Shaheed Bhai Gurnek Singh Neka
Shaheed Bhai Gurnek Singh Neka alias Baba Hari Singh
Khalistan Commando Force
The Dharam Yudh Morcha was started in 1983 by Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale, in which many Sikhs took part and gave their lives for the cause. Amongst these Sikhs, was Bhai Gurnek Singh also known by his friends as, Neka. Bhai Gurnek Singh was born on 20thApril 1964 in the village of Mehasmpur, district Jalandhar in the house of Sardar Pritam Singh and from the womb of Mata Amar Kaur. Bhai Neka was the youngest of all brothers and sisters. Bhai Neka’s elder brothers were Bhai Jasvir Singh, Bhai Baljit Singh, Bhai Nachatar Singh and sisters were Bibi Jasvir Kaur, Bibi Kashmir Kaur. In 1978 Bhai Neka passed his 8thclass from the local village school and in 1980 he passed 10thclass from Guru Hargobind High School in Mehatpur. In 1982 Bhai Neka got his Fitter Trade Diploma from Ramgharia ITI in Phagwara. At that time there were 2 student unions, the Punjab Student Union and Student Federation of India, Bhai Neka took interest into Positive talks and Khadku stuff. Punjab Student Union was a Khakdkufied union and Bhai Neka became an active member of this group. In 1982, Bhai Sahib met the president of All India Sikh Student Federation, Bhai Amrik Singh. Bhai Neka agreed on the ideology of Bhai Amrik Singh and soon became a member of Sikh Student Federation. The Sikh panth will always have love for the colleges of Phagwara as they have given the present Sikh struggle many warriors and most of these warriors knew Bhai Neka, such as Bhai Sher Singh Sher, Bhai Jagjit Singh Gill, Bhai Kulwinder Singh Bhola, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sodhi and many more.
In 1982, Bhai Neka took Amrit from Panj Pyare at Chownk Mehta and became a Gursikh. After becoming a Khalsa and a Nitnemi, Bhai Neka started taking more part into community projects. In the same year Bhai Neka joined Guru Nanak National College in Nakodar to become a medical student. In Nakodar there an underground illegal pharmacy from where young students would get drugs and wreck their lives. When joining the college first thing Bhai Neka did was to close this illegal drugs store. Like this Bhai Neka helped many youths change their lives and move away from drugs. In was in this year, Bhai Neka was made the President of All India Sikh Student Federation. Soon the police started harassing Bhai Neka and he went underground.
The first duty Bhai Neka was given was to punish Master Sukhdev Singh from the village of Rurki, who was an informant of the police and had many singhs arrested and killed. One day Bhai Neka and fellow singhs such as Bhai Jagjit Singh Gill Ganganagar and Bhai Kulwinder Singh Bhola went to Master’s house at 7 o’clock in the morning. When the Master came out, the singhs riddled his body with bullets and after escaped as they shouted war cries of, Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal.
It was at the same time the in-charge of Goraiyan police station Thanedar Darshan Bajwa thought of himself as loyal dog of the Indian government, he would harass Sikh youth on roads and markets and discriminating the elders was his religion. This Thanedar had kept the furniture and the cattle of Bhai Satpal Singh Dhillon at the police station. Bhai Neka took on the sewa of finishing Thanedar Bajwa and going one step further by joining the Khalistan Commando Force. One day Bhai Gurjit Singh Kaka, Bhai Kharak Singh from Ludhiana Engineering College and Bhai Neka went to Thanedar Bajwa’s house to kill him. The Thanedar was not at home and being a real warrior the singhs did not kill the wife and son. After the singh left, the wife of Bajwa quickly reported this to the police and after great lengthy chase all singhs were arrested and taken to Phillaur police station where all singhs were blindly tortured. They all were charged with possession of firearms and sent to Jalandhar jail.
