Shaheed Bhai Halminder Singh Leel


Bhai Halminder Singh was born in the village of Leel, district Ludhiana, from the womb of Mata Nachhattar Kaur and in the house of Sardar Sudagar Singh in the year of 1962. After the attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib in June 1984, Bhai Sahib’s mind was filled with dismay against the Indian government. As well as that, Bhai Sahib was also angry with the Akali Dal leaders that had negotiated with the same Indian government that had attacked Sri Darbar Sahib. Bhai Sahib was further filled with anger when innocent Sikh men were burnt alive, Sikh women were made to watch their men burnt and gang raped after, Sikhs homes and businesses burnt in November 1984 (known as Sikh Genocide).


The day which Harchand Singh Longowal and his associates met with Rajiv Gandhi to arrange negotiations, Bhai Sahib had made his mind up to punish the people who disrespected the blood of the Sikh martyrs and he would do this even if it meant he had to sacrifice his life. Bhai Sahib performed an Ardas in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj to bless him to complete this task of punishing the traitor of the Sikh nation, Longowal. On 20th August 1985, Bhai Sahib along with his accomplice Bhai Gyan Singh Leel shot dead Harchand Singh Longowal in the village of Sherpur, district Sangrur. This was amongst many Jhujaru actions that were written in golden ink within the Sikh history.


In the Sikh history, martyrdom has been glorified as the biggest achievement, to sacrifice your life for righteousness death that is valued very highly. It is due to this, that when a writer writes about such bravery and sacrifice, the writer himself his shocked with the reality of a true Sikh warrior. Yes, such martyrdoms are a normal thing within the Sikh faith. When Harchand Singh Longowal was wounded with the bullet of Bhai Gyan Singh Leel, with bravery Bhai Sahib’s plan changed and he confidently ran to Harchand Singh Longowal and put his arm around Longowal’s neck and choked him. But as people tried to come close to him, he shouted “I am Sant Longowal’s gunman”, Bhai Sahib did this to make sure that Longowal was dead and not survive with a bullet wound. And like this Bhai Sahib also drilled another 3 bullets from his revolver into Harchand Singh Longowal. Once Bhai Sahib was sure the he had killed the traitor of the Sikh nation, he threw his revolver away and stood still. Bhai Sahib within himself started doing Ardas to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj for blessing him in completing this mission. According to Bhai Gyan Singh Leel, the real gunman of Harchand Singh Longowal shot Bhai Sahib as he was standing. Bhai Sahib was wounded and was taken to Patiala’s Rajindera Hospital where he remained in high spirits for 2 months even after the doctors did not treat the wound. But as he didn’t get the treatment he was suppose to, on 14th October 1985 attained martyrdom. Bhai Sahib’s mother who had given her blessings to him to punish Harchand Singh Longowal appealed in court to meet her son, but the court did not allow this. The cremation of Shaheed Bhai Halminder Singh Leel was performed in his farm in the village Leel, many Sikhs attended and paid their respects. In the same place, the locals built a Nishan Sahib in Bhai Sahib’s memory. The Indian securities pulled the Nishan Sahib down and took it with them. The Indian security forces regularly harassed Bhai Sahib’s family. Bhai Sahib’s brothers, Bhai Baljinder Singh and Bhai Sukhwinder Singh were both tortured and charged with false cases.


Sikh Shahadat – November 2003