Shaheed Bhai Gurmeet Singh Laadi

Babbar Khalsa

Bhai Gurmeet Singh was a person who only and only believed in sacrifice. Bhai Sahib stayed alive for others and died for the Sikh nation. “Father, you watch your son Gurmeet, he will remain with the Guru and never let the panth down.” These were the words of Bhai Sahib when leaving home to join the Sikh Freedom Movement.

Bhai Gurmeet Singh was born in the house of Sardar Harnam Singh Khalsa and from the womb of Mata Surjit Kaur on 4th September 1971. From childhood Bhai Sahib was closely attached to the values of Sikhism. In the poor house of a Gursikh family a boy took birth on the land of Mukhatsar, Bhai Gurmeet Singh who was rich in Sikhi. The family could not afford the high standards of education for their dear son but their son was born with degree from the school of Sikhi. Sardar Harnam Singh took the dasvandh out of his earnings and kept aside, as the family believed that every penny of the dasvandh if the property of the Guru. Every penny of dasvandh was spent on Bhai Sahib as he was also the property of the Guru.

When we first met Bhai Sahib’s father to write this jeevani, everyone had tears in their eyes and were emotional upon hearing about such a great life of Sikh principles that Bhai Sahib lived. Sardar Harnam Singh Khalsa lifted his Kachera from his thighs to show us the scars he had due to the immense torture by the Punjab police. Sardar Harnam Singh told us, “The sewa Guru wanted from Bhai Sahib, he got but these panthic leaders who betrayed the Sikhs, who will tolerate them? Where are these leaders today, the leaders that promised the Sikhs so much but delivered nothing. No one knows about the sacrifice my son gave for the panth. It would be a relief to let the world know about my Babbar son’s life and his sacrifice.”

Sant Kartar Singh Bhindranwale would regularly come to Mukhatsar to do Katha. The whole family would go and be part of the sangat in the religious programs. Bhai Sahib was very young at this time. Bhai Sahib’s father thought that his son will become an Amritdhari once he grows up and for now he should take a chula from Sant Kartar Singh Bhindranwale. When Bhai Sahib went to take a chula from Sant Ji, he continuously starred at Sant Ji. Sant Kartar Singh Ji Bhindranwale also saw something in Bhai Sahib, Sant Ji smiled at Bhai Sahib and asked Sardar Harnam Singh Khalsa, “What is the name of the Bhujangi?” Bhai Sahib’s father answered, “Sant Ji, his name is Gurmeet Singh.” Sant Ji gave Bhai Sahib a chula and after patting him on the back Sant Ji said, “The Guru is going to take a very big sewa from you. You will do sewa of the panth with shaheedi.” Nothing was hidden about Bhai Sahib from Sant Kartar Singh Ji Bhindranwale and Bhai Sahib did give shaheedi for the panth.

When Bhai Sahib worked at a clothes shop, the state of Punjab was very bad, the Indian government were authorising the killings of many Sikhs. Many Sikh youth stood up and took part in the Sikh Freedom Movement. Bhai Sahib along with some local trustworthy singhs started doing actions secretly under the command of Babbar Khalsa. The trustworthy singhs include names such as, Bhai Beant Singh Babbar, Bhai Harminder Singh Grewal Babbar, Bhai Sangram Singh Babbar, Bhai Kishan Singh Taamkot Babbar, Bhai KP Singh Babbar, Bhai Mohan Singh Babbar, Bhai Jaskaran Singh Rupana Babbar, Bhai Surjan Singh Sukhana Babbar, Bhai Meharban Singh Babbar and many more singhs attained shaheedi doing sewa within Babbar Khalsa. When a close friend of Bhai Sahib attained shaheedi in an encounter with the Punjab police, the police managed to get information from the singhs that were arrested at the encounter. Soon Bhai Sahib and some fellow singhs were arrested, this was the first time Bhai Sahib had been arrested. Bhai Sahib was kept at the CIA HQ of Mukhatsar and inhumanly tortured, after which he was sent to jail charged with many cases.

As Bhai Sahib was still under age, the police had to put him in the youth jail of Ludhiana. After spending 7 months in Ludhiana, Bhai Sahib was transferred to Hoshiarpur youth jail. Bhai Sahib spent just over a year at Hoshiarpur and was finally granted bail. After being released Bhai Sahib once again started working at the same clothes shop. While in jail Bhai Sahib had memorized many Sikh prayers by heart. Bhai Sahib would joke and said, “After some time I was given free time while I was in jail. That’s why I managed to memorize many prayers. A Sikh should go to jail once in their lives, it’ll help them memorize Gurbani too.” Bhai Sahib’s nitnem was incredible, Sukhmani Sahib, Chandi Di Var including the five prayers, besides this Bhai Sahib knew more than 50 shabads by heart. Bhai Sahib led a great life full of Sikh principles.

