Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh Daun Kalan

Bhai Gurcharan Singh was born in the year of 1966, in the house of Sardar Raghbir Singh in the village of Daun Kalan, situated near Patiala. Bhai Sahib was the eldest of 5 brothers and sisters. Bhai Sahib attained his primary education from a local village school. After Bhai Sahib got admission in the Model School of Punjab University in Punjab, where he studied till 10th class. Bhai Sahib passed his BA at the Mahindra College of Patiala. As well as studying hard, Bhai Sahib was also a top athlete, for which he was highly respected by fellow students and people from his village.

Bhai Sahib had become an active member of All India Sikh Student Federation from the moment Indian army attacked Sri Harimandir Sahib and Sri Akaal Takht Sahib. Bhai Sahib was arrested many times and during these arrests he was tortured inhumanely. Bhai Sahib along with fellow Jhujaru Singhs went to Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib and did Ardas in front of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj to bless them to do Sewa with pure heart, free from ego and greed. Bhai Sahib stayed in Nanded for a few days and once he returned to Punjab, he started doing armed actions. On many occasions Bhai Sahib was surrounded by Punjab police but he always escaped unharmed and with bravery. Bhai Sahib always recited Gurbani and stayed in high spirits.

Once during the time Bhai Sahib was in police custody, he grabbed an inspector’s neck over some dispute, in this scuffle the inspector’s turban had come off. Bhai Sahib was very strong from his childhood days. The inspector was angry and left the premises after ordering his junior officers to blindly torture Bhai Sahib. The Punjab police tortured Bhai Sahib by rolling the Ghotna over his knees. The police were shocked to see Bhai Sahib in high spirits even after the blind torture being performed upon him. In the evening, Bhai Sahib was tied to a pole which had many ant nests. One police officer was put on guard while others rested. Few hours into his shift the guarding officer untied Bhai Sahib and said, “I can’t see you in this state brother, I don’t care if I lose my job today. You can sleep properly, don’t worry about anything. It’s my responsibility.” The night was passed like this and in the morning before the inspector came back, Bhai Sahib was tied back to the pole.

Bhai Sahib was then sent to Patiala jail, he met other Jhujaru Singhs here and after having many discussions, Bhai Sahib’s mind state became even stronger. Bhai Sahib was released on bail in February 1986. Bhai Sahib had been on bail for almost 2 months when on 12th April 1986, the Bathinda police arrested him again as he was travelling to Sri Damdama Sahib for Vaisakhi. Bhai Sahib’s arrest was not shown and he faced blind torture for 15 days, but Bhai Sahib gave no information to the police, not even a singe name of a fellow Jhujaru Singh. For 15 days Bhai Sahib’s legs were tied in one place and the whole time Bhai Sahib continuously recited Gurbani. After 15 days one of Bhai Sahib’s leg was untied and the other remained tied. Looking at Bhai Sahib, some officers would say, “You recite so much Gurbani, and we torture you all day. What will happen to us?” Bhai Sahib replied, “Only Waheguru knows!”

Bhai Sahib’s family did not have a clue of his whereabouts or what state he was in. After much running about, Bhai Sahib’s family found out that he was kept at Bathinda CIA Staff, this was 40 days after Bhai Sahib’s arrest on 12th April. Punjab police had labelled Bhai Sahib a fugitive, but it was is June 1986 that the Punjab police showed his initial arrest. Bhai Sahib was sent to Patiala jail and from there he was transferred to Nabha jail. Here Bhai Sahib remained in high spirits with other Jhujaru Singhs. One day the whole Nabha Jail was awoken at 1am with the sound of gunshots. Bhai Sahib had realized that something bad had happened. In the morning when the news spread, 2 Jhujaru Singhs had been made martyrs by the Punjab police within the walls of Nabha jail. Bhai Sahib roared like a lion and shouted, “You killed our brothers, you may as well kill us also.” Seeing this anger of the Singhs of Nabha jail, the jail officials were to scared to go near the Jhujaru Singhs. The Jhujaru Singhs were not let out of their cells for many days due to the jail official fears.

