Shaheed Bhai Rajwinder Singh Raja alias Chhota Painta

Khalistan Armed Force

When the Indian government had over stepped the mark of Injustices upon its minorities such as Sikhs, the separatist movement arose. Sikhs saw no justice and the government were committing more and more injustices upon them. The last raw was drawn when the Indian army attacked Sri Darbar Sahib and killed thousands of innocent and unarmed Sikh pilgrims. After this enactment of a genocide, the Sikh youth of Punjab left their homes and families to fight for their separate homeland in which the Sikhs and their religion would be safe. In this armed struggle for Sikh freedom, a young singh (age 15/16 years) by the name of Bhai Rajwinder Singh Raja did uncountable actions and had his name written in the Sikh history with golden ink.

Bhai Rajwinder Singh Raja alias Chhota Painta was born in the month of April in 1976, in New Delhi’s Gobindpuri, in the house of Sardar Sawaran Singh and from the womb of Mata Mahinder Kaur. Sardar Sawaran Singh had moved to New Delhi from his home village of Chajjalwadi, district Amritsar, here he worked as a bus driver for Sri Panja Sahib Tourist Company. All of the children of Sardar Sawaran Singh were born in New Delhi. Bhai Sahib was the youngest of 5 brothers and sisters, Bhai Paramjit Singh Kala Shaheed, Bhai Surjit Singh Painta Shaheed, Bibi Sarabjit Kaur and Bhai Harcharan Singh Giani.

Bhai Sahib was only 8 years of and was still listening to the childhood stories by his parents when Indira Gandhi ordered her army to attack Sri Harimandir Sahib in June 1984, where thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims were mercilessly killed. Then on 31st October 1984, the sons of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, Bhai Beant Singh and Bhai Satwant Singh took revenge for the desecration of Sri Akaal Takht by assassinating the queen of Indira in her own castle. Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as the next prime minister and the first thing he did was to order the extreme Hindu outfits to kill Sikhs where ever they are seen, this massacre is termed as the Sikh Genocide of November 1984. Still in his childhood, Bhai Sahib was asking his mother, “what was going on, why are people killing each other.” Mata Mahinder Kaur told Bhai Sahib, “Indira Gandhi had made our Sri Akaal Takht Sahib shaheed, then the sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji killed Indira Gandhi for her unforgivable sin. Now the witch’s son, Rajiv Gandhi is killing Sikhs.” These words settled into the heart of Bhai Sahib.

As time went on, the news of Sikh genocide of Delhi and other cities reached Punjab. Many Sikh youths were leaving their homes to march towards Khalistan. Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda, Bhai Nirmal Singh Nimma were the uncles of Bhai Sahib and would regularly come and stay at the families Delhi house along with Bhai Sukhdev Singh SukThe family of Bhai Sahib witnessed this massacre of the Sikhs and following the teachings of Dhan Guru Granth Sahib Ji, “If Your Honour Is Taken While Living, Everything You Eat Is Impure”, Bhai Sahib’s family members left home and its luxuries to punish the murderers of the Sikhs. Bhai Sahib’s elder brother, Bhai Surjit Singh Painta had left home and joined the Jhujaru Singhs of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan under the command of Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal and had been doing actions in the Sikh armed struggle for freedom. Due to this Bhai Sahib’s family were regularly harassed by Indian police, not tolerating this harassment Bhai Sahib’s other elder brother, Bhai Paramjit Singh Kala also left home and had joined the Jhujaru Singhs.

It was during these days that Bhai Sahib’s Mama Ji, Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda, Bhai Nirmal Singh Nimma and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha had assassinated General Vaidya, who had led the Indian army to attack Sri Harimandir Sahib in June 1984. After this action the Delhi police had information of Bhai Sahib’s family’s involvement in the Sikh freedom movement. The Indian police had established that the whole plan to kill General Vaidya was hatched at the house of Sardar Sawaran Singh, the father of Bhai Sahib and due to this both parents of Bhai Sahib were arrested. Bhai Sahib’s third elder brother, Bhai Harcharan Singh Giani, his sister, Bibi Sarabjit Kaur and Bhai Sahib himself were still young and had been studying at school hence they avoided being arrested that day.