Bhai Sahib believed that donating blood was a lifesaving sewa. Bhai Sahib was very handsome and had a great sense of humour. All this including his flowing beard and Sri Sahib over the top his clothes made him look truly like a Guru Ka Khalsa. We only managed to find one photo of Bhai Sahib from young days and another photo of Bhai Sahib was printed in the newspapers for his Sri Akhand Paath Bhog.

On the land of Malwa a wise man, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Khudian treated Bhai Sahib as his own son. The local Sikhs persuaded Jathedar to fight in the Punjab parliament elections after the June 1984 attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib. Jathedar fought in the elections to win the seat of Faridkot. Now Bhai Sahib left his job at the clothes shop and fully supported Jathedar’s election campaign. Bhai Sahib would help hold lectures leading up to the elections and became the face of the youth. Who ever heard the views of Bhai Sahib, still bow their heads to Bhai Sahib’s high thinking. With a lot of hard work put into the elections by Bhai Sahib and Jathedar himself, the party won the elections and now Bhai Sahib became very popular in the Mukhatsar area.

It had been a short time since Jathedar Jagdev Singh Khudian won the elections, when something very distressing happened. The clothes of Jathedar were found beside a river bank that ran through the village of Khudian but Jathedar was not to be found. After intense search Jathedar’s body was found 2-3 miles further up the river. The DGP of Punjab, KPS Gill himself came to see the dead body of Jathedar, as though he wanted to make sure that Jathedar is dead. KPS Gill assigned a team of amateur doctors from Guru Gobind Singh Ji medical college to do the post mortem, these were the same doctors who were doing the post mortem of Sikh shaheeds, where these doctors don’t even look at the bodies and say everything in the favour of the police. No one till today knows if this was an accidental death or if it was a murder. The family of Jathedar Jagdev Singh Khudian tried to save itself from the corrupt panthic leaders and in the process infiltrated the congress party. Jathedar was the person who tried to pass the law for Sikhs to take their shastars into the house of parliament. After his death the Punjab parliament elections were re-held. The Babbar Khalsa was sure that this was no accidental death, in fact it was a murder to stop the Sikh panth from progressing. At Jathedar’s cremation, the singhs of Babbar Khalsa swore, “O lord, help us avenge the murder of Jathedar Jagdev Singh Khudian.” With the pain in his heart, Bhai Sahib again went and sat at the clothes shop.

Now the preparations for the Punjab parliament elections started again, but the Khadku Singhs announced a boycott to these elections. This time Sardar Shaminder Singh had stood in the place of Jathedar and realised that he need s Bhai Sahib to win this election. As Bhai Sahib was very popular in the Mukhatsar area, Shaminder Singh could only win with Bhai Sahib’s support. Shaminder Singh managed to persuade Bhai Sahib to help the campaign once again. Then one day Shaminder Singh died in a bomb blast as he gave a speech to the public. The public thought that this was the work of Khadku Singhs and the suspicion arose towards Bhai Sahib. Next the in the newspaper a letter of responsibility was printed. Babbar Khalsa had taken to the full responsibility of this action. Now Bhai Sahib had said his last fateh to the family and went underground. The police had started harassing the family members and relatives, women and children were not spared. Sardar Harnam Singh Khalsa was mainly targeted by the police, Bhai Sahib’s father was brutally tortured by the police. Sardar Harnam Singh Khalsa was kept in jail not knowing where his son was.

The singhs of Babbar Khalsa gave Bhai Sahib a secret name of Laadi and asked Bhai Sahib to go Delhi to do actions there. In Delhi, Bhai Sahib stayed with Bhai Joginder Singh Babbar and Bhai Murta Singh Babbar alias Bhai Manjit Singh Babbar. Together the singhs did many great actions outside Punjab. The new tactics of Babbar Khalsa to attack Sikh enemies outside Punjab was working and installed fear amongst the surviving evil men. While in Delhi the singhs of Babbar Khalsa killed Dr Tiagi, the chairman of agriculture. Dr Tiagi had stalled the price of crops that came out of Punjab which resulted in farmers of Punjab, Sikhs and Hindus struggling to support their families financially. After this action, a black cat by the name of Tarlok and Avtar Singh Granthi were also punished by the Babbars. On 26th January 1993, 16 FCI warehouses were burnt around Punjab. Singh’s of Babbar Khalsa and Bhai Sahib took the responsibility for all these action.

