Letter by Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda

27thOctober 1989


The day of October 21, 1989 was a day of great happiness for Khalistan. On that day, at 11 o’clock, we were taken from the jail to the courthouse. When we arrived at the courts, we were still in the car when the police came and told us that we would have to take our shoes off before entering the courthouse. We refused to take off our shoes. The judge was thinking that we might beat him to death with them. We sent the judge a messagethat we would never do such a lowly thing and that if he had any doubts, he could have us handcuffed, but we would never remove our shoes. The judge agreed to what we said and did not even have us handcuffed.

We were presented in the courthouse. The judge came and met us especially with folded hands. Right upon sitting down, the judge announced his not-guilty verdict for brother Nirmal Singh. Then the judge said to us that we were guilty in the GeneralVaidya case. The judge asked our lawyers about a reduced sentence but we had already forbidden them that they should not say anything about it. Then the lawyers came to us and asked if they could ask the judge to reduce our sentences. We said that they should not and that we ourselves would talk to him about it.

The judge then called veer Sukhdev Singh to the stand. The judge said to veer Sukhdev Singh, “You have been convicted in this case. Say something about your punishment.” Sukhdev Singh replied, “The day that the wicked government attacked Darbar Sahib, on that day I had decided that my life was the Panth’s and it didn’t matter if it went today or tomorrow. At that time I had thought that until I have taken revenge for the disrespect to Darbar Sahib, and do not achieve Khalistan, I will not sit in peace. When this life is the Panths, then what care do I have about the punishment? You may announce any punishment you like.” Then veer started shouting Jaikaras and slogans for Khalistan.

Then the judge called me. Sukhdev Singh had returned to his spot and sat down. The judge then said to me, “you have been convicted in the General Vaidya case. Say something about your punishment.” I said to the judge, “that day when I began to walk on this path, that day I wrote my life off to the Panth. While I live I will continue to punish the enemies of humanity like General Vaidya and will fight until Khalistan is achieved. When this life and existence is the Panth’s, then what do I fear of any punishment? You can announce any punishment.”

The judge then asked us, “Are you prepared to sacrifice for Khalistan?” We replied, “Yes, we are ready to sacrifice for Khalistan.” By that time, journalists had also arrived. The judge then did not announce his sentence. The time for the sentence was set for one hour later at 1pm. When the judge was leaving, I said to him, “My mother and my other relatives are sitting at Shiva Nagar Courts. Please call them.” The judge then ordered the DSP that my mother and family should be brought and they should not be given any trouble. The judge said, “Until his family arrive, I will not announce the verdict.” The judge then left. Mata Ji and the rest of the family couldn’t be found at the courts because they had gone to the Gurdwara. Because of this, they couldn’t come to the sentencing.

The judge returned at 2.05pm and began to read the sentencing. At 2.17pm, veer Sukhdev Singh was called to the stand and was awarded the death sentence. He accepted this award with jaikaray and slogans for Khalistan. Then Nirmal Singh was called to the stand and pronounced not guilty.

When the judge was reading his sentencing, his voice was shaking and his hands were trembling. He was having trouble speaking.

The judge then called me to the stand. He also gave me the award of death. Just like veer, I too shouted jaikaray in happiness and shouted slogans for Khalistan and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. We also thanked him for sending us to the gallows.

We then said to the judge, “Today is a very happy day for Khalistan. On this, our happiest occasion, we want to throw a party.” The judge replied, “I am very thankful to you. You have helped me very much.” We also thanked the judge. We told the judge that we wanted to meet the Press, but the judge requested that we not do so today but some other time. We agreed.

We were then taken back to jail. We came back and began to distribute barfi (Indian sweet). When the people in the jail found out we had been sentenced to death, they didn’t eat it. So we ate it ourselves.

After two days, Balwinder Singh and Nirmal Singh went to the court in the bank case and the lawyers told them that the night of the sentencing, the judge could not sleep at all. All night the judge kept calling the lawyers and kept saying he could not sleep because it was the first time he had ever sentenced anyone to hang. “I did not want to sentence them to death. I had no choice. I have affection for them (Jinda and Sukha) from my heart. I have never met such people before. They are very good people. I will put up their photos in my house.”

But mother, your sons slept very happily that night. It was just like a farmer sleeps happily after having taken care of his crop.

Then that day, in front of everyone, the judge said to Balwinder Singh and Nirmal Singh that he wanted our and their photos because he wanted to put them in his home. The judge said he felt affection for us from his heart. Saying this, the judge began to cry.

The lawyers told Nirmal Singh that at first the judge had written a 20 year sentence in the Vaidya case but when he came to announce his sentence and Harjinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh began to shout Khalistan slogans, and said that they were willing to sacrifice for Khalistan, the judge cut the 20 years and replaced it with death. Because of this, he wanted an extra hour to announce the sentence. The judge was compelled to announce the sentence of death. Today we have ordered a Diwali card for the judge and tomorrow we’ll send it to him.

Mother, Father, veer ji, at this happy time, do not feel sad. Mother, remain in Chardi Kala just like you were in Poona. What greater happiness can a mother have than for her sons to be executed for their faith? To celebrate this happy moment, ladoos should be given out. Mother, you gave the newspapers in Poona Chardi Kala statements. Reading those statements, everyone was amazed. Mata ji, only our hearts knows how much happiness we felt after reading your statements. You all should always remain in Chardi Kala.

This world is a play. Like a performer has put on a show and people see it and feel happy. After a short while, that performance is over. Just like that, the world too is a big show. For a while we see the show but its end does not take long at all. Know it for certain that one who is born will certainly die. Just like night naturally follows the day, death certainly follows life.

How long can someone run along a wall? Its end will eventually come. Like this, life’s limited breaths also finish. Whatever we see in the world, besides God, is transitory. The eternal and life-giving Naam-nectar is pouring down everywhere though. But it only falls in the mouths of those who are sanmukh to their Guru. Those who have attached their consciousness to the Guru’s bani have their lives become sacred. They are accepted before God.

Otherwise Mata Ji, we will not appeal to the Supreme Court. You already know about this. I read your statement and was very happy to see you say that you will not appeal to the Supreme Court. If we did, it would not only be our disgrace, but the Panth’s as well. Even if someone asks you to, do not appeal. I am proud of you. Our spirits are with your spirits. Mother, your sons have passed the real test of life.

Bhai Jinda also notes how their conviction was based on their own admission. Of the 170 witnesses presented against them, only one managed to recognize Bhai Sukha. The rest were proven to be fakes and liars. The government’s case was a total disaster.

“The end of these evil Gangus is not far now [Gangu was the Brahmin who betrayed Mata Gujri and the Sahibzadas]. We have won. The entire Sikh community has raised its voice against oppression. Whoever fights against oppression has already won. We are not enslaved: we are free because we did not accept slavery. We are fighting enslavement. We may be imprisoned in jails but our hearts and minds are free to recite Naam and do Ardaas for the Chardi Kala of the Panth. These evil Gangus can chain our bodies but they cannot chain our minds. They cannot change our beliefs with their oppression and torture.”

“If today we face the gallows, do not think that we are being sent there. We are going to the gallows by our own will. Even after accepting responsibility for our actions [killing Vaidya] we could have easily been acquitted. If we wanted, we could have bought out our death (for only one lakh). But we consider going to the gallows as the best thing for the Panth. Your veers will happily kiss the noose that will hang us. What is this one life? We could give one lakh lives for this cause. For Khalistan, we will shed every drop of our blood and will rest only after having achieved it.”

Jail Chitthiyan – Sukha Jinda