The jail officials realized that it was dangerous to keep Bhai Sahib in Nabha jail and overnight transferred him to Sangrur jail. The jail officials here would openly threaten to kill Bhai Sahib and other Jhujaru Singhs, this is exactly what happened. Bhai Sahib was sent to Patiala jail from here and released soon after. It was 15 days after Bhai Sahib was released that the news came of Bhai Wassan Singh and Bhai Jagdish Singh Bhola had been made martyrs while locked up in Sangrur jail.

Bhai Sahib had only been home for 9 months, when the Indian army once again stormed Sri Harimandir Sahib on 9th May 1988, this was termed as Operation Black Thunder. This action of the Indian army had made Bhai Sahib angry and he decided not to sit at home, but to take steps to assure such attacks if Sikhi and Sikhs do not take place again. On 16th May 1988, following the orders of All India Sikh Student Federation, Bhai Sahib fired shots at an alcohol store in the Gurbaksh Colony. The locals had recognized Bhai Sahib and the police soon raided his family home the following morning at 4am. Bhai Sahib was not home and avoided being arrested. After this Bhai Sahib went underground. Bhai Sahib was also named in Jasowal village firing. Unable to capture Bhai Sahib, the Punjab police started harassing the family members of Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib’s mother was arrested and kept at the Sadar police station, Bhai Sahib’s grandmother was also arrested and taken by the CIA officers. Remaining family members of Bhai Sahib went into hiding for their own safety. The Punjab police started using Bhai Sahib’s house as a police station. Soon Sardar Raghbir Singh was also arrested and the police held a press statement in which they sent a message for Bhai Sahib to hand himself to the police. But this son of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj had made it clear to the police that he will only present himself in front of Panj Pyare and no one else.

After going underground, Bhai Sahib did many actions in which he punished numerous anti-Sikh elements. Bhai Sahib did actions under the command of Bhai Satwinder Singh Satta. Bhai Sahib’s first battle with the enemy was on 18th June 1988, in the village of Chanarthal Kalan. An ASI and a constable were killed and many injured, Bhai Sahib and his fellow Jhujaru Singhs escaped unharmed.

Then 2 days after Bhai Sahib had another battle with the Punjab police in which Inspector Kulwant Singh was killed along with another 4 police officers. One of Bhai Sahib’s fellow Jhujaru Singh by the name of Bhai Sulakhan Singh attained martyrdom in this battle. After this the Punjab police started hunting for Bhai Sahib as a priority. Many locations were raided by Indian security forces but Bhai Sahib never came in to the hands of the enemy.

In the end on the morning of 30th July 1988, Bhai Sahib was to meet someone, who had cashed in on Bhai Sahib’s capture reward by giving Bhai Sahib’s location to the police. Bhai Sahib had caught the bus from Jore Palan to Kharar. CIA had parked their van at the Kharar bus station and soon as they saw Bhai Sahib stepping off the bus, they pounced on him and arrested. Bhai Sahib was brutally tortured but he gave the enemy no information. When Bhai Sahib would give no information to the police, the police took Bhai Sahib and another Singh to a bridge near the village of Sahnipur, near Sirhind and killed them both in a fake encounter on the night of 31st July 1988 at 3am.

Following morning Sardar Raghbir Singh was taken by the police to identify the dead body of Bhai Sahib, and that evening the body of Bhai Sahib was bought home. On 1st August 1988, Bhai Sahib’s cremation was done according to the Sikh code of conduct. During Bhai Sahib’s cremation, the police had surrounded the whole area, creating the atmosphere in which no one would attend the cremation of a fallen soldier. But this did not stop the locals, and thousands attended the final Ardas for Shaheed Bhai Gurcharan Singh of Daun Kalan.

Khalsa Fatehnama – September 2007