Shaheed Bhai Sham Singh Mattewal

Babbar Khalsa

On the Amritsar-Matewal Rd is the village of Mattewal, which is known as the home of many brave martyrs of the Sikh Freedom Movement. This village has given birth to shaheeds such as Bhai Seetal Singh Mattewal and Bhai Tarsem Singh Mattewal, due to which this village was known all over the world. Also from this village shaheed singhs like Bhai Sham Singh Mattewal and other singhs have contributed their lives to the armed Sikh struggle.

Father, Sardar Bhaan Singh and mother, Bibi Amar Kaur gave birth to Bhai Sham Singh in around the year of 1965, Bhai Sahib has another 5 brothers Bhai Kulwant Singh, Bhai Beant Singh, Bhai Sucha Singh, Bhai Gurnam Singh, Bhai Keval Singh and 2 sisters Bibi Parkash Kaur, Bibi Gurmeet Kaur. At the age of 12 Bhai Sahib took amrit from the Dam Dami Taksal headquarters at Gurudwara Gurdarshan Parkash, Chownk Mehta and then did sewa of Nihangs under the guidance of Jathedar Baba Bishan Singh of Tarna Dal at Baba Bakala.

The attack on Sri Darbar Sahib and the genocide of the Sikh panth made Bhai Sahib leave home and punish the culprits who were responsible, he joined many thousand young Sikhs who felt the same and wanted to contribute with their lives to the Sikh Freedom Movement. On the land of Sri Anandpur Sahib, Bhai Sahib met Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Brar and Bhai Madha Singh Babbar who were active in the armed struggle under the Jathebandi of Babbar Khalsa. Bhai Sahib also joined the Babbar Khalsa and started to walk on the path of freedom.

During doing the sewa in the movement Bhai Sahib did actions with singhs like Bhai Charanjit Singh Jalandhar, Bhai Malkit Singh Ajnala, Bhai Nirvair Singh Daulatpur, Bhai Nishan Singh Kalanoor, Bhai Kulwant Singh Bolewal, Bhai Avtar Singh Tarsika and Bhai Dalbir Singh Bhilowal. Sometime later an informant gave information of these singhs to the Punjab police and they were arrested in Amritsar. Bhai Sahib roughly spent 2 and a half years in jail after which his family managed to release him on bail. The following morning after Bhai Sahib was released the Punjab police raided the family house. Bhai Sahib managed to escape from the raid but the police brutally harassed his family. After this, Bhai Sahib had completely left home.

Bhai Sahib was with fellow Jhujaru Singh near Mehta Chownk, when they leant that CRPF convoy will be passing the Amritsar Road. Bhai Sahib quickly took positions and attacked the CRPF convoy blowing one of the CRPF jeeps to pieces. Then the CRPF and other Indian security forces surrounded the area and a fierce encounter started near the village of Ram Diwali. In this fierce battle the Indian security forces suffered heavy damage and on the other side Bhai Gurmeet Singh Nangal Kaddian, who was amongst the singhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj attained shaheedi. After killing many Indian soldiers, the remaining Jhujaru Singhs escaped, as the true singhs will never attack an enemy that admits defeat. The Indian security forces were so afraid that they even allowed the Singhs to take the body of the shaheed singh with them. This had stopped some police officers that wanted stars on their shoulders by claiming they had killed a Jhujaru Singh. Shaheed Bhai Gurmeet Singh was cremated in the village of Bhoewal by the singhs in high spirits and fellow Jhujaru Singhs let of the bursts from their assault rifles and said their final Fateh as they shouted ‘Khalistan Zindabaad.’ Then as long as the Singhs remained in the area the Indian security forces didn’t dare even look towards this area. During this time Bhai Sahib was with Bhai Tarsem Singh Sidhwan Dhonna Kapurthala, Bhai Avtar Singh Bai, Bhai Bota Singh Nathu Chahal Kapurthala, Bhai Lakha Singh Ram Diwali and Bhai Paramjit Singh Udhoke. Bhai Sahib also had a fierce battle with the Indian security forces in the village of Nibarwind, Bhai Sahib also managed to escape from the encounter unharmed. Bhai Sahib also at times told the local Granthi Singhs who did sewa at Gurughars to follow the maryada and not to fall of the path of doing sewa.

As this group of Jhujaru Singhs continued to progress on the land of Anandpur Sahib, they felt the shortage of weapons. Bhai Sahib then along with fellow singhs attacked a Kola Da Toba police station in Harmachal Pardesh and before escaping safely the singhs looted all the weapons. After returning to Punjab the singhs continued to do sewa on the land of Majha, when they were involved in another battle near the village of Jhamke. Here Bhai Tarsem Singh Neela Baba Sidhwan Dona attained shaheedi. Even under heavy fire, Bhai Sahib completed the Ardas for the fallen soldier and after that managed to escape safely.

There was one time which shows the bravery and fearlessness of Bhai Sahib. Once a local complained and about an ASI officer to Bhai Sahib, who had harassed his family. Bhai Sahib then followed up this complaint by confronting the ASI officer himself. But Bhai Sahib realised that the ASI was innocent and then told off the person who had made a false complaint. Bhai Sahib said, “I have to answer each act of mine and I will be punished extremely if I was to hurt an innocent person. For this reason, no one should make false complaints to us or they will be dealt with harshly.”

Like this continuing to punish the anti-Sikh elements, on 15th September 1992 Bhai Sahib was resting at a hideout in his village of Mattewal having langar. At that time Bhai Sahib was with Bhai Lakha Singh Ram Diwali, Bhai Bota Singh Nathu Chahal and Bhai Swaran Singh Dhadiala alias Japani Singh. Bhai Bota Singh was ill during this time. Due to an informant, CRPF in their thousands surrounded this hideout of the Singhs. The singhs soon realised that they had been surrounded. They singhs could not find an easy way out instead these singhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj asked Guru Ji’s permission to attain shaheedi together. The thousands of CRPF soldiers were greeted with bullets from the assault rifles of the Jhujaru Singhs.

From inside the hideout handful of Singhs faught with all their heart and from the outside thousands of Indian paid soldiers fired bullets towards the singhs blindly. When the Singhs realised that the ammunition was running low, they decided not to come into the hands of the enemy alive and came out of their hideouts firing bullets towards the enemy. After giving many Indian soldiers the ticket to hell they Jhujaru Singhs attained shaheedi one by one.

At the Sri Akhand Paath Sahib in memory of Bhai Sahib, thousands of people from all faiths attended and paid their tributes to the fallen soldiers of Khalistan. Panthic leaders such as Baba Thakur Singh Ji Bhindranwala, Jathedar Baba Bishan Singh Ji Tarna Dal, Baba Sewa Singh Ji Ber Sahib Wale and Baba Kirtan Singh Ji Shaheedi Bagh Anandpur Sahib Wale were amongst the sangat too.

Khalsa Fatehnama – 2014