Shaheed Bhai Barjinder Singh Panjwar

Sikh Student Federation

Bhai Barjinder Singh Panjwar was born in 1965 to Dr. Harbhajan Singh and Mata Harjinder Singh. Bhai Sahib was the residence of village Panjwar, Tarn Taran, district Amritsar. Bhai Sahib had 1 brother, Dr. Bhupinder Singh and 2 sisters Bibi Sharanjit Kaur, Bibi Ranjit Kaur. Bhai Sahib was married to Bibi Baljit Kaur and they had 1 daughter, Bibi Gurwinder Kaur Vicky.

Bhai Sahib studied at a local school of the village and then went on to study at Bir Baba Budha Sahib and then to progress his career Bhai Sahib went to Khalsa College in Amritsar. Bhai Sahib passed the course and got a degree in Pharmacy. Through the Dharam Yodh Morche of 1983, Bhai Sahib got to know more about Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bindranwale, Bhai Amrik Singh and the Sikh struggle. Bhai Sahib took amrit for the 5 beloved singhs and followed the full code of conduct of a Gursikh. Bhai Sahib and Gen. Labh Singh were very close friends from an young age, both singhs shared the same the time of June 1984 attacks on Sri Harimandir Sahib, Bhai Sahib was in the complex, Bhai Sahib managed to escape with other Khadku Singhs to carry on the struggle outside the complex. After the attacks of Amritsar Bhai Sahib joined the Khadku Singhs and did small missions. Bhai Sahib got the singhs together and started planning on getting Gen. Labh Singh out of the hands of the police. March 1986 Bhai Sahib and Bhai Manvir Singh Chaheru attacked the police in Jalandhar courts, the singhs had over powered the police had managed to get Gen. Labh Singh, Bhai Gurinder Singh Bhola Tarn Taran and Bhai Daljit Singh Mahla free. After the shaheedi of Dr. Gurnam Singh Bhuttar, the command of Sikh Student Federation was given to Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib started recruiting the youth to help with the mission of Khalistan. Bhai Sahib was from a family with a good background and the whole family was against the people who did injustice against Sikhs. Bhai Sahib told his father to sell everything that belonged to Bhai Sahib and that money will be used towards the Sikh Freedom Movement. Bhai Sahib’s dream was to be shaheed and regularly told his father not to mourn on his dead body. In 1986 Bhai Sahib was arrested by the police on false cases, one of the cases put on him was the Sudrupura killings. Bhai Sahib was sent to the Amritsar jail and after many appeals and a reference from Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Bhai Sahib was released after 1 and a half year. In 1988, SSP Sanjiv Gupta had arrested Bhai Sahib once again on false charges, after 6-7 months Bhai Sahib was bailed. Once again Bhai Sahib was arrested by the SHO Madan Gopal of Ajnala, where Bhai Sahib tortured in Amritsar Mal Mandi detention centre. After being released Bhai Sahib joined the Sikh Freedom Movement in full swing. After the 1988 Operation Black Thunder, Bhai Sahib fully enforced the thoughts and aims of Gen. Labh Singh.

12th July 1988 Gen. Labh Singh attained shaheedi, a diary of Gen. Labh Singh was found which included 16 pages of strengths and weaknesses of the Sikh Freedom Movement along the thoughts and aims of Gen. Labh Singh. Bhai Sahib believed in what Gen. Labh Singh had believed in.

Some of the points the Sikh Freedom Movement were made aware of;