Now these 3 brothers and sister knew that they could be arrested anytime if they stayed at home. Realising the danger, Bhai Surjit Singh Painta told his siblings to go to their grandparent’s home in the village of Chajjalwadi, near Jandiala, district Amritsar. Here Bhai Sahib continued to study up to 9th class at the local school of Chajjalwadi. But the Punjab police soon came to know this address also and had started harassing the family here too, due to which the family were changing locations regularly to avoid the Punjab police. Even after all this struggle the family maintained calm and never missed their Nitnem, they always trusted Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj and the Shaheed Singhs to protect them from all dangers. Shortly after this in 1987, Bhai Sahib’s eldest brother, Bhai Paramjit Singh Kala went to Nagpur to punish an anti-Sikh element. In Nagpur an informant had recognised Bhai Kala and had him made Shaheed by the Indian security forces. This news had brought great deal of sadness within the family and especially the Sikh panth as they had lost a brave soldier of the Sikh panth forever. Bhai Sahib was deeply hurt with the shaheedi of his elder brother.

After this wave of sadness, all 3 brothers and sister went to stay at Sri Harimandir Sahib Complex, where they met the brother, Bhai Surjit Singh Painta. This is where Bhai Painta found out about his brother, Bhai Kala’s martyrdom. It was here Bhai Surjit Singh Painta got his sister, Bibi Sarabjit Kaur married to Bhai Chainchal Singh Udhoke, the Chief General of Khalistan Commando Force. While staying at Sri Darbar Sahib, Bhai Sahib got to know many Jhujaru Singhs and he would always ask for weapons so he could also punish the enemies of the Sikh nation, but Bhai Painta use to say, “You can do as much sewa as you want after me. For now prepare yourself, you have more than enough time to do sewa.” At times after hearing this, Bhai Sahib would get sad and go to his other brother, Bhai Harcharan Singh Giani and always dismantle the pistols and put them back again.

Soon the racist Hindu government attacked Sri Darbar Sahib for the second time. On 15th May 1988, Bhai Surjit Singh Painta fought the Indian army with bravery and in the end when he was surrounded, Bhai Painta swallowed a capsule of cyanide and gave his martyrdom, but did not allow the enemy to capture him alive. Bhai Sahib, Bibi Sarabjit Kaur, Bhai Harcharan Singh Giani, Bhai Chainchal Singh Udhoke, Bhai Painta’s wife Bibi Paramjit Kaur and Bhai Sahib’s cousin, Bhai Daljit Singh Dhala from the village of Gadli were all arrested from the complex. We wonder what Mata Mahinder Kaur had gone through not being able to see her 2 sons who had attained martyrdom and rest of her children in jails. When Bhai Sahib had been arrested on 15th May 1988, his age was 11/12 years.  The whole family were released after roughly 8 months of imprisonment. On the other side Sardar Sawaran Singh and Mata Mahinder Kaur had also been released and returned to their home in Chajjalwadi village. Bhai Sahib had only stayed at home for a few months that the Indian police once again started harassing the family regularly. Bhai Sahib had enough of the harassment that the Indian police were putting the family through. Before leaving home Bhai Sahib did his Ardas with, “Tu Mera Pita, Tu Hai Mera Mata. Tu Mera Bandahp, Tu Mera Bhrata. Tu Mera Rakha Sabhni Thaee, Taa Bahu Keha Kadha Jeeo. – You Are My Father And You Are My Mother. You Are My Relation And You Are My Brother. You Are My Protector Everywhere, Why Should I Feel Any Fear.”

