Shaheed Bhai Resham Singh Thande
Shaheed Bhai Resham Singh Thande
Deputy Chief Khalistan Liberation Force
Shaheed Bhai Resham Singh Thande, a true Sikh warrior was born in the house of Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry and from the womb of Mata Jeet Kaur in 1958, in the village of Thande, district Amritsar. Bhai Sahib had 1 brother, Bhai Nishan Singh and 3 sisters, who were married and lived in their own homes, Bibi Jasmail Kaur. Bibi Jasbir Kaur, Bibi Lakhwinder Kaur. Bhai Sahib studied at the local government school up till 10th class and then Bhai Sahib got married to Bibi Kashmir Kaur. Bhai Sahib had 1 son, Bhai Amolakdeep Singh. Bhai Sahib’s father was a fair and honest man; the village gave Sardar Balkar Singh the respect and status of a Chaudry. Sardar Balkar Singh used to settle most of the arguments the villagers had. This tradition has been carried out the village of Thande from the days of Pakistani Punjab. The whole family was always cheerful and helping to the villagers.
In 1982, Bhai Sahib went to Kuwait to work as a truck driver for 2 years. Bhai Sahib came back to his village, Thande and took over the responsibilities of Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry, for example farming and the finance of the house. Bhai Sahib was really hurt upon hearing the attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib by the Indian government with tanks and cannons and the mass murder of innocent Sikhs all over India. Bhai Sahib was always caring and would not let an ant come under his feet, but the attacks by Sri Harimandir Sahib, Sri Akaal Takht, 37 other gurudwaras and the killing of innocent Sikhs all over India will change Bhai Sahib.
Indian government had many ways of blackmailing and justifying the killing of Sikh families. For example the police had informer in all most every village to keep an eye on not just the Khadkus but also the wealthy families. When the police was informed of a wealthy family, they would try to frame the youth of that family into many cases, in return the police would ask for large sums of money to leave them alone, in some cases the police did not stop harassing families even after they received the money they asked for.
Similar thing happened to Bhai Sahib’s happy family. One of the locals of village Thande told the police that the Chaudry’s son is young and the family is wealthy and if the police could put fake cases of terrorism on Bhai Sahib then the family would pay any amount of money that the police ask for. The police started harassing Bhai Sahib’s family, the made a case on the family of giving a place to stay to the Khadku Singhs such as Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal and Bhai Karaj Singh Thande. The police even said that Bhai Sahib was doing actions with Bhai Karaj Singh Thande, but Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry and Bhai Sahib clearly said that the whole family has got nothing to do with the Khadku Singhs. The police did not listen and started arresting Bhai Sahib and his brother on regular basis and later released them on bail which the family had to pay for. The please arrested Bhai Sahib once again and this time they tortured him to information on Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal and Bhai Karaj Singh Thande but Bhai Sahib did not have no idea on what to say as Bhai Sahib never came across Khadku Singhs. The police was doing all this injustice to the innocent family of Bhai Sahib for money, when the police did not get any money from the family, they labelled Bhai Sahib as a terrorist and a Khadku who took part in missions with Bhai Karaj Singh Thande. Bhai Sahib was sentenced to 2 years in Amritsar Jail.
September 1989, Bhai Sahib was released from Amritsar jail. Bhai Sahib went home and tried to carry on with his life in farming in his village of Thande. 2-4 days would pass and the police will come to harass Bhai Sahib and his family. October 1989 the whole family of Bhai Sahib and the local villagers went to do Darshan of Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib in Nanded but Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry stayed behind. While Bhai Sahib was in Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib, the police came to his house in Thande and arrested Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry. The police tortured Bhai Sahib’s father so brutally that Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry could not walk. 25th October 1989, a police inspector made a plan of killing Bhai Sahib in a fake encounter but when the police went to Thande to get Bhai Sahib, they did not arrest Bhai Sahib as he was not at home. After this incident Bhai Sahib realised that the Indian government will not let him live in peace and from that day on Bhai Sahib never returned home. There was nothing Bhai Sahib could do but pick up arms and defend his innocence. Bhai Sahib met the Jathedar of Khalistan Liberation Force, Bhai Pipal Singh Dholewal and Bhai Sahib explained what the police had been doing to his family, then Bhai Pipal Singh Dholewal recruited Bhai Sahib in Khalistan Liberation Force.
