Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh Balangan
Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh Balangan
Khalistan Liberation Army
After the partition, Sardar Mangal Singh and his wife Mata Amar Kaur moved to Karnal and then to the village of Balangan in the Gurdaspur area where they settles with their5 children, Bibi Surjit Kaur, Shaheed Bhai Ranjit Singh Tat Khalsa, Bibi Gurmej Kaur, Bhai Sukhdev Singh and Bhai Jasbir Singh. In December 1985 Bhai Ranjit Singh Tat Khalsa attained martyrdom, the people responsible for his martyrdom started boasting about how they took down a lion of the Sikh nation. Bhai Sukhdev Singh Balangan left all the luxuries of home to punish the people responsible for the killing of his elder brother.
First of all Bhai Sahib met the Jhujaru Singhs of Akaal Federation, through this he came in contact with the Jhujaru Singhs of Babbar Khalsa such as Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar, Bhai Madha Singh Babbar and Bhai Mahinder Singh Piond. When Bhai Sahib told the full story of how Baba Santa Singh had his elder brother made shaheed, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar assured Bhai Sahib that he will help him his mission. Bhai Sahib established good links with Jhujaru Singhs from all freedom fighting groups. After speaking to the main Jhujaru Singhs, it was decided that Bhai Amrik Singh Jaura will be given the leadership of Tat Khalsa Budha Dal in place of Shaheed Jathedar Ranjit Singh Balangan.
Once the Bhai Amrik Singh Jaura was tied the turban for the Jathedari, Bhai Sahib teamed up with Bhai Prem Singh Nihang to take revenge for the martyrdom of Shaheed Jathedar Ranjit Singh Balangan. As Bhai Prem Singh Nihang was linked to pretty much all the Nihang Dals, it was easy for him to locate the murderers of Bhai Sahib’s elder brother. After locating one of the goons, Bhai Sahib went to his village and killed him in front of everyone. After this action Bhai Sahib went underground. Bhai Sahib then joined Bhai Pipal Singh Dholewal of Khalistan Liberation Force and punished many anti-Sikh elements. Few days after that, Bhai Sahib attacked the killers of his brother who were free from the Indian law at 3 different places and set them to hell. It was during this time Bhai Sahib the chief of Khalistan Liberation Army and he passed on the responsibility of this Jhujaru outfit to Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib took control of his Jatha and organised them to cause many problems for the Indian security forces. The area Bhai Sahib was doing sewa in had great deal of love and respect for him.
The Punjab police were hunting Bhai Sahib and in the process raided his house and harassed members of his family. Once the police raided Bhai Sahib’s house when his parents, Sardar Mangal Singh, Mata Amar Kaur, his wife Bibi Simarjit Kaur (who was the widow of his older brother, Bhai Ranjit Singh Tat Khalsa, after his shaheedi they families decided to marry her to Bhai Sahib), his children, his brother Bhai Jasbir Singh and the family of his sister who was married to Jathedar Sukhchain Singh were all present. They arrested all the men of this family and tortured them at the police station. This became a regular abuse of power for the Punjab police, and soon Bhai Jasbir Singh and Jathedar Sukhchain Singh started living away from home. The Punjab police then started harassing Sardar Mangal Singh more, arresting him and then releasing him after the local Panchayats would vouch for him. The SHO of Sadar, Gurdaspur upped his search for Bhai Sahib and his brother, Bhai Jasbir Singh, the police managed to arrest Bhai Jasbir Singh. When Bhai Sahib was heading home at night to meet his family, a sympathiser of the movement told Bhai Sahib that the Thanedar had arrested his brother. Upon hearing this news Bhai Sahib turned back and went to the village of the Thanedar and gathered all of his family and relatives. Bhai Sahib told them clearly, “If we want to kill you all now, it would be easy. But I’m not here to kill you, instead I am here to tell you that for a baby to reach teenage takes a long time but to kill them it takes one moment. Now you can tell your SHO not to harass and torture my family or else you will face the consequences.” Soon as the sun came out, the SHO’s family went to the police station and told him the whole story from last night. Soon as the SHO heard what had happened from his family, he released Bhai Jasbir Singh immediately. The SHO told Bhai Sahib’s family that he is sorry for the harassment and will not do it again. But due to the job he has to listen to the government orders, next time id he arrests and family member of Bhai Sahib, he promised that they will not be harassed at all.
