Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda
Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda
Khalistan Commando Force/ Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan
‘Of High standards are those Kaumi Shaheeds
Deep Red is the colour of these martyrs, o people.
The remaining chains of oppression are yet to be broken
So continues the fight for freedom, o people.’
Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, during his speeches would say ‘O today’s youth, the work of a Sikh is to live, to breathe Pride, to have compassion for those less fortunate, serve justice to the oppressor, to obtain what is ours by right but not to loot the rights of others.’ The passionate followers of Sant Ji gave precedent to these words and supported the movement. Since the Indian government attacked Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Akaal Takht Sahib as well as 40 other Gurdwaras and killed thousands to obsolete the Sikhs, so came the retaliation with the rise of arms by these true devotees of the Sikh Gurus, to take to the battlefield hugging the martyrdom and serve a justice, which was wholly denied under human rights. From those who gave their life for this cause, was one such Hero, Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda, who forsake his life comforts and living, to partake in guerrilla warfare and was also known to revenge the killings of his fellow martyrs. Even today, his name is mentioned with great awe in local villages. Speaking of his bravery. This autobiography of Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda, is a humble effort to share his life story, his home life, contributions to the cause and the road to his martyrdom. So, let us read and walk his journey together and be inspired.
Birth and Parental Background
Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda was born in the year 1965, to Father Sardar Pargat Singh and Mother Mata Prakash Kaur, village Isharwal, near Adampur, district Jalandhar. Bhai Sahib had an elder brother, Bhai Avtar Singh and an older sister Bibi Manjeet Kaur. Bhai Sahib studied till the 8th Grade at his local village school. The family livelihood was through local agriculture.
Bhai Satvir Singh’s father encountered a feud over his land, with a fellow villager. The local police SSO, Hoshiar Singh started harassing the family on behalf of the opposition. Continuous threats were made with demands of ransom, to either pay or a fake case would be issued to throw them into jail. The family were steadfast in backing their case that the land was rightfully theirs and would fight the case for justice. The corrupt police force fabricated charges on the family, under the TT Act and arrested then imprisoned Bhai Satvir Singh, Brother Bhai Avtar Singh and Father Sardar Pargat Singh at the Jalandhar Jail.
Introduced to the Freedom Fighters
During his time in the Jalandhar Jail, Bhai Satvir Singh met Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma from the Khalistan Commando Force (village Kohja Sham Chaurasi). Fellow respected Jhujaru Singhs were also introduced within the Jail boundaries – Baba Sagar Singh, Bhai Swaranjit Singh and many others. Together, they had many discourses on spearheading the Sikh freedom movement. Having spent 5 months in jail, Bhai Sahib was finally released, shortly followed by the release of Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma and both remained in regular contact.
Contribution to the cause of Khalistan
Under the coaching of Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma, Bhai Satvir Singh fully participated in the military cause for the freedom of Khalistan. During this time, Bhai Satvir Singh met the commander of Khalistan Commando Force for the Doaba region, Bhai Gurdev Singh Debu. Together, both Jhujaru brothers participated in many acts of freedom struggles, freedom fights and served justice to the enemies of the Sikh nation. General Labh Singh Panjwar, Bhai Gurdev Singh Debu, Bhai Daljit Singh Bhikhi, Bhai Lehmbar Singh, Baba Rattan Singh, Bhai Makhan Singh, Bhai Ekbal Singh Bagha and many other freedom fighters use to come and meet Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda as his house had become a regular place of refuge.
Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma’s Shaheedi
On 11th June 1987, Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma and Bhai Lehmbar Singh were enroute to village Rahpur (near Adampur) when suddenly, by definite acts of a whistle-blower, they were surrounded by Punjab police. Both Jhujaru Singhs fought with bravery against the Indian security forces. Bhai Lehmbar Singh managed to escape, however, Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma was not so fortunate and got caught in the hands of the police, who did not spare him. The Police had no mercy and tortured his body to no end. Nearing his last breaths, he was shot dead and made a martyr of Khalistan. Bhai Satvir Singh was not one to let this go easily. He along with his Jhujaru brothers such as Bhai Jasvir Singh Lalli, Baba Rattan Singh, Bhai Balihaar Singh Shindra, Bhai Makhan Singh and others further spearheaded the cause and also wiped out the traitors and whistle-blowers.
Bhai Gurdev Singh Debu’s Shaheedi
On 1st July 1987, SSP Swaran Ghotna, kidnapped Bhai Gurdev Singh Debu, by hiring a ‘police cat’ who poisoned his glass of milk with a sedative. The evil police tortured Bhai Gurdev Singh Debu, so much so, it would make the hairs on your body stand on end, hearing about it. Can you imagine how one winces with a splash of hot boiling water touches your skin? The police went beyond any level of inhumane treatment, if there were any such levels and put him into hot water and boiled him alive.
If one looks back at history, the Mughal rule did the same to the Fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji Maharaj in 1606, in Lahore and to Bhai Dyala Ji, the devoted Sikh of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji in 1675, in Delhi’s Chandni Chownk. Hindustan’s Hindutva law surpassed even the Mughal and British rule in inflicting the most brutal of tortures. The Indian military and police force showed their audacity by claiming the lives of thousands of innocent Sikhs accused of being terrorists.
During the entire time, Bhai Gurdev Singh Debu was being tortured, he continuously uttered the name of God – “Waheguru Waheguru.” Not once did he make any comment in his defence, nor reveal any information relating to the cause. On the 3rd of July 1987, the police covered up their heinous deed by relocating his body elsewhere and disguised it under the pretence of an encounter.
Upon hearing this news, Bhai Satvir Singh was even more riled up and pledged to continue serving justice accordingly.