  1. Having powers of weapons if not enough for the Khadku Singh, the Khadku Singhs also need the power and support of the public.
  1. By killing small enemies the Sikh Freedom Movement takes a step backwards instead of moving forward. Plus the public would be scared of the Khadku Singhs.
  1. Some local villagers give information to the police of whereabouts of Khadku Singhs as they fear them. If this remains the case then the Sikh Freedom Movement will never last long.
  1. Majority of the Punjab Police are our Punjabi brothers, who to feed their poor families have to follow orders. In some families, one son is a police officer and the other is a Khadku Singh.
  1. If a police officer has done something wrong then the Khadku Singhs must give them a chance to change. If we kill even one innocent officer then the Khadku Singhs will be labelled as terrorists.
  1. Only police officers that are full of greed and want to go up the ranks by killing innocent Sikhs should be punished, as that is the real tradition of Sikhs. Also this kind of actions will gain the support of the public.
  1. Jatt families sometimes only give Khadku Singhs food and a place stay so they can ask their personal enemies killed by the Khadku Singhs. This will create big problems between Khadku Singhs and the public.
  1. If a person hated anybody all they have to do is, tell a Khadku Singh that person is a black cat, and the hot headed Khadku Singh will just kill that person without knowing the real truth. Before punishing anybody the first thing the Khadku Singhs should do is have meeting with area commander then think it and plan it. Each action done by any Khadku Singh should be beneficial for the Sikh nation and not any individual.

These points were taken into account by the Khadku Singhs. The police were killing Sikh youth in fake encounters but the Khadku Singh swore not to do the same. As the aims and thinking of police and Khadku Singhs is different.

23rd August 1991, Bhai Sahib was staying at a house in village Sharata Sahib with Bhai Tarlochan Singh. It was 11am, both singhs had bath and were drying their hair and watching TV. The DSP and SHO of the Sharata Police were tracking the singhs and had surrounded the house, but Bhai Sahib and Bhai Tarlochan Singh were unarmed and did not want to be taken by the police alive. The DSP asked Bhai Sahib to surrender and come to the police station. But Bhai Sahib and Bhai Tarlochan Singh replied ‘no’, both singhs were ready to take on the well-equipped police force even if the singhs were unarmed. The DSP then grabbed Bhai Sahib’s hair and started pulling Bhai Sahib out of the house, the SHO did the same with Bhai Tarlochan Singh’s hair, but Bhai Tarlochan Singh fought back by punching and kicking the police officers. As Bhai Sahib was being pulled outside, Bhai Sahib grabbed the hand of the DSP and bit it really hard and didn’t let loose. The DSP was crying in pain, ‘oi mein margaya, oi khalaya minu, oi shadavo minu.’ As the police officers try to take Bhai Sahib of the DSP, the DSP was also getting dragged around, but Bhai Sahib was not letting go of the DSP’s hand, on the other hand Bhai Tarlochan Singh was also through police officers about. The police had witnessed such encounter for the first time, 2 unarmed Sikhs were taking on the fully equipped police force. The locals watching this were reminded of 18th century Sikhs, Bhai Bota Singh and Bhai Garja Singh. The war cries of ‘Khalistan Zindabaad’ were being shouted by the singhs and also verbal abuse was given to the police as well as physical. Bhai Sahib was not letting go of DSP’s hand, the police could not control these 2 warriors and kept on falling on the ground. After 20 minutes of this brawl the police fired bullets at both singhs. After being shot 6-7 times Bhai Sahib still did not let go of DSP’s hand. Bhai Sahib and Bhai Tarlochan Singh attained shaheedi, and the police officers freed the hand of the DSP by puling Bhai Sahib of the hand. The bloodied bodies of the 2 singhs were put in the jeep and taken to the hospital for the post-mortem. After the bodies were taken to a local Hindu temple, Seetala Mandir in Amritsar where the bodies were cremated.

Next day the newspapers printed the that the police had killed 2 Sikh terrorists in an fierce encounter and guns and ammunition was found in their possession. The DSP was injured and the killing of Dr. Barjinder Singh Panjwar is a big success for the Punjab Police.

Bhai Sahibs father Dr. Harbhajan Singh gave the news to the Sikh nation soon after, the DSP had died after his hand was infected and the infection led to the arm which caused his death. All the treatments from the top doctors could not save the DSP.

The Sikh Freedom Movement was not only supported from the illiterate Sikh youth, like some say. Some of the most talented and educated Sikhs had played their part in the Sikh Freedom Movement. Names like Bhai Amrik Singh, General Subeg Singh, Dr, Gurnam Singh Bhuttar, Dr. Barjinder Singh Panjwar, Bhai Surjit Singh Penta and many more singhs who gave up their bright and successful futures for the Sikh nation. These warriors will always be remembered.

Khadku Yodhe – Maninder Singh Baja