Bhai Sahib took part into many actions of Khalistan Liberation Force and in a short time Bhai Sahib earned respect for the sewa he had done with the Khadku Singhs. Bhai Sahib attacked many CRP headquarters, blew up Basarke Gillan TV Tower the a rocket launcher because these channels were talking against the freedom fighters and Bhai Sahib also had a big hand in the killing of Balwant Singh Githhmuthia, friend of panthic traitor Longowal.
Son of the devil, Gobind Ram, who had forgotten god and death, raped Sikh women, tortured Sikh youth to death and always said, “you Sikhs will forget your Guru Gobind Singh Ji and always remember Gobind Ram.” Bhai Jugraj Singh Toofan punished this evil man in the headquarters of the government with help of singhs of Khalistan Liberation Force.
5 freedom fighter groups got together and recongnised the loyalty of Bhai Sahib and gave him the rank of Deputy General of Khalistan Liberation Force. Bhai Sahib loved reciting and listening to bani, Bhai Sahib also did a lot of simran. Bhai Sahib also loved testing his strength, if ever 5 singhs got together they would be ready to take on 1000s Indian security personal. Bhai Sahib use to say, that the mobs and police of Delhi attacked unarmed Sikhs, from children to elderly women, they raped helpless Sikh girls, but if they had attacked Khadku Singhs the outcome would have been totally different. Arresting the Sikh youth, torturing them and then killing them in fake encounters was the work of the cowardly government. Whenever a real encounter happens, there would be 5 singhs against 10,000s Indian security personal, that’s when the Indian public as well as the media see the true strength of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s singhs. The actions Bhai Sahib shook the Indian government, the police harassed the family of Bhai Sahib regularly that the family had to move out of home and start living undercover. The police wanted to kill Bhai Sahibs family, but they were planning on how to justify the killings.
After the Indian government got 1000s of their security personnel searching India for Bhai Sahib and his family, on 4th December 1992 the police arrested the brother of Bhai Sahib, Bhai Nishan Singh along with wife of Bhai Sahib, Bibi Kashmir Kaur and her sister Bibi Varinder Kaur from the village of Gumtala, and later arrested Bhai Sahib along with his mother, Mata Jeet Kaur from a house in Delhi. After brutal torture of whole family, SSP Gurdev Singh Sahota and SHO Joga took Bhai Sahib and 4 other Sikh youths to the farms of village Mann, district Mansa and killed the singhs in a fake encounter.
The following day on 5th December 1992, the police gave this statement to the media:
The police was informed that there are 4 Khadku Singhs driving a ford tractor in the area of Mansa. The police tracked the tractor and surrounded the singhs, soon as the Khadku Singhs saw the police they fired bullets at the police from AK56. The police also returned fire and after 2 hours of intense encounter, the police searched the village of Mansa and found 3 dead bodies, later identified as Deputy General of Khalistan Liberation Force Bhai Resham Singh Thande, Bhai Tejinder Singh Babbar and Bhai Surinder Singh Shinda alias Bhai Swarnjit Singh of Bindranwale Tigers Force. At the scene of this encounter 3 AK56 assault rifles were found along with 6 mags, the police also said after successfully killing Bhai Resham Singh Thande and Bhai Navroop Singh Dhotia, the Sikh Freedom Movement is at an end. The Khalistan Commando Force has only 2 more generals, Bhai Pargat Singh Fauji and Bhai Kuldeep Singh Kipa. The police will totally finish the Sikh Freedom Movement within the next 3 months.
