaceful means fail, it is righteous to raise the sword,” Bhai Balwinder Singh Jatana, Bhai Jagtar Singh Panjola, Bhai Balbir Singh Fauji and Bhai Harmeet Singh Bhaowal decided to stop the looting of Punjab’s resources “by any means necessary.”

On the morning of the 23rd, all four of the Guru’s Singhs approached the head office on scooters while the chief engineers of the SYL project held a meeting on the second floor of the building. The jatha of Babbar’s entered the office casually and made their way to the meeting place with silenced pistols. Like lightning, they struck – eliminating M.S. Sikri and Avtar Aulakh, the engineers who were collaborating with the Brahmin Sarkar to loot Punjab’s resources and livelihood. Just as casually as they had entered, the Singhs walked out of the office and left on the same scooters they had come on. The government was shaken by the audacity of the action and immediately halted the SYL project.
bhai balwinder singh jattana family Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar
Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana & Family Members

On August 29th of the following summer, Jujharoo Singhs attacked SSP Sumedh Saini, killing his driver and bodyguard. Saini survived the attack with few injuries and his suspicion immediately fell on Bhai Balwinder Singh. In an act of revenge, Saini sent his group of police cat Nangs, led by Ajit Poohla, to Bhai Balwinder Singh’s village home in Jatana. Upon arriving they found Bhai Sahib’s 80 year old grandmother, 40 year old aunt, 13 year old cousin and his 5 year old nephew suffering from polio. Nang Poohla and his cronies, proceeded to murder all four family members and burnt their bodies along with the home. Illustrating his unshakable dedication to the liberation struggle, when Bhai Sahib learned of the attack, he remained calm and said, “Their plan is to divert us from the path of freedom. They kill our families and expect us to kill innocent people (Hindus) in return. Sikhs do not kill anyone out of anger. We will be harming the movement by resorting to the police’s tactics.”
It was a few days later, on September 4, 1991, that an informer alerted the police of Bhai Sahib’s whereabouts – hoping to collect the Rs. 16 lakh reward on his head. It was the afternoon of the fourth when Bhai Balwinder Singh and Bhai Charanjeet Singh ‘Channa’ were driving towards Sadhugarh village when they saw a police checkpoint. They abruptly turned their jeep around and ran into nearby fields for an encounter with the police. Both Singh’s had very little ammunition and were soon martyred by the police.

bhai balwinder singh jattana bhog Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar
Shaheeds: Bhai Balwinder Singh Jattana Babbar & Bhai Charanjeet Singh 'Channa' Bhog announcement

It’s this blood that has watered the fertile Land of Five Rivers that invigorates us to continue our struggle and never give up in the face of the oppressor. As Punjab’s waters are continuously looted, our land and resources stolen and our people butchered mercilessly, we must look to our history for guidance and inspiration to continue our fight for Azadi. Khalistan is our manzil and no matter how hard the Brahmin sarkar tries to break us or the cowards try to sway us… Jang jari rahegi…

“Our struggle will continue as long as a handful of men, be they foreign or native, or both in collaboration with each other, continue to exploit the labour and resources of our people. Nothing shall deter us from this path.”
-Kartar Singh Sarabha

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Shaheed Bhai Manjit Singh aka Museebat Singh

One day as Bhai Manjit Singh and his mother where sat in their family home, Mata Kartar Kaur jokingly remarked “since you are always causing trouble we should really address you as Museebat Singh” to which Bhai Manjit Singh replied “as you wish mother, from now on I’ll be known as Museebat Singh…”

Bhai Museebat Singh Shaheed Bhai Manjit Singh aka Museebat Singh
Shaheed Bhai Manjit Singh aka Museebat Singh

Bhai Manjit Singh aka Museebat Singh was born in 1956 and was one of 3 brothers, with elder brother Bhai Darshan Singh and younger brother Bhai Surinder Singh (Ragi). Bhai Manjit Singh studied till Metric at a school run by the management of Khalsa College and during this period took Amrit at Khalsa College.

Upon completing his education Bhai Manjit Singh gained employment as a lathe operator where he proved to be an expert in his field. In a conversation with Mata Kartar Kaur, she narrates “from the very beginning Manjit Singh had no strong personal attachment to his family, instead was always eager to support others. Often with his wages he would pay the school fees of local students or buy books for their studies.”

