Shaheed Bhai Didar Singh Darri

Babbar Khalsa


Within the Ropar area, one Jhujaru Singh of Babbar Khalsa by the name of Bhai Didar Singh Darri was well known and respected for his bravery. Bhai Sahib was amongst the Jhujaru Singhs that did actions with Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara. Bhai Sahib was born in the year of 1952, in the house of Sardar Ran Singh and from the womb of Mata Surjit Kaur, in the village of Amargarh, district Fatehgarh Sahib. Bhai Sahib was the youngest of 7 children, Bhai Sukhdev Singh, Bhai Karam Singh, Bhai Sukhwant Singh, Bhai Ranyudh Singh, Bhai Swaran Singh, Bibi Swaran Kaur and Bhai Sahib was the youngest. Bhai Sahib studied up to 10th class at government school in Kakrala Kalan, and then Bhai Sahib did ITI studies, an electrical course in Samrala. After Bhai Sahib worked at the Khamano Service Station and later worked at Thermal Plant of Bathinda.

From the start Bhai Sahib had rebellious personality. In 1983, Bhai Sahib was arrested after the police found out that he may be in possession of pistol. A case was logged against Bhai Sahib and was sent to Ludhiana jail. Sometime after Bhai Sahib was released on bail and it was during this time Bhai Sahib married Bibi Surinder Kaur, daughter of Sardar Labh Singh from the village of Majra, near Khanna. Bhai Sahib had 4 daughters, Bibi Hardeep Kaur, Bibi Gagandeep Kaur, Bibi Harpreet Kaur and Bibi Sharanjit Kaur.

In June 1984, the Indian army attacked Sri Darbar Sahib and woke up the Sikh nation and forced them to take the path of freedom. Many Sikh youth of Punjab including Bhai Sahib accepted death and entered the battlefield. Bhai Baldev Singh Hawara, Bhai Surinder Singh Hawara and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara started coming to Bhai Sahib’s house regularly. For a while Bhai Sahib continued to do Jhujaru actions in secret, then one day someone gave the local police information on Bhai Sahib. The police raided Bhai Sahib’s house, fortunately Bhai Sahib was not at home but the police still arrested one of the singhs from Bhai Sahib’s group. Upon finding this out, Bhai Sahib decided to never return home till freedom is achieved. Bhai Sahib had started doing actions under the Babbar Khalsa group.

The police had now started to harass the family of Bhai Sahib on regular basis. Every other day one of Bhai Sahib’s brother would get taken to the local police station. In the Ropar area, Bhai Sahib’s group of Babbars was very active and the Indian security forces were extremely fearful of this group. Bhai Sahib’s group had a reputation for attacked police and CRPF checkpoints. When the Indian security forces could catch Jhujaru Singhs, they would take their anger out on the families of Jhujaru Singhs. Due to inhumane torture at the hands of police, Bhai Sahib’s brother, Bhai Swaran Singh has had many health issues. But this did not distract Bhai Sahib, and he along with the Jhujaru Singhs of Babbar Khalsa kept marching towards freedom.

Once Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara were traveling from Manola village to Morinda village, it was late in the evening and the days were of 1992. The Indian security forces had upped their surveillance operations around Punjab. Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara were travelling and came into the eyes of the police as they crossed the bridge near the village of Badesha Kalan. Soon as the police opened fire, Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara jumped over a wall and took positions to return fire. Straight away the sons of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj dropped many enemies to the ground. The Indian security forces called for back-up via their wireless sets. Bhai Sahib knew if they got into a long encounter, more police will come and surround them. But these Jhujaru Singhs were stuck in such a position that if the Indian security force didn’t pull back the Singhs would not be able to move out. The way the Indian security forces were attacking, it didn’t seem that they would move back.

Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara gave a good response with their bullets, but it wasn’t good enough to make the Indian security forces to move back. Now the Jhujaru Singhs had realised that the enemy would not move back with bullets, so the Jhujaru Singhs pulled out HE36 hand grenades from their bags and after taking out the pin threw them towards the Indian commandos. Seeing the blasts of the grenades so close to them, the Indian army jumped up from their positions and started running back. Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara started moving forward by crawling on the elbows and escaped. For the Indian security forces, this was an embarrassment, that hundreds of Indian soldiers could not contain 2 Jhujaru Singhs. The Punjab police have a tactic of turning their embarrassments into acts of cruelty, in this case after the Jhujaru Singhs had escaped they searched the whole village, waking up the villages and then beating them, searching their house and giving abuse to elderly villagers and women.

