Shaheed Bhai Baljit Singh Billa
Shaheed Bhai Baljit Singh Billa
The singhs and singhnia that attained shaheedi for the freedom of the Sikh nation, had given up their families, so we could stay with our families. There many shaheeds that the Sikh nation does not know about, as their families and memories are completely extinct. Some of the shaheeds, whose houses are standing, look like haunted buildings.
In the district of Faridkot, is the village of Malla. We found out that two Sikh warriors from this village have attained shaheedi within the Sikh Freedom Movement. Bhai Jasvir Singh Malla Babbar and Bhai Baljit Singh Billa Babbar were taught how to walk in the narrow streets of this village. The mothers brought up there sons and made them the men they were and later gave their sons to the Guru Gobind Singh Ji. When we spoke to the local villagers about these two warriors, some of the information given totally shook us. We met the family of Shaheed Bhai Jasvir Singh Malla Babbar and saw his house but Shaheed Bhai Baljit Singh Billa Babbar’s family and house are completely extinct. We couldn’t find his family, or his house and the only thing that remained in Punjab, was his name.
Bhai Baljit Singh Billa Babbar was born from the womb of a great women and in the house of Sardar Harnek Singh in the village of Malla, district Faridkot. As shepherds, the family looked after the herds of sheep and goats. Bhai Sahib was nicknamed Billa the Shepherd and his father was called Neki or Bengali. We asked many old women of the village for the name of Bhai Sahib’s mother, but got nothing.
We found out that Bhai Sahib used to take the sheep to the hills of Kaliana, when one day Bhai Balwinder Singh Ganga Babbar was passing the area with his group and the pair exchanged some words. Bhai Sahib did sewa of these singhs with tea and milk. Bhai Sahib kept on making a request to Bhai Balwinder Singh Ganga Babbar, “Baba ji, let me join your Jatha.” Bhai Balwinder Singh Ganga Babbar would reply, “Singh, gurbani is your true weapon. First take amrit from Panj Pyare and be ready for anything and recite gurbani. At least do 3 hours of deep mediation and then you can join our group.” This was the first time Bhai Sahib met singhs of Babbar Khalsa. This first meeting had changed him. Being a shepherd was what put food on the table for Bhai Sahib’s family. When Babbar Khalsa singhs saw Bhai Sahib in the hills with no footwear, the sings gave him some money to buy sandals and clothes.
Bhai Sahib took amrit at a Rehnsbhai from the singhs of Akhand Kirtani Jatha and started doing sewa secretly with the singhs. Bhai Sahib’s sewa was to transport anything the singhs needed in the disguise of a shepherd using the sheep and the goats in this mission. The report of this secret sewa was given to the police by an informant. The Jeto police had raided Bhai Sahib’s house many times to arrest him but no one was at home. One day the Jeto police managed to arrest his father Sardar Harnek Singh. This old man was so brutally tortured by the Jeto police, that even the devilish minded people would look down in shame, but Sardar Harnek Singh didn’t know where his son was. Due to the cruel torture Bhai Sahib’s father lost his mental balance. Sardar Harnek Singh would walk around the streets of Jeto barefoot, ripped clothes and no turban as if he was lost in his own village. If someone tried to talk to Sardar Harnek Singh, then he would say, “I am looking for my son Billa Babbar” and sometimes being upset he would say “What do cowards think, they can stop me from getting Khalistan by torturing me? I will say Khalistan Zindabaad till I die.” Soon the mental illness given to him by the torture of the police claimed his life. Sardar Harnek Singh would daily go outside the Jeto police station and shout “Khalistan Zindabaad” and raise his arms challenging the police, “You cowards what else can you do beside killing me?” The local shopkeepers would witness this daily, the locals of Jeto also say that Sardar Harnek Singh was insanely tortured by the police, there was not a part of his body without bruises and wounds of the blind torture.
Bhai Sahib was doing secret sewa but after leaving home he joined the group of Babbar Khalsa that punished enemies of the panth. One day Bhai Sahib was surrounded and chased by Indian security forces in the village of Bhokhra, District Bathinda. Even after being wounded Bhai Sahib managed to escape, Bhai Sahib had been shot as he was trying to flee the police on a scooter, but after leaving the police behind Bhai Sahib ditched the scooter and got on a bus, which took him out of the area. This was the play of Waheguru, the enemy that Bhai Sahib had gone to punish was sitting in the same bus. Bhai Sahib challenged this enemy on his own, the bus stopped when Bhai Sahib was wrestled by the public and the story of Bhokhra started again, the police had surrounded him again but Bhai Sahib got off the bus and got onto a tractor, as Bhai Sahib had been shot, he was heavily bleeding. By then the police had sealed all roads, the police of 2 districts had fully surrounded him. Bhai Sahib dismounted from the tractor and went into the fields and on the way Bhai Sahib asked a woman for water, the woman said “You’re a Khadku Singh, why you asking for water?” Bhai Sahib replied, “Mata, I am not thirsty for water, I just want to swallow this (Sy-Nyde capsule).” Bhai Sahib moved from there and went into the farms of Millet and with a regular pistol fought the police of 2 districts. When the bullets finished Bhai Sahib did ardas to Guru Ji thanking him for everything and swallowed the capsule of Sy-Nyde. Bhai Sahib attained shaheedi. The police of Faridkot and Bathinda called in commandoes, bullet proof tractors and only then surrounded the Millet farms, No one from the Indian security forces was brave enough to enter the farms. After 4 hours the Indian security forces fired thousands of bullets into the farm and then the police dogs were sent in to see what was happening. After 36 hours the Indian security forces managed to go near the body of Bhai Sahib. At a young age Bhai Sahib said his final Fateh to the family, fellow singhs and his village.
One of the locals of Malla said “Billa was a good boy, he respected everybody he would talk seriously all the time and all the villagers especially the poor families are very proud of him.” Shaheed Bhai Baljit Singh Billa Babbar used to say “Some people put their head down and accept slavery, some people raise their head and change time. As we are poor, we bread sheep and goats but we didn’t accept slavery. Khalistan will be the power to the poor.”
The police gave his body to the village, only the villagers and the fellow singhs fulfilled the last Sri Akhand Path Sahib and Ardas, from that day his name was the only thing that remained in the village there is no date for his shaheedi. We only know that Billa Babbar attained shaheedi in July 1989. We were unable to get any photo of Shaheed Bhai Baljit Singh Billa Babbar.
Tavareekh Babbar Khalsa – Karamjit Singh Sikhanwala