Shaheed Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh


Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh was born in the year 1945 to the blessed womb of Mata Jashoda Kaur and father Master Jaswant Singh in the village of Munak Khurd near Urmar Tanda, district Hoshiarpur. He was a sibling of four brothers and two sisters – eldest was Bibi Bakshish Kaur, Bhai Prithipal Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh, Bhai Darbara Singh, Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh himself and the youngest, Bibi Kamaljit Kaur. Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh completed his early studies upto eighth grade at his local village school. He was also a very active sportsman and had great physical ability. His main interest was in mastering Gatka, a Sikh martial art from a very young age. He went on to work for a construction firm named DCM (based in Bundi, Rajasthan), where he was a crane operator.


Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh’s family arranged his marriage and was married to Bibi Sadesh Kaur from the village of Nangal Sodhia, near Bhogpur. The couple were blessed with three children – Bhai Barinder Singh, Bibi Gurjeet Kaur and Bhai Harvir Singh. Having worked with the construction DCM for some time, Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh decided to travel to Dubai in pursuit of further job opportunities. After a spout in Dubai, Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh returned to Punjab and began working in Anandpur Sahib. Then he moved to Jammu for work.


On 1st November 1984, Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh was living in Reasi Colony, near Talwara (Jammu), working at the Salal Dam. Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh worked here for many months that year, even at the time of the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib in June 1984. Then in the month of November 1984, the breaking news was broadcasted that Indira Gandhi had been assassinated. It was at this time, when the local Hindus in Jammu got together in revenge plotting to set the Sikh Gurdwara alight in flames.


On this day, Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh was at his residence and when he heard of this happening, he immediately joined around 20 other Singhs in the area, in order to protect the local Gurdwara. A fair few Sikh family had fled in fear. The 20 Singhs closed the doors of the Gurdwara. However, an astonishing number of Hindu yobs had turned up, roughly 4000 Hindus. The yobs were well prepared and equipped. They used a truck to drive into and break down the doors to the Gurdwara. Upon entering, the yobs ran towards the Divan Hall of the Gurdwara. The Singhs had equipped themselves with the weapons that were displayed in front of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. Using these swords only, the Singhs fiercely fought against the racist Hindu mob. The 20 Singhs became surrounded by the mob and captured. From morning till evening the heinous mob continued to plunder the Singhs with metal rods, all attaining martyrdom (Shaheedi).


There was a police station situated opposite the Gurdwara. But the police did not bother to intervene nor report and take up the matter. It took the families up to 13 days to know what had happened and to be allowed access to the Gurdwara. Upon arrival, Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh’s wife went looking for her husband, finding him laying in a pool of blood with his turban unravelled with his strayed hair near by the water tank. No family was permitted to take the bodies of these great Shaheeds.


Following was taken from a news website, reporting a mass-Sikh grave being discovered in Talwara, Jammu:


Jammu (May 26, 2011): A Mass Grave has been discovered in District Reasi, Jammu & Kashmir where 16 Sikhs were mercilessly murdered by crushing their heads on November 1, 1984. The victims were inside Gurudwara Singh Sabha Talwara colony when the attackers came for them on November 1, 1984, dragged them out and murdered them by crushing their heads with stones and rocks.


According to the 26 years old FIR and other official documents excavated by AISSF and SFJ, 16 Sikhs who were attacked and killed on November 1, 1984 in Talwara Colony, Reasi, Jammu & Kashmir were mostly employees working at nearby Salal Dam. On November 1, 1984, a group of attackers came to the Gurudwara Singh Sabha Talwara Colony where the victims had taken shelter. The attackers got hold of the victims and then tortured to death 16 of them by crushing and grinding their heads with rocks and stones.


Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Ramrakshpal Singh