While staying in Delhi, Bhai Sahib faced many difficulties but that did not stop Bhai Sahib from doing panthic sewa. After the killing the black cat Tarlok, the police managed to find a lead, which bought the Delhi police the Babbar Khalsa hideout. As the police reached the hideout, the singhs of Babbar Khalsa started an encounter with the police. This was the second encounter that happened between the singhs of Babbar Khalsa and Delhi police. The first encounter was in May 1985 with Bhai Manmohan Singh Babbar when transmitted bombs had exploded all over Delhi. The Sikh nation still remembers when the government of Delhi feared the Babbar singhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Bhai Sahib had started to stay in the western part of Delhi, under the name of Amarjit Singh Laadi with Bhai Murta Singh Babbar and his wife, Bibi Harwinderjit Kaur. Bhai Sahib would play cricket with the locals in the park opposite the flats he lived in, Bhai Sahib had also made his own cricket. Bhai Murta Singh alias Bhai Manjit Singh Babbar was also a Dharmi Fauji who lived in a village not too far from Amritsar. On 21st May 1992 both singhs were involved in an encounter along with Bhai Joginder Singh Babbar against the commandoes of Delhi on the rooftops of Delhi. After this encounter the Delhi police wanted the singhs like mad dogs.

As 15th August was approaching, the Delhi police had upped their security around the city. On 11th August 1992 around about 4 o’clock in the morning, the police raided the flats of western Delhi. At this time Bhai Sahib and Bhai Murta Singh were doing their morning nitnem. As soon as the singhs heard the footsteps marching towards them, they took positions with their assault rifles. At the first contact the singhs of Babbar Khalsa, the Delhi police lost many officers and this forced the Delhi police to pull back. Taking the advantage of this Bhai Sahib quickly dressed up as milkman, in a vest and scruffy pyjamas, he escaped the block of flats without a single dime. Somehow Bhai Sahib managed to reach the railway station of Bathinda and after meeting the singhs of Babbar Khalsa, he started doing actions in the Malwa area. When the police pulled back, they had called for the special forces of India to deal with this encounter. Bhai Murta Singh and his singhni Bibi Harwinderjit Kaur had already killed 28 officers and seriously injured 9 officers. The Delhi police were losing officers rapidly. When the commandoes came to assist the police, they cleared the whole area and through gas canisters where the Babbars were fighting from. Bhai Murta Singh alias Bhai Manjit Singh Babbar and his singhni Bibi Harwinderjit Kaur Babbar attained shaheedi fighting the Indian security forces. This encounter is talked about in the parliament even today, it’s a shame that we have forgotten.

The DIG of Ferozpur Bakshi Ram had released a statement via press conference that Bhai Sahib had been killed in an encounter near Bathinda. The Sikh nation especially the Sikhs of Mukhatsar were devastated and some days later Bhai Balwinder Singh Ganga released a press note stating that Bhai Sahib is in chardikala and is doing top actions. The singh who attained shaheedi was Bhai Anokh Singh Kala Babbar who was also a great soldier of Babbar Khalsa and did great actions in the area of Mansa.

The police had black cats infiltrate the Babbar Khalsa and got to know many plans of Babbars. The singhs of Babbar Khalsa felt as though the Sikh Freedom Movement has gone into the hand s of the Indian security forces and started planning new tactics to achieve the free Sikh state. When the Babbar Khalsa general of Malwa, Bhai Balwinder Singh Ganga attained shaheedi, Bhai Sahib and his group could not rest. Bhai Sahib and his group reached Bathinda to discreetly investigate who was responsible for the shaheedi of Bhai Balwinder Singh Ganga. After full investigation, Bhai Sahib’s group killed 2 police guards and took the SLR’s. When the DC of Bathinda came to the scene the singhs blew up his car into pieces with a bomb.

The police had laid many traps to capture Bhai Sahib and the singhs from his group. One day Bhai Sahib became a victim of these laid traps. A black cat had mixed a fine powder in to the air at one of the Babbar Khalsa’s hideouts, this powder if breathed in makes a person unconscious. When Bhai Sahib returned to the hideout in village not far from Bathinda, Bhai Sahib had breathed the air and fell unconscious. The black cat had Bhai Sahib arrested by the police. The Sikhs only found out about Bhai Sahib’s capture when the Babbar Khalsa singhs printed the ad of Bhai Sahib last Akhand Paath Bhog. The same ads of Bhai Darshan Singh Akalian, Bhai Jugraj Singh Rasheen and Bhai Pargat Singh Fauji were also printed in the same newspaper. It is said all these singhs were arrested from different places and killed in a fake encounter.

Babbar Khalsa was known as one of the dangerous freedom fighting groups, whose singhs and singhnia followed the true values of the Sikh faith. The news of Bhai Sahib’s shaheedi was printed in Jalandhar’s newspaper, Ajit on 6th March 1993. After DGI Bakshi Ram of Ferozpur and SSP Anil Sharma of Bathinda had declared Bhai Sahib to be shaheed for the second time, but the sad news was that this time Bhai Sahib had really attained shaheedi. The whole Sikh nation salutes the sacrifice of Shaheed Bhai Gurmeet Singh Laadi Babbar.

 Tavareekh Babbar Khalsa – Karamjit Singh Sikhanwala