Shaheed Bhai Makhan Singh Kukdan


Bhai Makhan Singh was born in the year 1970 to the blessed womb of Mata Amar Kaur and father Sardar Ranjit Singh in the village of Kukdan, near Bham Mehalpur, Hoshiarpur. He was a sibling of four brothers and one sister – eldest Bhai Tarsem Singh, Bibi Tarsem Kaur, Bhai Bahadur Singh, Bhai Makhan Singh himself and the youngest Bhai Jaswinder Singh. Bhai Makhan Singh completed his early studies upto tenth grade at his local village school. He then went on to accomplish his BA degree at the government college in Hoshiarpur. Bhai Makhan Singh was very much a strong believer in his faith and Sikhi. He was blessed with Amrit and baptised whilst he was in his tenth grade of study. He lived a very comfortable and stable life. Alongside his studies, his family owned five cows to produce dairy which he would single handily take care of and tend to.


However, his life was about to be turned upside down. Bhai Makhan Singh’s story makes it very clear that the Indian government had a single agenda to eliminate all innocent young practising Sikh males in Punjab. On 17th July 1991, a very normal day Bhai Makhan Singh sat down to eat his evening dinner. On an unexpected visit the DSP for Ropar – Jaspal Singh came to the house unattended and not wearing his police uniform. As he entered the house, he asked Bhai Makhan Singh’s father, “Where is Makhan Singh?” His father replied, “He is on the rooftop eating his evening meal.” Unknowingly to the father, he did not know this stranger to the house was a DSP, he assumed it was someone who knew Bhai Makhan Singh. The DSP made his way up to the roof top to meet Bhai Makhan Singh. He greeted Bhai Makhan Singh and allowed him to finish his meal. The DSP suggested they go back downstairs to continue their conversation. Little did Bhai Makhan Singh know what was waiting for him. As they got to the bottom of the stairs there were twenty to thirty police officers who had arrived and waiting. Without warning, they immediately grabbed and shoved Bhai Makhan Singh into a car and took him away. His father frantically asked, “Where are you taking my son?”, the DSP replied, “We are taking him to the police station, you may come there.” The family made their way to Mehalpur police station but to their despair the police staff gave no information on Bhai Makhan Singh’s state and whereabouts. The family then went to another local police station in Garshankar, again no information was provided.


The situation became worse, four days later, another DSP arrived at the family home arresting Bhai Makhan Singh’s brother Bhai Tarsem Singh and their father and took them away. As they were enroute, the father began to retaliate against the police persons. The police decided to remove him from the vehicle and leave him stranded whilst continuing to take away Bhai Tarsem Singh. The father made his way back home and went to see the village counsel Dalbir Singh pleading with him to have his sons freed.


At this time, it was also found out that at a local villager by the name of Dara was suspected in a firearms case. Dara connivingly gave police the name of Bhai Makhan Singh’s other brother, Bhai Bahadur Singh to implicate him in the case. The area SHO Nirmal Singh, once again raided the family home and took the father, who was later released after four days of interrogation and ill treatment.

Bhai Makhan Singh’s father then gathered his fellow villagers and went to protest at the police to release his sons. The police allowed Bhai Tarsem to return home. As much as the family kept asking and probing about Bhai Makhan Singh’s whereabouts, the police would give no information.

It was many days later that a news report declared his killing and was martyred on 31st July 1991. Bhai Makhan Singh’s family were informed by the news report only.


Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Makhan Singh Kukdan