At first Bhai Sahib started doing actions with Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan with Bhai Waryam Singh Bure Nangal. Bhai Sahib never backed out of any action and always keen in doing even more actions. Bhai Sahib would forget to eat food or drink water but he would always remember to punish the enemies of the Sikhs. Bhai Sahib’s may have been young but his mind was very mature. Once Bhai Sahib and Bhai Waryam Singh Bure Nangal were travelling through the city of Patti, district Tart Taran. These Jhujaru brothers came up to a CRPF checkpoint and were signalled to stop, but Bhai Sahib opened and straight away killed 5 CRPF soldiers and made their escape, but before making their escape Bhai Sahib took all the weapons of the dead CRPF soldiers. Soon after this Bhai Waryam Singh Bure Nangal had attained martyrdom and Bhai Sahib then joined Bhai Charanjit Singh Channa Udhoke (Brother of Bhai Chainchal Singh Udhoke). Only a few days after this the SHO of Udhoke village, Gian Chand made Bhai Charanjit Singh Channa a martyr with the help of the local police informant. Bhai Sahib had once again lost a Jhujaru brother and this time he sent out the message that he will avenge the martyrdom of Bhai Charanjit Singh Channa within 24 hours. It had not even been 24 hours since the martyrdom of Bhai Channa, Bhai Sahib took revenge by gunning down SHO Gian Chand in the village of Jaito Sarja, district Batala. Bhai Sahib did this action alone but then with fellow Jhujaru Singhs he took on the mission to punish the police informant also. Before the Bhog of Shaheed Bhai Channa, Bhai Sahib and fellow Jhujaru Singhs killed the police informant and the gunman of SHO Gian Chand in the village of Udhoke.

Before Bhai Sahib carried out any action, he would do Ardas in front of Dhan Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. Bhai Sahib always asked Maharaj for guidance and to stop him from harming any innocent beings. Like this Bhai Sahib continued to punish the enemies. Bhai Sahib assassinated the Sarpanch of Chananke village near Chownk Mehta, as he was a top informant to the Mehta police force. The Sarpanch would have Sikh youth arrested and claim the rewards on their heads. It was in the same village that Bhai Sahib also killed 2 soldiers of Punjab Homeguard Force and escaped with their rifles. Bhai Sahib also had given a warning to the gangsters of the local area who looted families to stop their bad deeds or else the sons of Dasmesh Guru would not shy away from punishing them too. It was following up on this warning that Bhai Sahib killed a police constable by the name of Beant Singh and his accomplice in the village of Jaspal, who looted families with their service rifles. Bhai Sahib then looted a bank to fund the armed struggle of Khalistan but on his escape Bhai Sahib was confronted by SSP HR Bugga, who was forced to run for his life with Bhai Sahib’s heavy fire. Bhai Sahib also killed the police constable of Jandiala police station and made his escape after taking the constable’s 38’ revolver. The journalist of Jagbani newspaper, Jaspal was also assassinated by Bhai Sahib in the village of Raiya. This journalist would spread lies against the Jhujaru Singhs and spoke the language of his assassinated editor, Jagat Narain. In all the above actions, Bhai Sahib was accompanied by Bhai Gurjeet Singh of Chajjalwadi village who had attained shaheedi before Bhai Sahib.

Bhai Sahib also did actions outside Punjab, in states like Uttar Pardesh (UP), he punished a police inspector of Dehradun, UP with the help of fellow Jhujaru Singhs. The Punjab police, Delhi police and UP police were trembled by the name of Bhai Sahib. In the very young age, Bhai Sahib’s name would be printed on national newspapers daily. The Indian security forces had put a big reward on Bhai Sahib’s head, but this did not scare Bhai Sahib in fact he joked with fellow Jhujaru Singhs about doing more sewa within the Sikh armed struggle and pumping up his reward even more. Bhai Sahib was close to and did actions with Jhujaru Singhs like Bhai Ranjit Singh Chananke, Bhai Jerman Singh Ghunshampur, Bhai Seetal Singh Mattewal, Bhai Waryam Singh Bure Nangal, Bhai Charanjit Singh Udhoke, and Bhai Gurjeet Singh Chajjalwadi. Bhai Sahib was loved amongst all Jhujaru groups due to his young age, on the other hand he was strong and fearless. Everything that Bhai Sahib did may it be encounters, warnings or Jhujaru actions, he recited gurbani to that moment. Bhai Sahib would encourage his fellow Jhujaru Singhs to fight bravely. Bhai Sahib had uncountable battles with the Indian security forces and in every battle achieved victory. Once Bhai Sahib had an encounter with Indian security forces in the village of Chajjalwadi, Bhai Harcharan Singh Giani was also with his young brother. The battle started at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and finished at 7 o’clock in the evening, Bhai Sahib fought very bravely against the enemy. Bhai Sahib also helped his brother and fellow Jhujaru Singhs to escape. For Bhai Sahib the freedom for the Sikh panth was the first priority. Bhai Sahib would even risk his own life to help the poor and the weak. Bhai Sahib loved listening to the cassettes of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale’s speeches.

