Shaheed Bhai Amarjit Singh Daheru
Shaheed Bhai Amarjit Singh Daheru
Bhai Amarjit Singh Daheru also known as Amra by his loved ones was born around 1935, in the house of Sardar Gulab Singh (previously known as Gulab Chand) and from the womb of Mata Sauda Kaur (previously known as Sauda Mai in the village Daheru, near Khanna. Bhai Sahib was the 3rd eldest of 2 bothers and 2 sisters. Bhai Sahib was born to an ordinary and loving family, their clan was Panesar and their family lineage was Ramgharia. Bhai Sahib’s mother was from Lahore and his father had married his mother in Lahore and settled back in their village of Daheru. Bhai Sahib was somewhat educated in the schooling system. From a very young age Bhai Sahib was a very clever, mischievous, highly energetic, and agile. Bhai Sahib’s mother raised them with a lot of love and care, Bhai Sahib’s father passed away whilst they were still quiet young. Bhai Sahib’s family had a small amount of land that was their own, and owned few cattle.
Bhai Sahib visited Takht Sri Hazur Sahib once in his youth and spent two months there, upon his return Bhai Sahib’s dress and mannerisms completely changed, Bhai Sahib had been blessed with Amrit at Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and returned home as a young Khalsa. Bhai Sahib’s personality had completely changed and he was now a complete Sikh of the Guru. From this young age Bhai Sahib was deeply connected with Gurbani and Nitnem. All of his friends and associates were Amritdhari Gursikhs who were deeply religious. With these friends Bhai Sahib met the Singhs of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and would go to every Akhand Kirtan Smagam. After taking Amrit Bhai Sahib only wore the full Bana (attire) of a Nihang Singh.
From their youth Bhai Sahib worked with metal and had established a metal working shop in Khanna. Before Bhai Sahib’s wedding their elder brother, who was in the army, was killed doing his duty. In around 1962 Bhai Sahib was married to Bibi Nachhattar Kaur (village Shepar, Malerkotla) in a great Gursikh wedding. As a Singh of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha Bhai Sahib said he would only marry so long as he can find a Gursikh Bibi who wears a Dastar. Bibi Nachhattar Kaur was an incredibly high-spirited soul who was also in the circle of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha.
With Guru Sahib’s blessings two daughters and four sons were born in Bhai Sahib’s house: Shaheed Bhai Sukhwinder Singh ‘Sukha’ who stayed close to Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, who Sant Ji lovingly named ‘Maan Singh’ and he attained martyrdom in June 1984. Shaheed Bhai Tarlochan Singh, who Sant Ji lovingly named ‘Teja Singh’ because he was quick witted, he also attained martyrdom in June 1984. Bhai Sahib’s other children were Bhai Harpal Singh Pali and Bhai Kartar Singh who passed away at a young age, and Bibi Gurdeep Kaur and Bibi Harpreet Kaur.
Bhai Sahib would go to Akhand Kirtani Jatha Smagams and through such programs met with Bhai Wadhawa Singh Babbar, Bhai Tarsem Singh Babbar Kala Singhia, Bhai Talwinder Singh Parmar Babbar, Bhai Kulwant Singh Nagoke, this was Bhai Sahib’s beginning with these Singhs. As well as earning his honest living Bhai Sahib traveled village to village with the Singhs and preached Sikhi as well as holding Amrit Sanchars, connecting people back with Sikhi.
In 1978, 13 Sikhs of Akhand Kirtani Jatha and of Damdami Taksal became martyrs during the 13th April Vaisakhi clash with the Nirankari cult in Amritsar, the pain of this was felt throughout the Sikh nation. Among Bhai Sahib and all the Singhs this pain was felt intensely and they all made a decision to take revenge. Together all the Singhs laid the foundation of the Babbar Khalsa group, they armed themselves and entered the battlefield of Sikh struggle. After the events of the 1978 Vaisakhi, and in response to government oppression Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, the leader of the Damdami Taksal, and the Akali Dal launched the Dharam Yudh Morcha from Amritsar to achieve Sikh demands (Anandpur Resolution).
On 19th November 1981 Bhai Sahib had a fire fight with the police at his house which is now known as ‘Daheru Encounter’. During November 1981 Bhai Sahib and the other Singhs of the Babbar Khalsa held a secret meeting in the Phillaur Police Training Centre. It was after this meeting that the police started to pursue this group of Jhujaru Singhs.
On the 16th of November 1981 the Singhs of Babbar Khalsa killed Prehlad Chand, the head of Nirankari cult in Kapurthala. The Jhujaru Singhs who went to carry out this action could not get their motorcycle to start on time so they left it and escaped on foot. From the number plate of the motorcycle the police identified the owner of the motorcycle who informed the police that the motorcycle was taken by Tarsem Singh Kala Singhia. After the capture of a Nihang Singh who was a companion of Bhai Tarsem Singh the police were getting closer to this group of Jhujaru Singhs. Inspector Pritam Bajwa wanted to capture the Singh, and in particular Bhai Tarsem Singh Kala Singhia, using only his own resources, he believed that with their capture he would be promoted to DSP.