In jail Bhai Neka met Bhai Labh Singh of Khalistan Commando Force. The long time spent with Bhai Labh Singh had strengthened the singhs more. In February 1986 Bhai Neka was released and on returning home, he never felt comfortable instead he started planning on how to make Khalistan Commando Force even stronger. Bhai Neka left his family and easy life behind and jumped into the battlefield. Bhai Neka was made the Area Commander of Nakodar and under the flag of Khalistan Commando Force Bhai Neka started doing even bigger actions. Now Bhai Neka’s group was full of the likes of Bhai Lakhvir Singh Santa Karnavan (Lt Gen KCF), Bhai Rashpal Singh Pala Karnavan, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sodhi Rurka Kalan and Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa Heranwala. Bhai Neka had won the hearts of the poor and the weak, as this group punished the thieves, gangsters and the traitors of the Sikh panth. For the Indian security forces, Bhai Neka had become a big threat. No gangsters in the Nakodar area had the strength to commit crime, even the black cats that were planted by the police to defame the Jhujaru Singhs could not achieve anything due to the brains of Bhai Neka.
After being released from jail, Bhai Paramjit Singh Malhi was arrested and Bhai Neka was made the president of All India Sikh Student Federation Nakodar unit, Bhai Gurjit Singh Kaka was made the president of Ludhiana and Bhai Kharak Singh was made the president of Bathinda.
Shiv Sena were openly spitting venom against the Sikh Freedom Movement, Bhai Neka did not tolerate this. Many attempts were made to warn this president not to lie about the singhs, but he never stopped. The Shiv Sena president of Nawashaher had made his place on the hit list of Bhai Neka. First Bhai Neka and Bhai Sham Singh did full CID on this Shiv Senik. Then one day the singhs surrounded him near a Sugar Cane Mill in Nawashaher and sent him on one way ticket to hell. After killing him the singhs escaped unharmed.
Then in September 1988, there was Dera near Balachor, where a Saadh would take advantage of people and make fun of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The singhs had told him to stop his gurudom or he will face the wrath of the Khalsa, but the Saadh ignored the warnings. Then Bhai Neka along with Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa Heranwala, Bhai Lakhvir Singh Santa, Bhai Rashpal Singh Pala and Bhai Sham Singh attacked the Dera of this Saadh. The Saadh was killed by the bullets of the singhs and one of his sidekicks was seriously wounded. On the way back from the action Bhai Neka and his group were involved in a fierce encounter with the Indian security forces in the village of Balachor, district Nawashaher. In this encounter Bhai Lakhvir Singh Santa attained shaheedi straight away as he was driving the scooter and the BSF shot him first. Bhai Sham Singh was also shot and wounded, but the singhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji continued to battle. Bhai Neka picked up Bhai Sham Singh and moved a kilometre away from the BSF and at the same time he continued to fire at the BSF. Bhai Sham Singh’s wounds were very deep and he also attained shaheedi. Bhai Neka along with Bhai Rashpal Singh Pala, Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa Heranwala managed to escape. After the shaheedi of Bhai Lakhvir Singh, Bhai Neka was given the rank of Lieutenant General of Khalistan Commando Force. Bhai Neka started to use the name that Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale had given him, now everyone knew him as Hari Singh. Bhai Neka got more active within the movement which only meant the police got more brutal, they started arresting family members and relatives of Bhai Neka, they were kept at Nakodar, Noormehl and Jalandhar jails. This did not bother Bhai Neka and usually said one thing, “The police are doing their job and I will do mine.”
Bhai Neka and his group decided to punish many priests of Hindu temples as they ripped pages of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and used them as bags for the medicine they sold to people. As usual the singhs had sent them many warnings but not changes were made. Then finally Bhai Neka and Bhai Sikandar Singh Bhola Donewal took this action on. In broad daylight the singhs entered the Kali Mandir and shot dead the priest who made money from ripping the pages of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Then a plan was made to kill cattle doctor, Comrade Gurdial Singh of village Dosanjh district Jalandhar. This comrade would use bad language against Guru Granth Sahib Ji and also swear openly at Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale. The government had given him weapons for his safety. Two days before he met the devil, he had given a speech at a festival in the village of Mau. This speech had hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs around the world, this speech was cheered on by his fellow comrades. He supported Operation Blue Star and praised Indira Gandhi, he also made remarks such as, “What is the need to have so much water in the Sarovar of Harimandir Sahib? We can use this water to feed the farms of the farmers.” He did not stop slandering the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. Two days after this speech, Gurdial Comrade was spitting venom against Sikhs under a tree in the village of Muthada Kalan. Bhai Neka and Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa Heranwala surrounded him and he begged the singhs to forgive him but singhs showed no mercy and shot him till he stopped moving.