In the year of 1992, Bhai Chainchal Singh Udhoke and fellow Jhujaru Singhs arranged the Anand Karaj of Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib married Bibi Rajinder Kaur, daughter of Sardar Kartar Singh and the sister of a Jhujaru Singh, Bhai Balwinder Singh Cheema Khudi (Sri Hargobindpur). The Anand Karaj took place in the early at a Gurudwara of Udhoke village. Families from both sides along with Jhujaru Singhs from all group had come together to give this wedded couple their blessings. This Anand Karaj was filmed, the video shows even though the death was dancing upon the Jhujaru Singhs, they did not let it stop them from enjoying themselves. Now as well as doing sewa of the Sikh panth, he had now gained responsibilities of a household. Bhai Sahib’s family have contributed so much to the Sikh freedom movement, via Jhujaru Singhs like his 2 elder brothers, Bhai Surjit Singh Painta, Bhai Paramjit Singh Kala, his brother-in-law Bhai Chainchal Singh Udhoke, his brother Bhai Charanjit Singh Channa Udhoke, Bhai Sahib’s cousins Bhai Daljit Singh Babbar, Bhai Charanjit Singh Channa, Bhai Gurjeet Singh Chajjalwadi, Bhai Sahib’s uncles, Bhai Ranjit Singh Rania, Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda, Son of Bhai Sahib’s Bhua Bhai Barjinder Singh Ganganagar and the year old nephew, Bhujangi Shamsher Singh who all attained martyrdom.

Bhai Sahib arranged a meeting with fellow Jhujaru Singhs and under the command of Bhai Chainchal Singh Udhoke, decided that he will go to the capital city of Delhi and punished the murderers of the Sikhs during the November 1984 Sikh genocide. Some Jhujaru Singhs tried to stop Bhai Sahib as he had just recently been married but Bhai Sahib told them, “My life is not more important than our Guru, I have signed my life to the Sikh panth. Our Guru says, Pehla Maran Kabool, Shad Jeevan Ki Aas. (First Accept Death As Inevitable, Leave The Hope Of Life.) So brothers, please don’t stop me, let me go.” The Jhujaru Singhs prepared Bhai Sahib to go Delhi, with AK47, 38’ Revolver and a fellow Jhujaru Singh went to Delhi.

In Delhi Bhai Sahib met Harbhajan Singh whose whole family was killed during the November 1984 Sikh genocide. With him Bhai Sahib planned to shake the walls of Delhi throne and to continue the mission of Bhai Surjit Singh Painta. But who knew that this Harbhajan Singh was an informant for the Delhi police, he took Bhai Sahib’s AK47 and went home and Bhai Sahib was only left with a 38’ Revolver. Harbhajan Singh had told Bhai Sahib to meet him the following day in Chittaranjan Park, Tughlakabad where they will punish one of the murderers of the Sikhs. Before Bhai Sahib reached the park, Harbhajan Singh had informed the Delhi police and police officers were placed all over this area in civil clothes.

When Bhai Sahib reached the park, the police stopped him and started questioning him. Bhai Sahib realised that this isn’t a routine check, he moved back and pulled out his 38’ Revolver and straight away sent 2 police officers to hell and ran off. Bhai Sahib went into a side street where he was confronted with another police officer, Bhai Sahib gave him a ticket to hell also. Another police officer tried to grab Bhai Sahib but even he was given a ticket to hell. The informant Harbhajan Singh also tried to wrestle Bhai Sahib down, but once again Bhai Sahib shot him in the head and sent him to hell. With 5 bullets of his revolver, Bhai Sahib killed 5 enemies and with the 6th bullet took his own life and gave his martyrdom. Bhai Sahib like his elder brother, Shaheed Bhai Surjit Singh Painta he also chose to give his life rather than being caught alive by the enemy. This happened at 8-9 o’clock in the morning of 12th April 1992. Bhai Sahib had attained martyrdom at the age of 15/16 years. We would like to thank Bhai Sahib’s brother, Bhai Harcharan Singh Giani who gave us the very detailed biography of his young shaheed brother and most importantly the son of the Sikh panth.

Sant Sipahi – June 1992

Information given by family of Shaheed Bhai Rajwinder Singh Raja