Around 1978-1979 Bhai Manjit Singh was wed to Bibi Sharanjeet Kaur but continued in his active role of sewa along with taking care of his household duties. 

Sant Jarnail Singh 105 Shaheed Bhai Manjit Singh aka Museebat Singh
Sant Jarnail Singh

In the late 70’s and early 80’s a new Sikh leader and SaintSoldier by the name of Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale had taken Punjab by storm, thousands of Sikhs travelled across Punjab for glimpses of the warrior and to listen to his soul awakening speeches. Bhai Manjit Singh was one of these thousands. 

Subsequent to meeting Sant Ji, Bhai Manjit Singh came home and expressed his delight and stated that he had finally found what he had been looking for, having been blessed by Sant Ji, Bhai Manjit Singh had a purpose in life – to protect the honour of the Sikh faith. From then on Bhai Manjit Singh visited Sri Darbar Sahib daily to listen to Sant Jarnail Singh’s speeches. 

One day, Bhai Manjit had told his family that he was leaving to visit Sri Hazoor Sahib. On August 20, 1982 news began to circulate that in protest to the Governments harsh treatment towards the Sikhs, Bhai Manjit Singh had hijacked a plane leaving from Udaipur to Delhi. 

Talking about the hijacking incident Mata Kartar Kaur said:

“Around mid-morning there was commotion in the area that Museebat Singh had hijacked a plane. The immediate thought running through my mind was could this be our Manjit Singh? By evening the news had been confirmed and with the rest of the family I reached Sri Darbar Sahib hoping to meet Sant Jarnail Singh. 

Upon reaching Sri Darbar Sahib we met with Bhai Ram Singh (Ragi) and explained the situation who then introduced us with Sant Jarnail Singh. Sant Ji instructed the Singhs to provide the family with a room in the Serai, but on my request we were given a room at Guru Nanak Niwas.”

Mata Kartar Kaur revealed that Bhai Manjit Singh had initially planned on taking the plane to Libya, however was told by the pilot that the plane did not carry enough fuel to do so. Then Bhai Manjit Singh instructed the pilot to take the plane to Lahore, but the plane was not permitted to land as the Indian Government had already lodged protest with Pakistan. The plane circled above Pakistan for some time until eventually they returned back and landed at Raja Sansi Airport, Amritsar with the intention of refuelling.

Whilst landed at Raja Sansi airport Bhai Manjit Singh released many of the passengers aboard before giving himself up on assurances that he would not be harmed. However, as Bhai Manjit Singh came out of the plane he was shot at a point blank range by DSP Bachan Singh.