Bhindranwala Tiger Force Inauguration
During his time within the armed movement, Bhai Satvir Singh crossed paths with another well-known contributor to the Bhindranwala Tiger Force Khalistan, Bhai Mahinderpal Singh Pally and Bhai Charanjit Singh Jeeta. From that day on, Bhai Satvir Singh worked alongside these Singhs within the Hoshiarpur area.
The elimination of the enemy in Pind Barian Kalan
On 17th October 1987, at village Bibi Di Pandori, district Hoshiarpur, an encounter occurred between the Jhujaru Singhs and Indian soldiers of CRPF. Bhai Jasvir Singh Lalli of Dusht Sodh Commando Force and Bhai Bhupinder Singh Bhinda attained martyrdom. When the right-wing govt supporters heard of Bhai Lalli’s martyrdom, they spitefully celebrated and distributed Indian Sweets (Ladoos) in Bhai Lalli’s home town, village Barian Kalan. In order to teach these malicious individuals a lesson, Jhujaru Singhs of Bhindranwala Tiger Force of Khalistan, Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma Bhirowal, Bhai Mahinderpal Singh Pally, Bhai Charanjit Singh Jeeta and Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda eliminated 10 of the offenders.
The Shaheedi of Bhai Satvir Singh and his Jhujaru brothers
As the Singhs continued to contribute to the movement, on the 2nd November 1987, Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda and his 3 fellow Singhs (Bhai Mahinderpal Singh Pally, Bhai Charanjit Singh Jeeta and Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma Bhirowal), geared with ammunition, arrived at a known water well in the village of Badla, district Hoshiarpur. The farm-workers here were requested to go tell the owner that Jhujaru Singhs had made a pit-stop and requested a meal for passing.
The local farmer, who the Jhujaru Singhs thought could be trusted, turned out to be a traitor. His name was Didar Singh and was associated the Akali Dal political party. He mixed sleeping tablets into hot milk and sent it with the farm workers. In the that time, the traitor had already informed the CRPF of these Jhujaru Singhs whereabouts. All four of the Jhujaru brothers drank the hot milk and fell into an induced deep sleep. In this state, the Punjab police assisted by CRPF came and took them.
At the Police station, the Jhujaru Singhs were inflicted with the most grievous torture. The police used hot iron presses on their bodies, tied them to trees within the police station and beat them with wooden batons, stabbed them with metal needles into their chest and stomach, electrocuted and a large wooden log was rolled on their arms and legs resulting in multiple bone fractures. Their post-mortem reports confirm the state and extent of injuries to the bodies.
Following this severe torture, SSP Suresh Arora, ASP of Garshankar and Avtar Singh SHO of Mahalpur Police Station, went to Babe De Bagh in Barian Kalan. At amidst this garden, the battered bodies of Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda and Mahinderpal Singh Pally were tied to the mango trees and were made martyrs at 3.45 Amritvela on 3rd November 1987, calling it a fake encounter. Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma Bhirowal and Charanjit Singh Jeeta were taken by the police to the area of Garshankar, village Nainowal, and were made martyrs by being riddled with bullets to the chest.
Upon hearing of the martyrdom of Bhai Satvir Singh, his family arrived at the local police station and found out that his body had already undergone a post-mortem and was being transferred to the crematorium for cremation, without the family’s knowledge and permission. The family along with a group of supporters quickly made their way to the crematorium and managed to stop the police crusade and retrieve the body. Bhai Satvir Singh’s body was taken back to Isharwal and his last rights were performed according to the Sikh of Code of Conduct, with dignity.
As the word spread, Sikh Sangat heard the news and arrived at the funeral in large numbers. Slogans of ‘Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal, Khalistan Zindabad, Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwala Zindabad, Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda Zindabad’, could be heard far and wide. The Jhujaru Singhs of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan arranged a Shaheedi Smagam and performed the Sehaj Paath Bhog at a secret location. A Sri Akhand Paath Sahib was also held at Isharwal village. The Jathedar of Damdami Taksal, Sant Baba Thakur Singh Ji Bhindranwala and the All India Sikh Students Federation paid tribute to Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda by honouring his family, at a conference arranged by the Sikh Panthic organisations.
The Shaheedi of Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda’s father
Following the martyrdom of Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda, his entire family continued his legacy and remained strong participants of the freedom movement and supported the cause in any manner as possible. One night, the Jhujaru Singhs were amidst a guerrilla warfare and took refuge for food and rest at the house of Shaheed Satvir Singh Shinda. The Police somehow caught wind of this news.
On the night of 13th August 1993, the police made a forced entry into the house of Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh and made their way to the roof of the house, where they sadly pushed his elderly father Jathedar Pargat Singh off the roof top, after which he was taken by the police in an injured state. At the time the age of Jathedar Pargat Singh was 72 years. To this day, no one knows where Jathedar Pargat Singh was taken and what was done to him.
The family spent up to a year making the rounds to the police station, jails and CIA Staff Interrogation Centres searching for Jathedar Pargat Singh. Eventually, a low rank police officer provided family information that Jathedar Pargat Singh was humiliated and killed in a fake encounter by the river near village Beas, district Jalandhar.
Harassment and torture of Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda’s brother
Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda’s brother, Bhai Avtar Singh was continually harassed by the Punjab police. They would visit the family house daily and carry out needless raids. The police would pick Bhai Avtar Singh up and take him to the police station, where he would endure such torture. The police would hang him upside down and beat him senseless. These drunken dogs would beat him until he would become unconscious, in the bid to get him to own up to knowledge pertaining to the arms/weapons used by the Jhujaru Singhs. Bhai Avtar Singh was neither involved, nor knew anything about such things and was innocent. Between 1987-1997, Bhai Avtar Singh was continually hounded, harassed and tortured. To this day, the police still make rounds to the house.
Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Satvir Singh Shinda