The whole night the Punjab police continued to harass the people of the village, but nothing was found any of the houses which would be incriminating according to the police. The police held a meeting and realised that is this news was to be printed on the front pages of the newspaper, that 2 Jhujaru Singhs killed many police officers and escaped, it would damage the credibility of the police force. The police arrested a Sikh youth, who was going to the village Gurdwara to do the morning prayers and shot him dead. The following day the press note from the police stated that 1 Jhujaru Singh was killed in the encounter.

In the year of 1993, the Punjab police had checkpoints at every village, bridges and every main crossing. Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara had gone out of Punjab to do a mission and were returning back to Punjab in the month of August. At this time, Bhai Sahib was carrying the ammunition bag, due to which Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara gave his 2 magazines for his AK47 to Bhai Sahib also to hold. Normally each singh would carry 3 magazines each but now Bhai Sahib had 5 mags and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara had the only magazine that was in his AK47 and 1 HE36 grenade. It was the night of 8th August going into the morning of 9th August 1993, Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara were travelling through the village of Amrali, near Morinda, it was 8 o’clock at night when all of a sudden both Jhujaru Singhs walked right into a police checkpoint area. Because it was dark the police did not realise that these were Jhujaru Singhs and nor did Bhai Sahib realise that it was police checkpoint. Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara saw a parked up bullet proof tractor and realised that this area will have a big number of police force.

Now it was impossible to move forward and also to move back, there was only one way these Jhujaru Singhs could survive and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara did not waste a single second, he took a position behind a haystack and started firing at the enemy. The element of surprise helped the Jhujaru Singhs kill many police officers straight away and within the first minute the whole police force started moving towards the Jhujaru Singhs. Now Bhai Sahib and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara started moving back to where they came from, but the police force was all over this area and had orders via their wireless sets to open fire soon as they saw any movement. Now the enemy were firing their bullets towards the Jhujaru Singhs, and the Jhujaru Singhs were facing fire from all angles. The Jhujaru Singhs split up and tried to escape from different routes. By now the Indian army had also arrived and joined in the hunt for Jhujaru Singhs. As Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara ran and crossed the road into the village of Mararhwal, he realised that the Indian security forces were in their thousands. Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara realised that it is time to attain martyrdom and completed his Kirtan Sohila and had also performed the Ardas, but Akaalpurakh was yet to take more selfless service from him. It seemed like the Indian security forces had gone blind, many of them ran past Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, as he tried to crawl on his elbows to his escape.

On the other hand, Bhai Sahib was finding it hard to make his escape from this swamp of Indian soldiers. The encounter restarted at 5 o’clock in the morning of 9th August 1993. Bhai Sahib was narrowed down to a field and was surrounded from all sides. The Indian army called for Mortar guns, line machine guns and bulletproof tractors. Bhai Sahib repeated the history of Puratan Shaheed Singhs. The 4 bulletproof tractors were destroyed by Bhai Sahib, this battle started at 5am and went into the evening. Bhai Sahib did something in this battle that is very important to be mentioned. Bhai Sahib killed a CRPF soldier and dragged his body back into the field. Bhai Sahib exchanged clothes with the dead and Indian soldier and grabbed his gun also and then he walked out of the field. Bhai Sahib tried to walk towards the direction where top officials of the Indian army were standing. As soon as Bhai Sahib got close, he opened fire and killed many commandos. It is here Bhai Sahib attained martyrdom and had his name written in golden ink in the Sikh history. Bhai Sahib fought till his last bullet and his last breath with bravery.

After this battle, the police force and CRPF were shocked to see how many of their soldiers this son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj had killed. One of the soldiers grabbed Bhai Sahib’s and tried to drag his body, but a senior officer who had witnessed the bravery of Bhai Sahib shouted at the soldier and said, “This is the body of warrior, a warrior. If we had soldiers like him in our army than sheep like you will not be needed.” The soldier then got a portable bed and put Bhai Sahib’s body on it and carried it away. With the martyrdom of Bhai Sahib, the Babbar Khalsa suffered a big loss.

Wangar – August 2014