According to KPS Gill’s statement on 5th December 1992, Bhai Resham Singh Thande was involved in more than 700 killings and had a reward of 10 Lakh Rupees on his head. Bhai Sahib was also involved in Batala bomb explosions, attack on a home of a leader of Shiv Sena in Amritsar, where 4 Shiv Sena workers were killed including an ASI, attack on Central Jail of Amritsar, blowing up TV Towers, blowing up the newly built Police Station in Sagna and taking all the weapons and ammunition. Bhai Sahib also looted 13 assault rifles from the Mandvi Police Station and kidnapped the brother of DSP Mahinder Singh. KPS Gill also said that Bhai Sahib was very dangerous and regularly attacked the police whenever he saw police jeeps. SSP Gurdev Singh Sahota and SHO Joga were present with KPS Gill.
After killing Bhai Sahib in a fake encounter, the police also killed his brother Bhai Nishan Singh in a fake encounter in Boparai and the wife of Bhai Sahib, Bibi Kashmir Kaur, along with her sister, Bibi Varinder Kaur were killed in the CRP Headquarters in Amritsar. Bhai Sahib’s mother, Mata Jeet Kaur was also killed by the police. Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry and the son of Bhai Sahib, Bhai Amolakdeep Singh survived as they stayed away from home and undercover. Now they live in the house of Bibi Jasbir Kaur and her husband.
When we spoke to Bibi Jasbir Kaur, Sardar Balkar Singh Chaudry told his daughter to tell us everything what the cruel government of India has done to our once happy and innocent family, the must know the truth of how a Hindu controlled government treat Sikhs of India. A sarpanch of village nearby Thande made false documents and claimed the farms of Bhai Sahib’s family and when the family questioned him, the sarpanch said that Bhai Sahib and Bhai Nishan Singh took money from him and never returned it. After attending the court many times, Bibi Jasbir Kaur managed to get the farms of the family back. Now only one member of the family will carry forward the legacy of Bhai Resham Singh Thande and that was his son, Bhai Amolakdeep Singh. Bibi Jasbir Kaur said that the remaining family is only alive because of Bhai Amolakdeep Singh. When Bibi Jasbir Singh told us this, we saw the tears of pain in her eyes, we had opened the wounds of the family by asking about her great panthic brother.
After meeting this family, we realised how bad some families suffered, only because of their faith. May Waheguru keep these panthic martyrs alive if not in the physical form then at least keep these shaheeds alive in our hearts.
Interview printed in Chardi Kala – Vancouver 13th December 1990
“OUR STRUGGLE IS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, NOT AGAINST ANY COMMUNITY: SAYS FREEDOM FIGHTER”
English translation of an interview with Resham Singh Thande, a Sikh
Nationalist, that appeared in the December 13, 1990, issue of the Punjabi
weekly Chardi Kala, Vancouver, Canada.
Khalistan Liberation Force’s Lietenant General Resham Singh Thande is a
dangerous rebel and extremist according to the Indian Government. But for the Sikhs he is a valiant hero who, with ‘his head on his hand’, is making war with the government forces on the behalf of Sikh ‘Panth’ (Nation) and Khalistan.
Bhai Resham Singh Thande’s group consists of about 250 youngmen. Some of these boys are just 13-14 years of age. On their faces there is no fear of
death; instead they always appear cheerful. They recieve a lot of respect in
the area. Even the elders of the villages address them as ‘Babaji’ (respected elder). One can easily judge from the shine in their eyes and the light on their faces that they will rise as a powerful force in the future. While some Punjabi press reporters often meet with the leaders of the freedom fighters, visiting a fighter in his haven remains a difficult, albiet adventurous task. We were searching for days for an intermediary who would take us to their hideout. Finally we found an intermediary and after developing the required trust, the time and place for the start of our
travel was determined. We were told to come on a new scooter with a full
tank of gas.
On October 29, at 12:30 PM we showed up an irrigation canal bridge about 27 miles from Amritsar. A Sikh youngman was already waiting for us there with a scooter. Then started a long journey on the two scooters. Traveling on paved roads, unpaved roads, and walking paths through the fields, we finally got to a farmhouse by about 4 PM. Here we were blindfolded and another journey began. This one only lasted about a half hour and we reached a larger farmhouse where Resham Singh Thande and Dr. Inderjit Singh, along with about 20-25 others, welcomed us. The fighters live in one section of the farmhouse while the owner of the farm and his family live in the other section. The owner and his family, which includes women, children and elders, remain busy with their farm.
