Shaheed Bhai Gian Singh Nagoke

On 24th April 1980, 2 Sikh warriors with the help of other Jhujaru Singhs punished the Narakhdhari leader, Gurbachana at his residence in Delhi. The name of these Sikh warriors is Bhai Ranjit Singh and Bhai Gian Singh Nagoke. In this biography we will talk about Shaheed Bhai Gian Singh Nagoke, who the Sikh nation doesn’t know much about and also the struggles the family of this great martyr faced at the hands of Indian security forces.

Bhai Gian Singh was born in the year 1949, in the house of Sardar Wadhawa Singh and from the womb of Mata Gurbachan Kaur in the village Boparai, near Guru Ki Bhel, district Amritsar. Bhai Sahib had studied up to 10th class (Metric) at the local government school. Bhai Sahib was very respectful towards others and always greeted everyone with love. If anyone ever want any help, Bhai Sahib would not hesitate to help. After leaving school, Bhai Sahib started an apprenticeship as a woodsman, making wooden furniture, doors and windows. As well as making an honest living, Bhai Sahib also had endless amount of love for Sikhi.

Looking for better opportunities, Bhai Sahib moved in with his uncle (mama) in Ram Nagar in Delhi. In Delhi he brought a shop and started his own woodwork, making TV cabinets and beds. This business helped Bhai Sahib establish himself. Then Bhai Sahib was married to Bibi Simarjit Kaur who was from village Nagoke, district Amritsar. In this marriage Bhai Sahib had three children eldest Bhai Manpreet Singh, Bibi Gurvinder Kaur and the youngest Bhai Gurpreet Singh. Back in Delhi, as well as running his furniture business, Bhai Sahib also started meeting Singhs of Baba Deep Singh Gatka Akhara. Amongst the company of Gursikhs, Bhai Sahib soon took Amrit from the Panj Pyare. Bhai Sahib started learning Gatka and looking at his progress and commitment Bhai Sahib was made the president of Baba Deep Singh Gatka Akhara.

Bhai Sahib did not tolerate any kind of mockery of the Sikh faith by anyone, even a Sikh. Once as Bhai Sahib was travelling on a train, he saw a Singh with a turban smoking a cigarette. Bhai Sahib grabbed the turban of the Singhs head and made this Singh eat the cigarette he was smoking. Another example of this was when the local Thanedar of Ram Nagar tried to stop the building work at the local Gurdwara. When Bhai Sahib came face to face with this Thanedar he slapped him in the face and told him, “You’re the Thanedar at your police station, we are the Thanedar here and we will continue to the building work.”

After his marriage and once settled with family in Delhi, Bhai Sahib would regularly go to his in-law’s village of Nagoke and stay there for months each time. While staying in Nagoke, he would teach Gatka to the locals and amongst his students were warriors like Bhai Lakha Singh Nagoke, Bhai Major Singh Nagoke, Bhai Kulwant Singh Nagoke and many more. Most of the Jhujaru Singhs of Nagoke village were already in contact with Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, and eventually they got Bhai Sahib to also meet Sant Ji at the Sri Darbar Sahib complex. After this Bhai Sahib regularly started attending the lectures of Sant Ji.

On 13th April 1978, the Narakhdhari cult killed 13 Singhs and wounded more than 150 Sikhs who were protesting peacefully against the disrespect of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj in Amritsar. Bhai Sahib was in Delhi when this massacre took place, but came to Amritsar straight away after hearing the news and met with Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale. Upon meeting Sant Ji, Bhai Sahib requested that Sant Ji assigns him with the mission to assassinate the Narakhdhari cult leader Gurbachana who was responsible for the massacre of Sikhs. Sant Ji replied, “When the time comes, you will be given the mission to punish the killer of Sikhs.” After this, Bhai Sahib became active in Jhujaru activities along with other Jhujaru Singhs of Sant Ji’s Jatha.

Working towards his goal of punishing the Narakhdhari leader, Bhai Sahib planned to get a job as a maintenance man at the residence of Gurbachana in Delhi. Fortunately, Bhai Sahib got the job and worked there for just over 3 months and watched every move of the cult leader and his bodyguard. Once the planning was complete, Bhai Sahib contacted Sant Ji and asked for weapons. Bhai Lakha Singh Nagoke and Bhai Major Singh Nagoke dropped a carbine gun off to Bhai Sahib in Delhi. Bhai Sahib then had to hide the gun in a wooden tool box and took into the residence of the Narakhdhari leader. Bhai Sahib got Bhai Ranjit Singh a job with him and both Jhujaru Singhs had pledged to carry out the assassination together. Before the mission, Bhai Sahib dropped his family off in Nagoke. The family knew something was strange about Bhai Sahib as he would never go back to Delhi alone.

On 24th April 1980, as the Narakhdhari leader Gurbachana returned home, Bhai Sahib and Bhai Ranjit Singh were waiting patiently for their kill. As killers of the Sikhs got out of their car, Bhai Sahib and Bhai Ranjit Singh drilled bullets in the chest of the Narakhdhari leader Gurbachana and his bodyguard. After completing the mission, both Jhujaru Singhs made their escape by jumping over a wall of the Narakhdhari residence and vacating Delhi. Bhai Sahib went to Sri Darbar Sahib and never returned home after this.

After the Delhi police was looking all over for Bhai Sahib, his house and business both were seized by the police. To find evidence linking Bhai Sahib to the assassination, the police took samples from his shop and matched them with samples from the Narakhdhari residence. Confirming the identity of Bhai Sahib, the police raided the house of Bhai Sahib’s in-laws in Nagoke. Bhai Kulwant Singh Nagoke gathered all the locals and forced the CBI forces out of the village by throwing stones at them. The police then started arresting Bhai Sahib’s father in-law, Sardar Sadhu Singh and his brother in-law, Bhai Amarjit Singh who were both tortured. At times Bhai Sahib’s in-laws would hide in other houses around the village to avoid being arrested and harassed.

When Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale found out how the Indian security forces were hunting for Bhai Sahib and his family, he sent a group of Jhujaru Singhs to the family of Bhai Sahib, who bought them to the Sri Darbar Sahib complex. The wife of Bhai Sahib, Bibi Simarjit Kaur asked Sant Ji to bring Bhai Sahib to them, but Sant Ji replied, “In time, he will meet you. For now, your safety is important to us.” Sant Ji asked Bibi Simarjit Kaur where she would like to live, and he will buy them a house there. Seeing the dangers outside, Bibi Simarjit Kaur requested Sant Ji to keep her and the children within the walls of the complex. Sant Ji then arranged a room for Bhai Sahib’s family at the Guru Ram Das Sran (ladies only) and the family started living there. Sant Ji also enrolled Bhai Sahib’s children at a school nearby in which Bibi Amarjit Kaur, the wife of Shaheed Bhai Fauja Singh was the principle. The family stayed here for 4 years, but they did not get to see Bhai Sahib in this time.

During the attack of Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984, the family of Bhai Sahib was still living within the complex. On 6th June 1984, as the Indian army upped their assault on Sri Akaal Takht Sahib and other buildings within the complex, the family of Bhai Sahib were helped by Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar escape the complex by breaking through walls. The family were told a few days later that Bhai Sahib had attained martyrdom during defending Sri Akaal Takht Sahib.

Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Gian Singh Nagoke