Shaheed Bhai Manjit Singh Billa

Khalistan Commando Force

Bhai Manjit Singh alias Billa was born in village Rurka Kalan, district Jalandhar, near Phillaur which falls under the Goraya police station. Bhai Billa was born to the house of Sardar Gurdev Singh and from the womb of Mata Joginder Kaur, he was the only brother to three sisters, Bibi Teerath Kaur, Bibi Simran Kaur and Bibi Kuldeep Kaur, the family lovingly called him Billa. Bhai Manjit Singh had studied till the 11th class in the government higher secondary school of Rurka Kalan. For some time, Bhai Billa helped his father with the farming.

During those days a visa was not required to visit England from India. One could simply buy a ticket and land at a British airport and they would be issued with a visa upon arrival. This is how Bhai Manjit Singh Billa came to England. While in England Bhai Billa’s relatives had him engaged to a woman who was a British citizen, however to become a permanent resident as well, he would have to go back to the British embassy in India and then he would be granted a permanent visa. For this reason, Bhai Billa returned to Punjab so he could make the arrangements to move to England. But Akaal Purakh had a different plan for him.

One day his father, Sardar Gurdev Singh had a disagreement with his younger brother Gurmeet Singh. From an argument it soon turned into a physical fight and Bhai Manjit Singh Billa was also present at the time. Gurmeet Singh (Bhai Billa’s Chacha) was severely injured and later passed away. For this reason, Bhai Billa and his father, Sardar Gurdev Singh were arrested on murder charges. Bhai Billa was sent to a jail in Jalandhar and there he met Bhai Lovshinder Singh Dalewal and they spent some time together. Bhai Lovshinder Singh remembers the words Bhai Billa would say to him, if he is acquitted of the murder charge, he wants to join Khalistan’s armed movement.  The murder case was heard in the court of additional session Judge Pritpal Singh Grewal. The judge sentenced both Bhai Billa and his father Gurdev Singh to life imprisonment. When Bhai Billa appealed against his life sentence in the High Court, he was acquitted of the murder charge and released, however his father was still found guilty of murder thus his life sentence stayed in place. While Bhai Billa was still in jail a communist from his village took full political advantage of the family feud. The communist started harassing and bullying the family of Bhai Billa as both men of the family were in jail. For this reason, his mother and sisters had to move to their father’s maternal village of Cheemna near Jagraon.

After the high court decision for his release Bhai Manjit Singh Billa went to Cheemna village and met his family. Where Bhai Billa was keen to fight this religious war for the freedom of his people, he also felt the need to punish the communists who opposed and spoke disrespectfully about the Jhujaru movement and its martyrs. While staying in Cheemna village, he came in contact with Jhujaru Singhs related to the Khalistan Liberation Force and joined them in a few Jhujaru actions and missions. However, Bhai Billa felt out of place as he was far from home, so he decided to move back to his own area of Rurka Kalan and here he joined the Khalistan Commando Force under the command of Shaheed Bhai Gurdeep Singh alias Deepa Heran Wala. After joining Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa’s Jhujaru group, Bhai Billa started to punish traitors, communists and targeting police convoys.

Eventually the day came, which comes for every Jhujaru Singh. The day of arrest or martyrdom. On 21st April 1991, Bhai Manjit Singh Billa was at a temporary hide out in village Uppal Bhupa near Noor Mahal when the Indian police forces surrounded him. Bhai Billa had a fierce encounter with the police for many hours and eventually a police bullet hit him and he attained martyrdom. After his martyrdom, the Punjab police officers released their anger and frustration by tying Bhai Billa’s body to the back of their Jeep and started to drag his body around the local areas. This was a common tactic the police used to deter other youth from the villages from taking up arms and fighting for Khalistan. Doing this made no difference to the great name of Shaheed Bhai Manjit Singh Billa, instead it showcased the cowardness of the Punjab police. Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale would often say, “Let the police or army come in huge numbers but they will never be able to take me away alive. When I die, they can do whatever they want with my dead body, it will only be dust.”

Written by Bhai Lovshinder Singh Dalewal

Translated by Team