In 1989, Bhai Jasbir Singh was married in the village of Cheema Khudi, to Bibi Dalbir Kaur the sister of the famous Bhai Jugraj Singh Toofan of Khalistan Liberation Force. No one was invited to the Anand Karaj and the family tried to keep this news away from the police also. Only Bhai Sahib himself and few selected Jhujaru Singhs attended, but even then the police were informed of this wedding. The police raided the family house 7/8 times after the wedding but Bhai Jasbir Singh had been living away from home, the police arrested the Bhai Sahib’s father and another male member of the family who were released after 3/4 days.
During these days the Indian government had appointed a new SHO in the Dhariwal area by the name of Makhan Jalad, who was a very evil man and in the few days he was here he had committed many injustices upon the Sikh families of the area. One of the Jhujaru Singhs from Bhai Sahib’s group had been arrested, he was tortured and he gave all the information to the police regarding Bhai Sahib. The police were taken to Bhai Sahib’s sister’s home, here the police arrested Bhai Sahib Singh who was the brother-in-la w of Bhai Sahib and he was badly beaten up in front of the whole village by the police. Then the police took Bhai Sahib Singh to the village of Balangan where they arrested Bhai Jasbir Singh and both of these singhs were taken to Dhariwal police station, where they were both brutally tortured. They were all released after a great ordeal of torture.
Bhai Sahib was looking after the Khalistan Liberation Army very well, he had told all his fellow Jhujaru Singhs that their fight was against the system and not the public, hence Bhai Sahib was so highly respected and the locals always supported his family. Whenever the police arrested any member of the police the locals would get together and try everything to have them released. Bhai Sahib was active in Dera Baba Nanak, Batala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Amritsar and Patiala area. On many occasions Bhai Sahib attacked the CRPF checkpoints and caused heavy damage to the enemy before making his escape. Bhai Sahib also helped his Sikh sisters that were being harassed by the in-laws regarding dowry, Bhai Sahib would sit the families down and kindly make them understand that harassing someone’s daughter is bad and the Sikh Gurus will never approve our place in his feet for doing that.
The day came which every Jhujaru Singh awaits, Bhai Sahib and Bhai Mahinder Singh Randhawa were travelling on scooter towards the village of Kakkarh when they came across a police checkpoint ahead. Bhai Sahib stayed calm and tried to pass the checkpoint but the police gave the signal to stop. After questioning the police allowed Bhai Sahib to pass but a person in the police jeep pointed at Bhai Sahib and said, “That’s Sukhdev Singh of Balangan.” The police quickly pounced on Bhai Sahib and fellow Jhujaru Singh and arrested them. Both Jhujaru Singhs were blindfolded and taken to a police station. The police asked Bhai Sahib who Bhai Mahinder Singh Randhawa was and Bhai Sahib answered, “I don’t know him, he just asked me to give him a lift to the bus station.” Bhai Mahinder Singh also gave a similar answer, both of these singhs gave no information to the police about each other and they were both kept at police station. When the Jhujaru Singhs got the news of Bhai Sahib’s arrest, they assured Mata Amar Kaur that they will have him released by the following day. The police also knew keeping a high profile Jhujaru Singh will provoke an attack on them hence they blindly tortured Bhai Sahib and when no information was gained from him the police made a fake encounter of Bhai Sahib near the Amritsar by-pass. At the time of Bhai Sahib’s martyrdom, he was 32 years old.
Khalsa Fatehnama – December 2006