All the fighters were sitting in a hall-size room where we were brought and warmly welcomed. In another small room two of their companions were reciting the holy Guru Granth Sahib. We spent a total of over three hours with them. During this time were offered fruits, sweets, and tea. Throughout this time two fighters remained on guard duty outside the farmhouse.
During our three hours there, we had an open discussion with them –
punctuated sometimes with jovial exchanges. We also had a scary experience also when extreme fear gripped us. What happened was that one of the guards abruptly entered the room and informed Bhai Resham Singh Thande that a white color Gypsey car was approaching the farmhouse. Seeing the fear on our faces, Bhai Resham Singh said, “Don’t worry. We are well prepared for any problem. You are our guests and we will make sure that no harm comes to you.” When the car arrived and the occupants turned out to be members of the Thande group who came out of the car with the familiar Sikh greeting “Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh” (The Khalsa belongs to the Almighty, and so does our victory), only then we felt relieved again. Now here is the interview with Bhai Resham Singh Thande:
Q: When did you enter this struggle?
A: About one year ago.
Q: Where were you at the time of Operation Bluestar (Indian army attack on the Golden Temple?
A: In Kuwait.
Q: What were you doing there?
A: I made a living as a driver.
Q: When did you come back from there?
A: About a month after the attack on Golden Temple.
Q: Why did you come back?
A: I was needed in the house.
Q: Anything special?
A: No. I just came back to help my parents at the farm, because the work was becoming unmanageable for them.
Q: How did you enter the Sikh struggle?
A: The attack on the Golden Temple, especially the destruction of Akal Takhat tore apart my heart. Then, the massacre of Sikhs all over the country after Indira’s assassination really tormented me.
Q: So in response you picked up the gun?
A: No, it didn’t happen right away. I kept working on our farm until the Police made my life unbearable.
Q: What did the Police do?
A: Ask what they didn’t do. In 1988 they arrested me for no reason. I was tortured to the extent that is both undescribable and unbearable. Then they threw me in the prison in a half-dead condition.
Q: What did the Police want from you?
A: They were interrogating me for the whereabouts of Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal and (Late) Bhai Karaj Singh Thande.
Q: Did you know about them?
A: No. My crime was that once they had eaten at our home.
Q: Didn’t you tell the Police this?
Q: But still they wouldn’t let you go?
A: Forget about letting go; instead they classified me as a terrorist and threw me in the prison. I rotted in that jail for almost two years.
Q: How were you finally released?
A: By a mistake they let my case go to the court. The court acquitted me with full honour.
Q: Then you joined the militants’ ranks upon your release?
A: No. After coming out of the prison I tried to start my life over again. But the Police wouldn’t let me settle down again. Every third day they would raid our house. They started humiliating my parents and my brothers and sisters. In October 1989 I went to Hazur Sahib (Patna, Bihar state of India) Gurdawara on pilgramage when the Police once againe raided our house. This time they took away my elderly father and tortured him. On the night of October 25, 1989, the police attacked our house with the intention of killing me because they all came in plain clothes. But I was not home so I escaped once again. So instead of dying a worthless death I picked up the gun – and here I am.
Q: How did you enter this militant organization?
A: I met General Pippal Singh of Khalistan Liberation Force. He listened to my story and then accepted me in the Force.
Q: Now you are a member of his group?
A: No. I have my own group but I do accept his command.
Q: Who heads your organization (KLF)?
A: Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala.
Q: How many fighters in your group?
A: About 250. Many more youngmen want to join but we don’t have enough weapons for them.
Q: How many weapons do you have at the time?
A: (Smiles) Enough to fill the need.
Q: What type of weapons do you have?
A: (Showing the rifle in his hand with a telescopic sight) This is a Dagger rifle with a range of 2,500 meters. In addition we have assault rifles, L.M.G. Drum machineguns, rocket launchers, S.L.R.s and many other types.
Q: Do you pay the expenses incurred by your members?