Bhai Neka then made a program to punish the singer who sang dirty songs, Amar Chamkila as he was destroying the Punjabi culture with his filthy songs. The singhs had tried to make him clean himself up, at first Chamkila agreed to make clean songs and at that time he released a religious album. Then after a short while Chamkila’s brain messed up again and he once again started singing dirty songs. Any respected person would lower their head with shame after listening to the songs of Chamkila. On 8thMarch 1988, Amar Chamkila and his female vocalist Amarjot came to Mehsumpur to do a concert. Here Bhai Neka, Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa Heranwala and Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma Bir attacked the duet. Amar Chamkila and Amarjot died on the spot and after this action no one dared to sing dirty songs.
On 24thMarch 1989, Bhai Neka, Bhai Paramjit Singh Gandasa (Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan) and Bhai Daljit Singh Channi were travelling to Sri Anandpur Sahib for the Holla Mohalla. As the singhs reached Mehalpur their car had an accident with a scooter. The person on the scooter had minor injuries but the singhs gave him some money and no police was called. Soon as the singhs left the accident scene, the jeep of SP came and asked the person with the scooter what had happened. The man on the scoter told the SP the full situation and also said that the singhs had bag full of cash. Now the SP was suspicious and contacted the police station of Badowal via wireless, soon the police stopped the car of the singhs. As Bhai Sahib’s beard was tied the police did not recognise him. When the police searched the car, they found a suitcase full of money. The singhs had hidden assault rifles under the car. Bhai Neka pushed the police and tried to run back to the car so he can grab his assault rifle and start and encounter, but the police rained bullets onto the singhs.
In an instance Bhai Neka, Bhai Paramjit Singh Gandasa (Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan) and Bhai Daljit Singh Channi attained shaheedi. When the police searched underneath the car they found 4 AK47 assault rifles and many magazines. If Bhai Neka had managed to reach the assault rifles, not one officer would have been spared.
The police informed the high ranking officials of the Indian security forces and on 25thMarch 1989. KPS Gill held a press conference in which he said that this result is a big achievement for their force. The newspapers printed a front page headline,“Lieutenant General of Khalistan Commando Force, Hari Singh Baba killed in police encounter, there was a 1 lakh rupees reward for his capture.”
When Bhai Sahib’s older brother read the news of his brother’s shaheedi, he quickly attempted to get the body of Bhai Neka, so the body can be cremated with respect. When the older brother of Bhai Neka went to the police station, they arrested him and tortured him, breaking his arm. The whole family and relatives were disrespected. At Bhai Neka’s Sri Akhand Paath Sahib, the police did not allow anyone to attend from outside. The police had a strict curfew around the village of Bhai Sahib.
Bhai Neka who had devoted his whole life to the Sikh panth since the time of Dharam Yudh Morcha, was a healthy and cheerful singh. Bhai Neka loved curled mustaches and was always seen curling to a point where locals called him, Moch. Bhai Sahib took a great interest in sports especially in Volley Ball and Kabbadi. Bhai Neka was part of both teams from middle school to high school. As well encouraging fellow students to take part in sports, he also encouraged them to get involved with Dharam Yudh Morcha. The local Gurudwara of Bhai Nuka’s village was very old and he got all the youth of the village together and started building a new building for the Gurudwara. When thousands of Sikh men, women and children were massacred at Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984 by the Indian security forces, Bhai Neka started staying quiet and extremely sad. When anybody spoke to Bhai Neka about the attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib, Bhai Sahib will clearly answer by saying, “When Massa Ranghar is born, Bhai Sukha Singh and Bhai Mehtab Singh also take birth. “
Even today the words of Bhai Neka are remembered in his village. The Volley Ball and Kabbadi grounds still miss Bhai Neka. Bhai Gurnek Singh Neka alias Baba Hari Singh is still alive amongst the hearts of the people that love the Sikh panth.
Awaze Quam – 28thDecember 1989