Notably the treatment given to Sikhs for hijacking a plane differs highly to the 2 Hindu brothers whom had hijacked a plane in protest of Indira Gandhi’s arrest. This is highlighted in a speech by Sant Jarnail Singh (May 1983):
Khalsa Ji: a lady born to a house of Pundits, having got the votes of the people, became Prime Minister of India. This is Bibi (lady) Indira Gandhi. In 1977, according to her deeds, a judge of the Supreme Court sentenced her to a few days in prison. To serve this sentence she went to Tihar Jail. Nobody slapped her, she had no wounds. No one used any disrespectful word. A judge had sentenced her. But her colleagues, Pandey and others hijacked a plane to protest their Bibi having been sent to prison. What was the punishment given (to them) for this hijacking? They were given tickets for becoming members of the Legislative Assembly, one in U.P. (Uttar Pradesh) and the other in Bihar. On the other hand, on September 14, (1981) in Chando-Kalan, two busses belonging to the Jatha (Sant Bhindranwale’s group) with copies of Sahib Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in them, were doused with kerosene and set on fire by government officials including Bhatti (a police official) and some others like him. After that, on September 20, (1981), in Chowk Mehta, I offered myself for arrest after offering prayers to the Guru in the presence of the Congregation. The entire Panth, (including various) associations and organizations, had assembled there. In spite of my surrendering peacefully, Khalsa Ji, one and one-half dozen Singhs, our turbaned Sikhs, were put to death (by the police). When the young men of the (Sikh) Nation did not find any redress or justice coming from any quarter, in order to do what they could to direct the attention of the entire public and the government to this atrocity, to point out what the government had been doing to the Sikhs, they hijacked a plane. These five Sikhs, Gajinder Singh and others, who are in Pakistan, have been exiled. In addition it was said: “These persons are our accused, our criminals, they should be handed over to us, we have to sentence them to death.” If a plane is hijacked for the sake of a lady of the Pundits, there is the chair (public office), but if a plane is hijacked for the Beloved (Guru) of the Sikhs there is exile! Hijacking a plane for a lady of the Pundits is patriotism, but, if a Sikh hijacked a plane to protest (the treatment of) his Beloved (Siri Guru Granth Sahib), Manjit Singh was shot to death at Raja Sansi airport on August 20, (1982). This is an evident sign of slavery. Pandey and associates did not damage the plane nor did they hurt any passengers. Nor did these Sikhs, in all three hijackings, harrass any passenger or damage any planes. But, what is the rule? For a fellow with a turban, there is the bullet, there is the crippling injection, and there is exile. However, if one says “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Hare Rama,” there is the chair (appointment to high office). This is a sign of slavery, Khalsa Ji.
Mata Kartar Kaur remained at Guru Nanak Niwas for almost a year, before returning home for the Sri Akhand Path Sahib for Bhai Manjit Singh. In June 1984, when the Indian army attacked Sri Darbar Sahib, Mata Kartar Kaur and Bhai Surinder Singh were both inside the complex.

Bhai Surinder Singh was unlawfully kept in Ajmer jail for a year then transferred to Jodhpur jail after being framed in false cases. During this time the rest of the family was continually harassed and arrested by the police but thanks to local villagers were released each time. To this very day, the police still harass Mata Ji and the family

Mata Kartar Kaur was kept imprisoned for 3 months then sent to Ludhiana prison for a further 3 months. Mata Ji still remembers the days when Baba Thakur Singh Ji would visit the prisoners in B-Block. The Singhs would tell Baba Thakur Singh that Mata Ji is mother of Bhai Museebat Singh then Baba Ji would stand up in respect of Mata Ji. Mata Ji also commented on the present state of Mehta Chowk and how the presence of Baba Thakur Singh is deeply missed. Now, left with just their memories, Mata Ji continues to live life in less than glorious conditions, but within the will of Satguru.

Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha

Looking back at the glorious list of fallen Shaheeds in the Sikh struggle for Independence commenced by Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale, one name, which till the present day, still echoes around the areas of Amritsar & Tarn Taran is that of Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha. 

Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha was born to Sardar Gulzar Singh & Mata Mahinder Kaur on the 3rd of February, 1965 in village Sangha, District Tarn Taran. Bhai Sahib was the eldest of 5 children, Bhai Sahib had 3 brothers: Bhai Balwinder Singh ‘Billu’, Bhai Khushdeep Singh ‘Bittu’, Bhai Dilbagh Singh ‘Bagga’ and one sister Bibi Ranjeet Kaur. 

Note: Bhai Balwinder Singh & Bhai Khushdeep Singh were both abducted and killed in fake encounters by SSP Ajit Sandhu.

Bhai Sangha completed his primary education at his local village where he was always the highest achieving student, coming first in all classes. Bhai Sahib’s secondary education was completed at S.D High School, Tarn Taran and higher secondary also at Tarn Taran, after which he enrolled at Sri Guru Arjan Dev Khalsa College, Amritsar for his B.A studies. 

Bhai Sangha was off a quiet, well natured and calm character. Bhai Sahib was blessed with Amrit very early in his life. From a very young age Bhai Sangha had a yearning to learn and practice Sikhi, whilst still in primary school Bhai Sangha began learning to read and understand Gurbani from Nirmale Sant Kartar Singh. By the time Bhai Sangha was in 8th class he had memorised the 5 daily prayers. Bhai Sangha, as a student, wherever he may be, would rise daily at 2am, bathe and then proceed to recite Gurbani. Bhai Sangha’s daily Nitnem lasted over 8 hours, which included Asa Di Vaar, Sukhmani Sahib, Chandi Da Paath, Rehras Sahib and Kirtan Sohila. 

