Shaheed Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian
Shaheed Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian alias Baaghi Babbar
Immortal Shaheed Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian alias Baaghi Babbar was born in the year 1966 to father Jathedar Bhai Chanan Singh and from the womb of mother Mata Gopal Kaur in the village of Bhojjian, near Chabal, district Tarn Taran. Bhai Puran Singh was one of six siblings, Bhai Khajan Singh, Bhai Nirmal Singh, Bhai Rawail Singh, Bhai Ajmer Singh, Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian and only sister, Bibi Lakhwinder Kaur. Bhai Puran Singh studied up to sixth grade at his local village school. The family’s livelihood depended on agriculture. Bhai Sahib’s father was a farmer, owning 25 acres of land which he would cultivate and harvest crops to sell.
After studies, Bhai Puran Singh joined his father in farming their land. Bhai Sahib was of a very religious and spiritual upbringing, he spent many years of selfless service at the spiritual centre of Baba Anoop Singh Hazur Sahib (Kar Seva). Bhai Puran Singh would regularly listen to the speeches and sermons of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale. Bhai Sahib completely understood the need of faith and defending your right to freedom. Soon after, Bhai Puran Singh then took the step to become baptised and was blessed with Amrit from Damdami Taksal.
The next phase in his life was that of marriage. Bhai Puran Singh got married in the year 1987 to Bibi Kulwant Kaur (Daughter of Sardar Swaran Singh, village Naag Kalan, Near Majitha, district Amritsar). They were soon blessed with a daughter, Bibi Mandeep Kaur, who was only seven months old when Bhai Puran Singh attained martyrdom.
After their marriage and having settled into family life, the Jhujaru Singhs (freedom fighters from Khalsa militias) would regularly use Bhai Sahib’s home for a secure place to stay and respite. Both husband and wife would ensure these freedom fighters were taken care of and looked after. Fresh meals were always served. Having spent this time with the Jhujaru Singhs from these militias, it didn’t take long for the vigour and flame to ignite inside Bhai Puran Singh with a rising desire to join in the fight for freedom. Bhai Sahib joined the group and paved his way in undertaking missions. Bhai Puran Singh’s wife would often try and stop him. Bhai Sahib would tell her not to worry and that our tenth master Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj is always protecting us.
Bhai Puran Singh’s service within the militia saw him cross the border into Pakistan many times to obtain firearms. On one occasion whilst crossing the border he was electrocuted by the live wires and suffered burns. Upon returning home, he would causally say, “Do not worry this is nothing! Rather these are garland imprints of martyrdom.” Bhai Puran Singh then left his family and home permanently to go underground. His visits back to his family were few and far between. But when he would come to visit, he would be covered with garlands of firearms on his body.
Bhai Sahib was known to skilfully escape major sieges and confrontations. His actions were executed tactfully. Some of Bhai Sahib’s actions are listed below:
- Bhai Puran Singh blew up a Punjab police station at the village of Vada Nag (near Majitha) without being noticed.
- Another exchange in village Nikka Nag, Bhai Puran Singh displayed a great fight against the police.
- Bhai Puran Singh punished Comrade leaders in the village of Singhpur (Nakodar).
- His martial art was also of a high standard, he was known to have single handily injure and wound up to 20 and kill 2 police men by using just a metal chain shackle.
- On another mission, Bhai Puran Singh was disguised as a trader whilst plotting a plan to assassinate a perpetrator. Suddenly there was a police siege upon him. Bhai Puran Singh quickly grabbed a long stick (to look like a farmer) and said, “Oh I’ve come here to shop for cattle.” But the Police officer noticed Bhai Sahib pistol and became fearful and decided to back off. Without any altercation Bhai Puran Singh escaped.
As Bhai Puran Singh was a very strategic minded person his home was made in such a way that it had various escape routes. The water supply to the house was also situated outside of the premises. For most of his time in the militias, he served under the command of General Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha, the chief of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan. The number of missions undertaken cannot even be counted, they covered that many! Numerous police stations and CRP stations were targeted and blown up by the groups of Jhujaru Singhs that included Bhai Sahib.
February 22nd 1991 was the day Bhai Puran Singh attained martyrdom, along with his fellow partner Bhai Hardeep Singh Deepa (alias Sipahi from village of Rampur Cheeta). Both Jhujaru Singhs happened to be taking respite at the village gurdwara in Bhojjian. Very quickly they got to know the whole village had been surrounded by Punjab police and CRPF. The Jhujaru brothers ran into the local Christian school to stake out, but immediately thought if we were to get attacked and amidst retaliation the building would be destroyed and the kids will be impacted. They both went to the house of a local Majbi Sikh and from there they took their positions to fight against the army of police.
The battle began from 7am in the morning until 8pm in the evening. Being positioned in a mud house which had a thatched roof, they managed to kill a very large number of policemen. The police were completely unaware that the Singhs were actually residents of this village. The police would continually question the local villagers where are these Jhujaru Singhs from? But none of the locals disclosed any information even though they knew. They stood firm in their loyalty to these 2 sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. During the siege, there was huge numbers of police and CRPF troops. From the way they were being attacked and retaliated against, the Police suspected a large group of Jhujaru Singhs were fighting them. Little did they know there were only two lions fighting this battle.
Not only did Bhai Puran Singh and Bhai Hardeep Singh aim and strike, they were adept enough to retrieve the firearms from the dead policemen and use them against the enemy. There were no fancy escape routes or positioned sniper stations in this house that the Singhs were fighting from. Up to 35 police and CRPF men were killed. However, in the news report the following day, the media demoted the story and quoted that only eight were killed.
Once all ammunition had run out, both Jhujaru Singhs decided this was now their time to attain martyrdom. They each took a cyanide capsule and stepped out to take the bullets of death and welcomed the moment of martyrdom like a garland round their neck. They had fought with so much vigour, power and strength; like lions. There was no backing down until the last breath. Unfortunately, the police did not give the bodies of these beautiful souls to their families. The bodies were taken to a hospital in Tarn Taran, where a post mortem and cremation was carried out without the knowledge or identification by any family member. The police were stubborn and furious at the fact the two Singhs had effortlessly killed so many policemen.
Out of spite, the police destroyed the homes of these Shaheed Singhs and looted their belongings. They even destroyed the farm lands and its water supplies. For quite some time, these homes were in ruins. The police did not leave the families alone, regularly harassing family members. Bhai Puran Singh’s brother Rawail Singh was arrested and brutally tortured. Any labourers or construction workers called to the house to help with repairs and renovations would refuse to take on the job, in the fear the police would surround the area and kill them too. The police officer would taunt the family threatening to cut them all in half and would attack and beat the villagers. None of the villagers would disclose or point out the house of Bhai Puran Singh. This enraged the police even more knowing that the local people had so much love for him. Hence, the reason why the police were brutal with the entire village.
Shaheed Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian’s wife reported that “Till this day, our family has received no recognition or support from any Sikh authoritative bodies. Not even a listening ear was given to hear the struggles we have had to face since the passing of my husband.” She claimed, that when the police would come to harass them, all she could see for miles were uniformed officers surrounding the village. We use to cook and serve meals for the freedom fighter Singhs who would come to our house and it wouldn’t be long before the police would show up and demand to be fed just like the Singhs. The police would capture the family members and keep them in police custody for days on end. A pension has now been activated for the wife and family of Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian via Guru Nanak Aid organisation as of August 2021.
Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Puran Singh Bhojjian