Shaheed Bhai Balwant Singh Burst

Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan

Lieutenant General of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan, Bhai Balwant Singh Burst has attained Shaheedi fighting in the armed struggle for Khalistan on 18th September 1992. Bhai Balwant Singh Burst was born on 25th June 1968 from the womb of Mata Chanan Kaur. A day before Bhai Sahib attained Shaheedi, Bhai Sahib and fellow Jhujaru Singhs were surrounded in the village of Kasel. The locals were so worried about Bhai Sahib, that when Bhai Sahib did eventually escape they were at peace. The locals did Ardas for Bhai Sahib’s safety and for blessings of Guru Maharaj to shower upon Bhai Sahib. The locals had started 21 Sri Akhand Paath Sahibs for Bhai Sahib to remain in high spirits, but the police informants were looking for a window to have Bhai Sahib captured. The informant caught up with Bhai Sahib and one other Jhujaru Singh in the village of Cheema Khurd. Soon these Jhujaru Singhs were surrounded by thousands of Indian security force personnel as they did their prayers. Bhai Sahib wasn’t afraid even after he realised he was surrounded by the enemy in their thousands. Both of the Jhujaru Singhs came out of the house firing towards the Indian soldiers, as they recited Gurbani at the same time. Both Jhujaru Singhs fought the enemy for many hours and in the end when all their ammunition had finished, Bhai Sahib shouted five war cries of “Bola So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal” and attained Shaheedi by swallowing a capsule of Cyanide each. Even after these two warriors had attained Shaheedi, the Indian security forces didn’t gather the courage to come closer to their Shaheedi Saroops.


Soon as the locals of Kasel village found out about Bhai Sahib’s Shaheedi, a wave of sadness came over the village like the morning mist. This happy and lively village had gone all quiet as something important had been taken away from it. Bhai Sahib was not only dearly loved by the locals of Kasel but the whole Sikh Panth greatly loved and respected Bhai Sahib. All the villages of Tarn Taran deeply respected Bhai Sahib, and would take on the police interrogation to protect him. Bhai Sahib was also honoured and respected outside the Punjab Even when Bhai Sahib stayed outside of Punjab for a while, he gave no reason for complaints. Where ever Bhai Sahib went, he was very much loved and the people would look forward to Bhai Sahib coming again.


Bhai Sahib lived a life of a good Jhujaru Singh. Bhai Sahib never looked at anyone’s daughter or sister with a bad eye. Instead Bhai Sahib funded weddings of girls from poor families and also gave clothes to the poor. If Bhai Sahib ever came across an alcoholic, he could kindly explain what he was doing was wrong and offered his help. Even if Bhai Sahib met his personal enemies, he would not say anything to them either. Poor people and people from low castes were treated with respect by Bhai Sahib and he always offered his help. Jhujaru Singhs that Bhai Sahib stayed with told us that once Bhai Sahib was passing a farm of a Jatt, the border of this field was mixed in with the farm itself, Bhai Sahib fell really badly and as he fell he swore at the Jatt who owned the farm. Few moments later Bhai Sahib enquired whose farm it was and went to the Jatt’s house who owned the farm. Bhai Sahib explained the whole story and then apologised for swearing at the Jatt. The Jatt was stunned and couldn’t find any words to praise Bhai Sahib with. Like this Bhai Sahib had many similar moments which earned him the love and respect. From children to the elderly, Bhai Sahib was now called Baba Ji due to his lovable character. Bhai Sahib lived happily with Hindus, even the Hindus of the area are today missing Bhai Sahib.


