Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh Tari

Babbar Khalsa

Bhai Avtar Singh Tari was born in the house of Sardar Beanta Singh and from the womb of Mata Amar Kaur. Bhai Sahib was the fourth eldest of four brothers and one sister. Bhai Sahib was born into a Gursikh household and the family lived in the village of Thatharke, near Dera Baba Nanak. Bhai Sahib’s father worked in the electricity board company. Bhai Sahib passed his 10th class from a government school in Dera Baba Nanak. After his studies Bhai Sahib started doing farming. Bhai Sahib was at the age of 29 years, when his father passed away. After the electricity board offered Bhai Sahib’s fathers job to him, which he took. Bhai Sahib started working in Dhariwal’s electricity board. Bhai Sahib was a person of religious views and deeply was attached to Gurbani.

It was 1981, during this time Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale and the Akali Dal were heading the Dharam Yudh Morcha for the basic rights of the state of Punjab. Bhai Sahib started going to Amritsar to do Darshan of Sri Harimandir Sahib and also attend the meetings of Sant Ji, which spoke about how the Sikhs were being oppressed. Bhai Sahib was bought closer to Sikhi by Sant Ji. Bhai Sahib would daily travel to work at the electricity board from home to Dhariwal. The CRPF were all over Punjab with checkpoints when Bhai Sahib returned from work, he would regularly be stopped, searched and harassed. Once it was late at night and Bhai Sahib was returning to his village from Dhariwal. Bhai Sahib was stopped by the CRPF at a checkpoint and due to his appearance of a Sikh he was humiliated. Bhai Sahib was fully searched and called a terrorist. Bhai Sahib showed his work identity but the CRPF did not stop harassing him. The Bihari soldiers of the CRPF were slandering Sikhi. Bhai Sahib was detained, the CRPF were also smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke into Bhai Sahib’s face. Bhai Sahib told the Indian Soldiers not to blow the smoke towards him, but the enemy blew even more smoke at Bhai Sahib. It was this moment Bhai Sahib realised the noose of slavery that hung over him.

Few days after that incident, Bhai Sahib went to Sri Darbar Sahib and became a Gursikh by taking Amrit from Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale’s Jatha. Bhai Sahib felt more attached to Sant Ji and had found his place amongst the Singhs of Sant Ji’s Jatha. Slowly Bhai Sahib left his job at the electricity board. Bhai Sahib was very close to Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi, Bhai Manbir Singh Chaheru and General Labh Singh. Bhai Sahib soon started staying with the Jatha of Sant Ji, slowly Bhai Sahib also made contact with the Jhujaru Singhs of Babbar Khalsa and took part in actions secretly. The police was onto Bhai Sahib and they would raid the family house on many occasions. Bhai Sahib was arrested and blindly tortured but Bhai Sahib’s family would always have him released on bail.

Bhai Sahib was underground whilst the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984, seeing the massacre of innocent Sikhs made Bhai Sahib very angry and he now wanted revenge. Bhai Sahib went to Pakistan and return to Punjab after two years all trained for guerrilla warfare. Bhai Sahib was an active Jhujaru Singh of Babbar Khalsa. During this time Bhai Sahib was forcefully presented in front of the police by his family. After this Bhai Sahib stayed at home for roughly four months, but Bhai Sahib’s heart was in the Sikh Freedom Movement and at times Bhai Sahib would do an action in secret. Even during his time at home Bhai Sahib was continuously harassed by the Punjab Police. Bhai Sahib once again decided to go onto the battlefield.  Bhai Sahib joined the Jhujaru Singhs of Babbar Khalsa again and was given the sewa of bringing weapons over the border into Punjab. Bhai Sahib took money from his house to do sewa of his group. Bhai Sahib’s character was high and pure. Bhai Sahib was a man of Sikhi principles and a believer of Bani and Bana. Bhai Sahib was against cults, worshipping of graves and encouraged everyone to take Amrit and become a Gursikh.

On 15th July 1989, Bhai Sahib and a fellow Jhujaru Singh were crossing the border from Pakistan into Punjab via the village of Kamalpura (Dera Baba Nanak). It was roughly 3 o’clock in the morning. Bhai Sahib came into the sight of the BSF, who straight away opened fire onto the Jhujaru Singhs. Bhai Sahib’s fellow Jhujaru Singh managed to escape in this encounter but Bhai Sahib fought till his last bullet and once the ammunition finished, Bhai Sahib swallowed a capsule of Sy-Nyde and attained Shaheedi.

Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh Tari