Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh alias Shotta Sheena
Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh alias Shotta Sheena
Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan
Bhai Sukhdev Singh was born on Sunday, 4th November 1964 in the house of Sardar Joginder Singh and from the womb of Mata Dalbir Kaur in village Dularpur, near Chandarpur (Maharashtra). Sardar Joginder Singh had moved to Maharashtra in search of work and started working as a mechanical engineer at a local paper mill. In 1975, Sardar Joginder Singh moved back to his maternal village of Harsha Sheena, district Hoshiarpur. Bhai Sahib was the youngest of three brothers and one sister, Bhai Balwinder Singh, Bhai Gurdev Singh, Bibi Kulbir Kaur and Bhai Sahib himself. Bhai Sahib went on to complete 5 years of study at a government school in the village of Sheena. Once Bhai Sahib were old enough, he started working at a paper mill in Hoshiarpur in year 1985, where he worked as a welder. Bhai Sahib was 6 feet tall and well built.
In the year 1984, Bhai Sahib had taken Amrit from the Panj Pyare and became a practicing Sikh. Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena was the son of Bhai Sahib’s Chacha, Sardar Dalip Singh. Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena had by now become a feared Jhujaru Singh of the Khalistan movement. As a result of this, Bhai Sahib’s whole family was continuously harassed and insulted by the Punjab police. Since childhood Bhai Sahib would stay with Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and had great amount of love for one another.
One day Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena’s mother, Mata Bachan Kaur and Bhai Sahib’s mother, Mata Dalbir Kaur were arrested by the Punjab police. Both mothers were harassed by police officers and this deeply disturbed Bhai Sahib. By 1988, Bhai Sahib had enough of the Punjab police harassment and made up his mind to join the Khalistan movement. Before leaving home, the last thing Bhai Sahib said to his family was, “If the police wanted to arrest my brother (Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena), then arrest him, why did they arrest our mothers and humiliate them at police station. The lion (referring to Bhai Sheena) is walking the streets fearlessly. The police can’t arrest him because they are scared of him, instead they arrest our elderly parents. I will not tolerate this.” Bhai Sahib said his final farewell to his family and joined Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan under the command of Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and became known as ‘Shotta Sheena’ within the Jhujaru brotherhood. Seeing the bravery, dedication and courage of Bhai Sahib, Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena made him the Area Commander for the village of Sheena and its surrounding areas. Bhai Sahib stayed in high spirits while carrying out his Jhujaru actions and was dearly loved by the locals. Bhai Sahib had become the right arm of Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena.
Bhai Sahib was very hot headed, and would always accept any challenge of the enemy. Bhai Sahib would encourage locals to follow the Sikh traditions and many people who came in contact with Bhai Sahib would start tying turbans and would soon be baptised. Bhai Sahib wanted everyone to support the Sikh struggle as he knew that a people’s movement requires of support of the masses. Meanwhile, local goons on the pay roll of Punjab police started to dress up as Jhujaru Singhs and loot local families, houses and businesses. Seeing this as an attack on the Sikh struggle, Bhai Sahib sent a message to local villages that if any so called Jhujaru Singh who mistreated any member of the public, may it be due to differences with religion, caste, gender or social class, Bhai Sahib should be informed and he will deal with such police touts. Bhai Sahib would not tolerate a bad stain on the name of the Jhujaru Singhs. Seeing Bhai Sahib gain the support of the locals, the Punjab police also started plotting to capture him and kill him in a fake encounter.
On 15th August 1990, Bhai Sahib and his Jhujaru brothers were challenged to a battle by the Indian security forces in Dana Mandi. Bhai Sahib led the charge here and fought this battle bravely and dropped many bodies of the enemy.
On 1st November 1990, Bhai Sukhdev Singh alias Shotta Sheena had been resting in a house on the outskirts of village Gorenangal, near Ajnala. Bhai Sahib was sat with his 5 trusted Jhujaru companions, Bhai Kuldeep Singh Bhakna, Bhai Seva Singh (village Cheema Bath, Bhikhiwind), Bhai Narinder Singh (village Bath near Chamyari, Ajnala), Bhai Ajit Singh (village Chahrpur, Ajnala) and one other Singh. These Jhujaru Singhs were at this house discussing their future Jhujaru actions and also waiting for other Jhujaru Singhs to accompany them.
Soon the local police force had found out about the whereabouts of these Jhujaru Singhs. Acting upon this finding, the police force, CRPF and BSF heavily surrounded the house at 5am on the morning of 2nd November 1990. As soon as the Jhujaru Singh’s found out about the Indian security forces surrounding them, they grabbed their assault rifles and started the encounter with the Indian security forces. This fierce battle went on for 14 hours and ended at 7pm in the evening of 2nd November 1990. It was during this battle, Bhai Sukhdev Singh alias Shotta Sheena and his 5 fellow Singhs obtained martyrdom. During this encounter the police and army suffered a huge loss and became known as one of the biggest encounters in Punjab.
Information given by the family of Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh alias Shotta Sheena