Bhai Sahib always supported everyone, but he never looked at the circumstances of his own house. Bhai Sahib’s house has foot long grass growing in it, due to the police harassment, Bhai Sahib’s family were in hiding. Bhai Sahib had three brothers and two sisters. Bhai Sahib was the youngest children and the most loved too. Bhai Sahib was very intelligent and also a top footballer player. In 1987-88, Bhai Sahib joined the Jhujaru Singhs of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan under the command of Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha. Bhai Sahib may not have been the chief of his group, but Bhai Sahib fulfilled more responsibilities then the chief. After the Shaheedi of Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha all the responsibilities of the group fell on Bhai Sahib’s shoulders. Following the values laid by Bhai Sangha, Bhai Sahib made this group solid again. Bhai Sahib would hold meetings with the chiefs of all the Khalistani armed groups and discuss on how to make the movement stronger, every freedom fighting group respected Bhai Sahib. After the Shaheedi of Bhai Rashpal Singh Chhandran, Bhai Sahib taught his group not to get involved in personal fights as the movement needed everyone to be united. Jhujaru Singhs of the Sikh freedom movement and locals of Bhai Sahib’s area wanted Bhai Sahib to head Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan, but great is that person who even after fulfilling the responsibilities of a chief did not take the rank of a chief. Fellow Jhujaru Singhs of Bhai Sahib’s group, told Bhai Sahib to go away for a while as times were dangerous, but Bhai Sahib replied, “I will not leave the battlefield. I have challenged KPS Gill.” Bhai Sahib would also say, “If I go then our group may not live up to expectations.” Bhai Sahib used all his intelligence and strength to raise the Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan to the highest limits. The Punjab Police were scared of Bhai Sahib, they would shake when they heard Bhai Sahib’s name. In the space of two months, Bhai Sahib was surrounded 14 times by the Indian security forces and every time Bhai Sahib escaped shouting war cries of “Bola So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal”. Every where Bhai Sahib went the locals would risk their own life’s to save Bhai Sahib.


Bhai Sahib was looked upon as respectable figure in Tarn Taran area, villages such as Bojjian, Sanghe, Bathh and others. Every local wished to meet Bhai Sahib once in their lifetime. People would take the police torture upon their own bodies, but never give information of Bhai Sahib. The locals felt blessed to have helped Bhai Sahib in any shape or form. At any Smagam or Jorh Mela the sangat would always do Ardas for Bhai Sahib’s Chardikala. Once a preacher who was on a stage at one of the Smagams at the village of Kasel got up and said, “Great is that mother who gave birth to this warrior, where ever I go all I hear is Burst –Burst. I will feel blessed if I ever get to do Darshan of this warrior, I promise from today where ever I go to preach I will always do Ardas for the well being of Burst.”


If the locals of Tarn Taran had any guests come from far away, the first thing the guest would ask, “So tell me how is Baba Burst?” even today locals are heard saying, “Hey Waheguru, you should’ve took us and not Baba Burst.” While Bhai Sahib was alive, the locals slept in peace as no looting of thieving took place in fear of Bhai Sahib. No doubt there are other brave and fearless warriors in the Sikh freedom movement, but Jhujaru Singhs like Bhai Sahib, Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha, Bhai Jugraj Singh Toofan and Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala do not take birth in this world again and again.


With the Shaheedi of Bhai Sahib the Sikh Panth has had a major setback. The locals fade their sadness by saying, “Baba Burst may have attained Shaheedi in the battlefield but he will always live in our hearts!” The locals do have one reason to be upset, when they do Ardas to Maharaj they would always ask, “Waheguru you should have kept Bhai Sahib alive till 1st October, so that our Baba Burst would have completed the challenge he gave to KPS gill on 30th September.”


‘After the martyrdom of Bhai Rashpal Singh Chhandran, Bhai Balwant Singh Burst was given the leadership of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan (Sangha). He was a very close of associate of Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha also. Punjab police wanted Bhai Balwant Singh Burst for more than 1000 murders. He had a reward of 15 Lakh Rupees on his head. Bhai Balwant Singh Burst had been arrested 3 years ago, but was released during the negotiations with Jhujaru Singhs who had kidnapped family members of DSP Mangat as ransom for his release. ‘

PUNJAB TIMES INTERNATIONAL – 24TH September – 30TH September 1992