Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Gagobua
Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Gagobua
Khalistan Commando Force
Bhai Balwinder Singh was born in 1955, in the house of Sardar Dalip Singh and from the womb of Mata Gurmej Kaur in the village of Gagobua, district Tarn Taran. Bhai Sahib was the 4theldest of 6 siblings, Bhai Mukhtiar Singh, Bibi Balwinder Kaur, Bibi Surjit Kaur, Bhai Balwinder Singh, Bhai Jagtar Singh and Bibi Ranjit Kaur. It was Sardar Dalip Singh who bought the food to the table for his family by working on his farms. Bhai Sahib studied up till 5thclass at Gagobua’s government school. Bhai Sahib was in his young age when he took Amrit from the Panj Pyare at Baba Budha Sahib Gurudwara and ever since Bhai Sahib never missed his Nitnem. Bhai Sahib started helping his father at the farms after leaving school in 5thClass. Bhai Sahib had a very sweet and joking personality.
India has always crushed the rise of Justice, especially if it is from minorities. May it be the Sikhs, Muslims or even the Dalits, India has never given these communities their full human rights and nor its identity. In the case of Sikhs, the voice of Anandpur Resolution got stronger and it was coming to a point that the Indian government had to deliver unless they could silence the Sikhs. So the unimaginable thing happened, in June 1984 the Indian army stormed Sri Harimandir Sahib and killed many innocent Sikh pilgrims. As well as Sri Harmandir Sahib an additional 37 Gurudwaras were also attacked by the Indian security forces. This evil act of India led Sikhs across the world as well as thousands of Sikhs in Punjab to take up arms to avenge and also to defend the Sri Akaal Takht Sahib from being attacked again.
Bhai Sahib had been hurt deep inside after the attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib, then Bhai Sahib witnessed the killing of Sikh youth (Operation Woodrose), Rape and harassment of Sikh Women (Operation Shudi Karan) and then the chains of slavery around the necks of Sikhs were clearly showing and Bhai Sahib felt that he had a duty to free his people from this oppression. Bhai Sahib now wanted to join the Jhujaru Singh and wanted to do sewa amongst the Jhujaru Singhs within the Sikh Freedom Movement.
In 1987, Bhai Sahib met the local area commander of Khalistan Commando Force, Bhai Jassa Singh Ghuk who was from a nearby village of Mahne Mallian. After doing sangat with Bhai Jassa Singh Ghuk, Bhai Sahib requested to join this group of freedom fighters and do sewa of the Sikh panth. Bhai Jassa Singh Ghuk saw the passion of Bhai Sahib to do sewa and took him under his wing. Shortly after joining Khalistan Commando Force, Bhai Sahib was sent to Pakistan for his training and on many occasions after that Bhai Sahib would bring the shipment of weapons into Punjab from Pakistan. Bhai Sahib carried out many actions, where he and his Jatha punished many informants, touts and cruel police officers. Bhai Sahib also faught in many battles against the Indian security forces, in which Bhai Sahib would cause havoc upon the enemy and then escape unharmed shouting war cries of Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal. After the shaheedi of Bhai Jassa Singh Ghuk, Bhai Sahib was given the command of the Jatha.
On 8thDecember 1992, Bhai Sahib was in Gagobua when in informant told the Punjab police that the Khalistan Commando Force general was in town. By the evening Punjab police, CRRF and the Indian Army had surrounded the whole Gagobua village. As the sun settled, at about 7pm Bhai Sahib got the news of the Indian security forces surrounding the outer areas of Gagobua, Bhai Sahib then moved to a house which had a bunker built in. The Indian security forces sealed off the village all night, stopping people from leaving as well as stopping people from entering Gagobua.
The following morning all remaining residents of Gagobua were moved to a school on the side of the village. At 7am on 9thDecember 1992, Indian security forces started patrolling the village. Punjab police was under the command of Thanedar Suba Sio also known as Suba Sarhand, while Indian army were under the under the orders of there colonel. Punjab police searched the house in which the informant had said, but they only found a SSR assault rifle and an AK 47. Then the enemy found some clues that led them to believe that Bhai Sahib has gone to a bunker on the higher ground of the village.
Now all of the Indian security forces had surrounded the bunkered house in which Bhai Sahib was staying. At this moment of time Bhai Sahib only had one AK 47, 2 bags of ammo and immense amount of bravery to fight the enemy. To search the house, the Indian security forces quickly entered the house, fully ready and awaiting the enemy Bhai Sahib shouted war cries of Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal and opened fire upon the enemy. In the first assault Bhai Sahib killed 2 hawaldars and injured 1 army soldier, this made rest of Indians security forces quickly back foot out of the house. Bhai Sahib quickly grabbed the two SSR assault rifles of dead hawaldars and then again took his position. Bhai Sahib continuously changed his positions and faught the enemy. This encounter which started in the morning went on all day. Indian had many of their paid soldiers injured, meanwhile the holders of Battlefield knowledge and immense bravery, Bhai Sahib was safe and sound. Even at night the firing would stop than start again. This battle had now gone into its second day.
On the morning of 10thDecember 1992, Jhabbal police under the command of Thanedar Suba Sio played a dirty trick to try get Bhai Sahib to come out of the house. The police went to Bhai Sahib’s mother, Mata Gurmej Kaur and said, “Your son has been killed. You need to come with us and confirm his identity.” Soon as Mata Ji heard the news of her son, she started crying and was bought to the location where the battle between Bhai Sahib and Indian security forces was ongoing. Mata Gurmej Kaur was told to go into the house in which Bhai Sahib was fighting from and soon as she reached the front door of the house Thanedar Suba Sio ordered his officers to shoot the elderly lady and kill her. The CRPF who had taken positions on the rooftops of the neighbouring houses shot at Mata Gurmej Kaur from their SSR assault rifles, who than instantly attained shaheedi. This inhumane, evil and unjust act of cruelty was done by the Indian security forces so that they can get Bhai Sahib to come out of the house.
After Mata Gurmej Kaur attained shaheedi, Bhai Sahib decided to come out of the bunkered house and fight the enemy out in the open. Bhai Sahib knew that just like how the Indian security forces killed Mata Gurmej Kaur, the enemy will continue to kill innocent people of the village to get him to come out. Bhai Sahib continued to fire at the enemy as he came out of the house. As Bhai Sahib progressed towards the enemy, at the Gagobua crossroads an Indian soldiers had taken cover behind a tree and soon as he got in range he fired at Bhai Sahib from his sniper rifle. Bhai Sahib was shot in the head and had attained shaheedi after a lengthy and fierce encounter.
The Indian security forces were too scared to go near even the shaheedi saroop of Bhai Sahib. The enemy had called in 5 bulletproof tractors for this encounter. The bulletproof tractors were then used to run over Bhai Sahib to confirm he was shaheed. Once the enemy was satisfied that Bhai Sahib was dead, they danced and sang next to Bhai Sahib’s shaheedi saroop. The bodies of Bhai Sahib and Mata Gurmej Kaur were thrown into a CRPF truck and taken to Amritsar’s Sital Mandir and cremated the bodies without the presence of any family members.
The Battle had lasted over 30 hours and in the end the Indian security forces were arguing amongst themselves on which force would take the credit for taking down one of the most feared warriors of Khalistan Commando Force, Bhai Balwinder Singh Gagobua. These heartless soldiers of India had no regrets of killing an elderly mother for their own gains.
Information taken from the family of Shaheed Bhai Balwinder Singh Gagobua