Bhai Sangha’s daily routine also included farming with his father and younger brothers. Bhai Sangha would complete all his farming and household chores before going to school. Whilst studying in the 10th class, Bhai Sahib’s father passed away, thus all the farming and household responsibilities fell upon Bhai Sangha’s shoulders. Bhai Sangha was a very hard working person, not only did Bhai Sahib go to school then return to fulfil his farming and household duties, but also made it a priority to do Katha (discourse) at the Gurdwara every evening. Bhai Sangha also organised monthly Sri Akhand Paath Sahib’s at all historical places within his area.

As a child Bhai Sangha’s favourite toy was his pistol, whilst playing with other kids, he would arrange them into armies and take command of them as they battled with one another. Rather fitting as Bhai Sangha would progress into one of the most feared (by the enemy) and loved (by the masses) Generals of the Khalistan movement. Bhai Sangha was also a very keen gatka player and regularly displayed his skills at school programs, religious functions and processions. Bhai Sangha’s gatka was not just for show, in his school and college days Bhai Sahib would vigorously confront those known for causing trouble and prevented students from being bullied.

During his time at Khalsa College, Bhai Sangha became an active member of the All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) and regularly visited Sri Darbar Sahib where he began listening to the preaching and sermons of Sant Jarnail Singh. In these days the Dharam Yudh Morcha was in full swing, like thousands of other Sikhs, Bhai Sangha was also inspired and courted arrest for the agitation, which led him being sent to Ludhiana prison. Upon his release from jail Bhai Sangha was instructed by Bhai Sahib Bhai Amrik Singh to continue with his studies and partake in Federation activities anonymously.
Operation Bluestar 37 Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Sri Akal Takht Sahib after Operation Bluestar
In June 1984, the Indian army attacked Sri Darbar Sahib, which resulted in the Shaheedi of many Singhs, Singhnia & Bhujangis as well as the destruction of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Bhai Sangha like millions of Sikhs worldwide was left distraught by this event. In these days the Punjab Police and army were ordered to round up the Sikh youth and illegally detain them, in fear of a new wave of resistance against the state. In August 1984, the Tarn Taran police surrounded Bhai Sahib’s village, where he along with 4 other Sikh’s were arrested. The Tarn Taran police tortured Bhai Sangha before sending him to the Army Camp where Bhai Sangha was again brutally tortured, leaving him physically very frail. In this state Bhai Sahib was sent to Amritsar prison where he was kept for over a year before finally being released on bail.

The events of June 1984 & the anti-Sikh massacres of November 1984 were too much for Bhai Sahib to bear. Bhai Sahib could no longer tolerate the injustices perpetrated upon the Sikh faith and decided to commit his life to the movement for Sikh Freedom. Bhai Sahib began gathering the scattered Singh’s of the Tarn Taran circle’s AISSF and re-assembled them. The Federation was re-structured and Bhai Sahib was elected as vice-president then later as president of this Federation. Whilst doing seva with the Federation, Bhai Sahib came into contact with many of the top Singh’s who were now operating underground, working towards the creation of a free Sikh homeland.

Baba Manochahal 001 Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal
Bhai Sangha’s dedication and commitment to the movement impressed Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal. During the formation of the newly created Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK), it’s General Chief: Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal appointed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha as Lt. General of the Jathebandi (Organization) and in the absence of Baba Manochahal, Bhai Sangha was given responsibility of commanding the Jathebandi.

Bhai Sahib quickly began his seva by eliminating enemies of the Sikhs and was involved in many daring actions and encounters which caused heavy casualties for the Indian security forces. Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha and his fellow Jujharoos of the BTFK became a formidable force operating in the Amritsar & Tarn Taran districts of Punjab.

Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha 4 Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
On one occasion Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha had stopped over at a Sikh family’s home who were sympathisers of the movement. In this same village, Turr in Tarn Taran was a police tout who became aware of Bhai Sangha’s presence and quickly reported this news at the local police station. Bhai Sangha was resting in one of the rooms when the police swooped round to conduct a search. As the family was taken aside and questioned as to Bhai Sahib’s whereabouts, one of the conducting officers noticed a room with its doors closed over. The police suspected that Bhai Sahib was inside this room, but neither officer had the courage to find out. Who would willingly step into a lion’s den? The police told one of the family members open the doors, all this time Bhai Sangha was listening and waiting with his finger firmly on the trigger, ready to pounce. The family member opened the door and promptly moved aside. As the door’s opened Bhai Sangha glanced to confirm that the family member was out of his firing line and then discharged a barrage of bullets upon the police officers. 3 officers immediately fell to the ground and the remainder ran for their lives.

What followed was an example of Bhai Sangha’s good nature; Bhai Sahib would never wish his actions to be the cause of any harm to others. Bhai Sahib knew that soon after he leaves, the police would return and begin to harass and torture this Gursikh family. Bhai Sangha sat the entire family on a tractor and escorted them to a safe place, fulfilling his moral responsibility towards them.
The Indian Govt was incensed with the quick rise to fame of the BTFK and its immense popularity amongst the local’s, as the stories of Bhai Sangha & the BTFK bravery began to circulate across Punjab, Bhai Sangha’s name was on the lips of every adult and child. As a result, hundreds and thousands of Sikh youth became willing recruits for the BTFK to join the ranks of Baba Manochahal & Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha.

The Indian Govt knew that if this momentum continued then it was not long before the Sikh’s goal for liberation would be accomplished. The intelligence agencies hatched a plan to separate Baba Manochahal from Bhai Sangha in which they unfortunately succeeded. Ultimately it was agreed that Bhai Sangha & his comrades would operate separately from the main Jathebandi, with this decision the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (Sangha) faction emerged.
Despite the split in the Jathebandi, the relationship between Baba Manochahal and Bhai Sangha remained unharmed, both Generals knew that their ultimate goal was the same, and continued to work towards this path with mutual respect for one another. Whenever Baba Manochahal & Bhai Sangha crossed paths, they made it a priority to stop and share Fateh with one another.

To fund the newly created group, Bhai Sangha mortgaged his land for 60,000 rupees and used this to buy weapons and ammunition. The Sangha faction of the BTFK itself began to grow, amongst the big names that operated under Bhai Sangha in this group were Bhai Rashpal Singh Chandran, Bhai Baljit Singh Khela, Bhai Balwant Singh Brast, Bhai Bikramjit Singh Narla, Bhai Satbachan Singh Sakrooli, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ghukar and Bhai Jasmer Singh ‘Lally’.

bhai rashpal singh chandran bhai bikramjit singh narla and bhai sangha Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheeds: Bhai Rashpal Singh Chandran, Bhai Bikramjit Singh Narla & Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha would repeatedly stress the importance of Sikh Rehit amongst the Jathebandi Singh’s, Bhai Sahib encouraged all members to read as much Gurbani as possible and meditate on the Lord’s name as it was only with Waheguru’s grace that their mission could be accomplished. At meetings held by the Jathebandi, Bhai Sangha made it common practise in involving each Jujharoo to take turns in reciting Bani as others listened.

Bhai Sangha was seen as a saviour to the poor and was held in high esteem by people of all castes and faith’s. His respect for elders, love for children and regards elderly females as motherly figures and ladies as his sisters won him the affection of all. Bhai Sangha had helped many newlywed brides who were being abused and extorted by their in-laws to settle into their new homes. Bhai Sangha also issued warnings stating that if any person, regardless of caste or race, is facing threats of death or extortion, a report should be made to BTFK (Sangha) Jathebandi and upon investigation, action will be taken.

bhai balwinder singh billlu Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh 'Billu'
When Hindus were leaving Punjab in fear for their lives, Bhai Sangha persuaded the Hindu’s from his village to stay put. Bhai Sangha along with his younger brothers, Bhai Balwinder Singh ‘Billu’ and Bhai Khushdeep Singh ‘Bittu’ personally provided security for the Hindu villagers. Upon hearing this, Hindu’s from neighbouring villages also sought refuge at village Sangha.