A: Only the expenses incurred for the actual actions.
Q: Where do you get the money to pay the expenses?
A: People from foreign countries and the local people give us enough money.
Q: Who gives you the orders?
A: We take care of small matters ourselves. Major movements are ordered by our leaders.
Q: And the weapons?
A: The weapons are supplied by the Panthak Committee (Dr. Sohan Singh) so that we can engage in battle with the Indian Army. Besides we don’t find it challenging anymore to fight with the Police or C.R.P.F. (Central Reserve Police Force). Those poor guys don’t even bother us much. Their vehicles turn back when they see just two of our men. We have started challenging the Army because we expect them to be deployed fulltime and we have the strength to fight with them.
Q: Can you really fight with the Army?
A: Our strength is underestimated. The biggest factor is that the public is with us. They help us in every possible way.
Q: But it is said that the people of countryside are tired of you.
A: (Pointing to the elderly owner of the farmhouse) Ask him. We are sitting at his farm right now. Ask him if he is bothered in any way. He knows that if the Police attacked this place, the fighters will get away but he and his family will be killed by the Police. Still he has given us sanctuary.
Q: It is also said that the militants attack women’s honour.
A: That is the work of the looting gangs and Police Cats (reference to the police sponsored death squads, many units of which were called Black Cats by the Indian authorities). Such criminals are regularly eliminated by us. No member of our groups can do such a thing because they know the punishment for such crimes is death.
Q: What type of actions has your group carried out?
A: Attack on the Amritsar Jail; attack on the TV tower in village Basarke; elimination of the Police post at village Sadhna. Also, the killings of S.S.P. Govind Ram and Akali leader Balwant Singh were joint actions in which we participated. You know that the five major nationalist organizations are united. So most major undertakings are achieved jointly.
Q: Do you have an animosity towards the Hindus?
A: No, not at all. Our fight is with the Indian government. There is no Hindu-Sikh question. We take action against those people that are either police informants or are working against our movement. The exodus of the Hindus from these areas is due to Indian government agencies. Most ‘wrong’ things are done by Police Cats and then we are blamed. At this point Bhai Resham Singh Thande appealed to the Hindus to not leave the area. And if they have left, to come back; we will provide them full security.
Q: What if the Police should show up her now? What will you do?
A: Don’t worry we will know before they ever get here. (He commented on the possibility of his people being in the ranks of Police by simply saying that not all things can be talked about).
Q: What is you age and your education?
A: I am high school graduate and about 33 years old. (He also said that he is married and has a son. He sees his family about once every 4-6 months).
Q: Doesn’t your family ask you to come back home?
A: No. Never. Because they know that we are not doing anything for our selfish self, but for the good of the Panth (Sikh Nation). And because of the wounds we have received from the Indian government we have become resolute that we rather die than to accept defeat.
Q: Is Rajiv Gandhi still on your hitlist?
A: Not only Rajiv Gandhi but also Buta Singh, Bhajan Lal, Zail Singh, Advani. They are all on our hitlist. You can make a note of it that we will not let these people live. Sant Bhindranwale’s list is still alive in our hearts.
Q: What do you think of V.P.Singh?
A: He is a good man. He was sincere about solving the Punjab issue but the B.J.P and the Communists did not allow him.
Q: What is your opinion of the Ram Janam Bhoomi-Babari Masjid (reference to the current tension in Central India over Hindu claim to the site of a Moslem shrine) issue?
A: We hear about it from radio, TV and newspapers. V.P Singh’s stand on this issue is commendable.
Q: What is your objective?
A: Only Khalistan.
Q: Is violence necessary to achieve this goal? Couldn’t it be resolved through dialog?
A: All militant organizations are willing to come to the table for discussions. But the condition is that the government should accept the agenda of Khalistan.
Q: What is your opinion of Simranjit Singh Mann?
A: We respect Sardar Mann from our hearts. He can become the uncontested leader of the Sikh Nationalists.
Q: What would be your possible strategy in the near future?
A: You can just write that it will be very dangerous.
Khadku Yodhe – Maninder Singh Baja