On the night of 19th November 1981, between midnight and 1am Bhai Sahib returned home with 6 of his companions: Bhai Talwinder Singh Parmar Canadian, Bhai Wadhawa Singh, Bhai Tarsem Singh Kala Singhia (now living in the Netherlands), June 1984 Shaheed Bhai Amarjit Singh Khemkaran (at the time head constable), June 1984 Shaheed Bhai Gurnam Singh Hawaldar and Bhai Sewa Singh (at the time head constable). Bhai Sahib’s mother Mata Sauda Kaur and wife Bibi Nachhattar Kaur made food for all the Jhujaru Singhs. On the rooftop of Bhai Sahib’s home portable beds were laid out for all the Singhs where they took their rest.
Bhai Sahib awoke at 3am and after bathing did his Nitnem, at around 5am Bhai Sahib left their house together with their elder son on their bicycle towards their work in Khanna. It was winter time and the streets were dark. After dropping Bhai Sahib at the bus station their elder son would usually return with the bicycle. During this time Bhai Sahib saw two police jeeps approaching on the road, with their headlights on. These jeeps were heading to Bhai Sahib’s village, and on approaching Bhai Sahib the jeeps stopped. Bhai Sahib was reciting Gurbani and was not even slightly worried. When the police stopped in front of Bhai Sahib, he stopped reciting Gurbani and asked the police, “Yes, tell me what I can do for you?” Police inspector Pritam Bajwa asked Bhai Sahib, “Are you from this village of Daheru?” Bhai Sahib responded, “Yes, what can I do for you?” Bajwa asked, “Which one of the houses belongs to Bhai Amarjit Singh Ramgharia?”. Bhai Sahib smiled and told the police the longer route to their house. As the police left on the longer route, Bhai Sahib returned to their house via the shorter, direct route. Once Bhai Sahib reached home, he closed the gate and began laughing loudly, Bhai Sahib’s mother asked why he was laughing. Bhai Sahib told his mother that the useless police are coming to capture him and that they had asked him the way to his own house.
At the time at Bhai Sahib’s house were his 6 companions, his mother, wife, their daughters Bibi Gurdeep Kaur and Bibi Harpreet Kaur, their sons Bhai Harpal Singh and Bhai Sukhwinder Singh. Bhai Sahib awoke his Jhujaru companions and told them of the imminent arrival of the police. The police arrived and surrounded the house. With the police surrounding the house the Jhujaru Singhs made the decisions to engage the police in a fire fight. After securing their position the police knocked on the door, Bhai Sahib’s wife opened the door and as soon as the door was open Inspector Pritam Bajwa asked why it had taken so long to answer and if her husband or any of his companions were home. Bibi Nachhattar Kaur denied that any other Singhs were present. On hearing this Pritam Bajwa pushed Bhai Sahib’s wife aside and walked into their house, and with his troops entered the ground floor courtyard and headed towards the rooms. In the courtyard Bhai Sahib’s mother and children were present. Bajwa’s troops were armed with rifles and Pritam Bajwa was armed with his pistol, they were searching every corner. After searching the ground floor for some time and failing to find anything Pritam Bajwa became convinced that the Singhs were on the roof. During the search Pritam Bajwa was swearing a lot and speaking very poorly of the Jhujaru Singhs, and with this Pritam Bajwa and his troops moved towards the stairs next to the courtyard that led to the roof.
As police inspector Pritam Bajwa and constable Surat Singh started climbing the stairs of the house. Bhai Tarsem Singh Kala Singhia was sitting in a room on the first floor of the house (Chobara) and noticed Pritam Bajwa coming up the stairs. Bhai Tarsem Singh warned the police inspector to turn back and go away for the safety of his life. Inspector Pritam Bajwa and constable Surat Singh continued to march up the stairs, then a burst of bullets came from the room of the first floor and it killed both police officers on the spot. After this, a battle started and all the Jhujaru Singhs of Babbar Khalsa left the village via the sugar-cane farms.
In mid-July Bhai Amarjit Singh Daheru had been arrested along with his close friend, Bhai Baljit Singh. But this arrested was shown on the official police paperwork. Then on 19th July 1982, Bhai Sahib was made a martyr in a false encounter near Kapurthala. Bhai Baljit Singh was also made a martyr in a false encounter on 23rd July 1982 in Shankar village, Jalandhar ad after his hair and beard were also shaven of his dead body. Bhai Baljit Singh had nothing to do with Sikh struggle, but he was only killed due to being a witness to the arrest of Bhai Sahib. On 20th July 1982, Bhai Sahib body was declared orphaned and cremation was done by the Punjab police. This was done to avoid a post-mortem, because like Shaheed Bhai Kulwant Singh Nagoke’s martyrdom, the reason behind Bhai Sahib’s martyrdom would expose the Punjab police further more.
Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Amarjit Singh Daheru