Bhai Sangha had now become a household name, the security forces were frantically searching for him and his BTFK comrades. The Indian Govt had promised instant promotions and awards for any reports or information on sightings of Bhai Sangha. The security forces were given a list of the Jujharoo Singhs names which had been classed in order of most dangerous, this was known as the ‘A’ list, heading this list was Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha. The reward for capturing Bhai Sangha was 25 lakh (2.5million) rupees, one of the highest amounts to have been placed on the freedom fighters.

The Punjab Police and their informers were licking their lips at the potential rewards for the capture of Bhai Sangha. On the night of June 23, 1989 Bhai Sangha and 5 Jujharoo’s were at their hideout in village Musa, located near Jabbal and Bhikiwind. A tout from his village went directly to SP Operations Avtar Singh to report this information. Avtar Singh was also blinded by the idea of promotion to SSP, should he capture Bhai Sangha, however was cautious of attacking Bhai Sangha and his men at night time. SP Avtar Singh called in re-enforcements and planned to attack early morning in the hope to catch the Singhs whilst they slept. As dawn broke on the 24th of June, the CRPF and Punjab Police surrounded the Singhs.

Bhai Manjinder Singh aka Nanak Singh Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Bhai Manjinder Singh 'Nanak'
Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha had already left as the Hindustani forces reached the village. The BTFK Singh’s inside led by Bhai Rashpal Singh ‘Ghuk’ were Bhai Kulwant Singh ‘Kanta’, Bhai Kulwant Singh ‘Kala’, Bhai Balwinder Singh ‘Binda’ and Bhai Manjinder Singh ‘Nanak’. The Singh’s had just completed Nitnem as they became surrounded by the Punjab Police and CRPF. The 5 Singhs did Ardaas and adhering to “Soora So Pehchaniye Joh Lareh Deen Ke Het, Purja Purja Kat Mare Kabhoon Nah Chade Khet” took up their positions. In true Khalsa spirit, the 5 brave Singhs battled with the security forces which were hundreds in numbers. The encounter lasted 10 hours, from 7am till 5pm, in which SP Avtar Singh along with a high number of CRPF and Punjab Police men were killed. All 5 Singh’s fought fearlessly till their last breathe and gained the ultimate prize for all warriors – Shaheedi.

The following morning, all major newspapers were filled with reports that Bhai Sangha was amongst the 5 Singh’s who had attained Shaheedi. In villages and cities across Punjab the Sikh community held Akhand Paath’s and did Ardaas for Bhai Sangha’s Chardi Kalah (high spirits and wellbeing). Bhai Sangha responded with an announcement to the papers stating that he was alive and well. As this message was conveyed to the masses, the Sikh community became ecstatic and once again held Akhand Paath’s, this time in thanking Waheguru for Bhai Sahib’s wellbeing.

Following Operation Bluestar, 2 permanent CRPF patrols were placed around Darbar Sahib and Tarn Taran Gurdwaras. Bhai Sangha issued 3 separate warnings to the CRPF to remove their troops from the entrance of the Gurdwara, however no action was taken. As a result on the 28th of December 1989, Bhai Sangha along with his unit set out to teach the CRPF a lesson. On a frosty winter’s evening the Singh’s with their AK 47’s concealed under their shawls approached the CRPF men and opened fire from close range. 4 CRPF men were killed on the spot whilst others dropped their weapons and scurried of in all directions, some taking shelter in the nearby shops. The Singh’s claimed the weapons as a token of victory and drifted off into the crowd.

On the 2nd of November 1990, Bhai Sangha along with 4 other Singhs of his unit were travelling back to their hideout from the final rites ceremony of a Jujharoo Singh. The CRPF & Punjab Police led by SP Harjit Singh were on the lookout as they received intelligence that Bhai Sangha would be present at the Jujharoos bhog. The following day Bhai Sangha and his unit were sat along the banks of a canal at village Bhullar as a known associate spotted them and offered the Singhs some refreshments. The Singh’s rested their weapons against the wall with the barrel faced upwards. As the Singhs were sat down, suddenly one of the loaded weapons, fell to the ground and fired a bullet. In the early hours of the morning, the noise of the bullet echoed around the village. This noise also reached SP Harjit Singh and his squad, SP Harjit Singh instantly grabbed his wireless radio and ordered for immediate back-up. SP Harjit Singh and thousands of security forces men descended upon village Bhullar. The forces began rounding up the natives of village Bhullar and took them to a nearby warehouse. 

On the other side, the Singh’s led by Bhai Sangha were calm and ready for battle. The 5 Singh’s were now completely surrounded, as they proceeded forward from the canal the security forces opened fire, the Singh’s responded in kind and although the Hindustani commandos were strapped with bulletproof jackets, they fired from distance in fear of the Singhs. 

The 5 Singhs roared Jaikaarey as they continued their firing. The encounter played out for 5-6 hours and in many ways was reminiscent of the Chamkaur Sahib battle, i.e. 5 Jujharoo Singhs facing thousands of opposing enemies. The police forces began dropping like flies which caused them to temporarily retreat. Suffering heavy casualties and witnessing the fearless Singh’s unscathed from the hundreds of rounds fired, the security forces resorted to using mortar fire. 

Bhai Baljit Singh Khela Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Bhai Baljeet Singh Khela
The 5 Singh’s engaged in battle were all from BTFK-Sangha Jathebandi: General Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha, Area Commander Bhai Baljeet Singh Khela, Lieutenant General Bhai Bikramjeet Singh Narla, Bhai Manjit Singh Madho & Bhai Rameshpal Singh.

In the midst of the battle 3 Singhs became Shaheed whilst Bhai Sangha and another Singh continued battling with the forces. The remaining 2 Singhs however were running low in ammunition. Bhai Sangha had vowed never to be caught alive; both Singh’s knew that the time had come when they too would join the great list of Shaheeds before them. Making their final stand the 2 Singh’s roared Jaikaarey until their last bullet was fired. Eventually Bhai Sangha’s gun fell silent as he attained Shaheedi.

As Bhai Sangha’s body lay on the ground, the security forces could not pluck up the courage to confirm that Bhai Sangha was no more. After much deliberation, a group of policemen were sent to check whether Bhai Sangha was still breathing. Upon confirmation that Bhai Sangha was now Shaheed, the forces instantly surrounded the bodies of the Singh’s in case the news of the encounter was leaked. The security forces placed the bodies of the 5 Singhs on a single pyre. The local villagers were not released until the bodies had been set alight, the villagers reached to witness the pyre in flames. The ashes of the 5 Singhs were taken to Bhai Sangha’s village and given to Bhai Sangha’s family.

The entire Sikh community was devastated at the news of Bhai Sangha’s Shaheedi. At the bhog of Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha, tens of thousands of people from all over Punjab turned up to pay homage to their beloved General. Bhai Sangha’s contribution and popularity could well be measured by the police arrangements made to keep masses away from the bhog ceremony. Despite the police forces best attempts to limit the number of people attending, the gathering was the largest ever seen at any Shaheed’s bhog. This was a clear indication of how much Bhai Sangha was respected within the Sikh community. 

Bhai Major Singh U.P 3 Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha
Shaheed Bhai Major Singh (UP) - Khalistan Commando Force

Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha’s Shaheedi was a big loss for the Sikh Freedom movement. At a meeting held by the 5 Freedom Fighter groups, it was decided that the Jujharoo Singh’s would seek revenge of Bhai Sangha’s Shaheedi. Shaheed Bhai Major Singh, a Lieutenant General of Khalistan Commando Force from UP took upon this noble mission. On the morning of 24th November 1990, Bhai Major Singh had planted a bomb on the route SP Harjit Singh travelled daily with his entourage. The Singh’s sat and waited for SP Harjit Singh, and like clockwork at 9am, SP Harjit Singh’s jeep along with 2 security forces cars approached. Bhai Major Singh waited with his finger on the button until SP Harjit’s jeep was aligned with the location of the bomb. As Bhai Major Singh pressed the button, SP Harjit’s jeep flew 15metres into the air, killing him and his security personnel instantly and their remains splattering 100 metres apart. 

The Singh’s within 24 days took revenge of Bhai Sangha’s Shaheedi.
Following Bhai Sukhwinder Singh’s Shaheedi, the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (Sangha) group elected Bhai Rashpal Singh Chandran to lead the Jathebandi as it’s new General.
Taken from Singh Soorme Magazine – Issue 1.