Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh Padhri

Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan

To fight the Indian government who had appointed its own leader to kill Sikhs and abolish the demand of equality, many singhs and singhnia had attained shaheedi and amongst these great martyrs of the Sikh panth is the name of Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh of village Chamiari. This shaheed brother is also amongst those fortunate people that had the chance to do sangat of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale.

In Amritsar’s Ajnala area is the village of Chamiari, a Gursikh couple of this village Sardar Angrej Singh and Mata Parkash Kaur had 5 sons and 5 daughters, Bhai Balwant Singh, Bibi Surinder Kaur, Bibi Narinder Kaur, Bhai Karaj Singh, Bibi Darshan Kaur, Bhai Baldev Kaur, Bhai Sukhdev Singh and Bhai Jaspal Singh. Born in the year of 1960, Bhai Sukhdev Singh did not know much about Sikhi until he stepped into his late teens. After becoming an established player of Kabbadi, Bhai Sahib cut his hair. Bhai Sahib was still studying at college when he came in contact with one of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale’s trusted singhs.

Bhai Gurinder Singh Bhola of Tarn Taran, who was named Bhola Patrol by Sant Ji, also lived in Chamiari with his Massi as she was very old. When Bhai Sahib started meeting Bhai Bhola regularly he had stopped cutting his hair and started attending the speeches of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale.

To test the bravery of Bhai Sahib, Bhai Bhola played a game. One day Bhai Sahib had to attend an admission exam at Degree College of Ajnala, but Bhai Bhola said, “I will drop you off to the college myself, but before that you will have to give another exam.”

Bhai Sahib asked, “What exam?”

“Let’s go and see.” After saying that, Bhai Bhola sat Bhai Sahib in his jeep and made his way towards Amritsar. Near the Amritsar Courts stood a CRPF armed guard. Bhai Bhola parked his jeep across the road from the CRPF guard. Bhai Bhola pointed at the CRPF guard and said, “See that guard, we are going to snatch his weapon. One of us has to go snatch his weapon, while the other sits in the jeep holding on the weapon for backup.”  The moment of proving his bravery had come upon Bhai Sahib, Bhai Bhola said, “Tell me then, either you go snatch the guard’s weapon and I’ll sit in the jeep for backup, or I’ll go snatch the guard’s weapon while you stay in the jeep for backup.”

Now Bhai Sahib didn’t take much time in thinking and said, “I don’t know how to use the weapon, so for that reason I’ll go snatch the guard’s weapon while you stay here for backup.” This action happened within few seconds. Bhai Bhola stayed in the jeep as Bhai Sahib marched towards the guard. The CRPF guard may have been through a long training to be a soldier but his bravery was no match to Bhai Sahib who was a top Kabbadi player. Bhai Sahib grabbed the guard and knocked him out, but due to the carbine being chained to guard, Bhai Sahib only grabbed the wireless set of the guard and quickly ran to the jeep in which Bhai Bhola was waiting. By the reinforcements arrived, Bhai Sahib and Bhola had escaped, meanwhile the guard was still finding it hard to get onto his 2 feet. Bhai Bhola dropped Bhai Sahib off at the Degree College and with the wireless set went to Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale.

A singh from Kamalpura village by the name of Bhai Surinder Singh (Not Shaheed Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi, who attained shaheedi in April 1984) who was named Sodhi by singhs was also with these singhs and did actions together. Sometime before the attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib by the Indian government in June 1984, Bhai Gurinder Singh Bhola and Bhai Daljit Singh Bondu were arrested near Jandiala, at roughly some time Bhai Sahib and Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi were arrested in Amritsar during an action. When the Indian government attacked Sri Darbar Sahib, Bhai Sahib and Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi were still in Amritsar jail.

After the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib many singhs joined the armed struggle for Khalistan, amongst these singhs was Bhai Kuldeep Singh of Tolenangal who joined Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena. Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal was the nephew of Bhai Sahib. When Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal left home, his mother Mata Surinder Kaur was searching for her son and in the process went to speak to her brother in Amritsar jail. Mata Surinder Kaur asked her brother if he knew where Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal could be, but Bhai Sahib answered, “We are in jail, what would we know. But I think he may have gone across the border.”

Bhai Sahib was released on bail in 1985 and upon coming out of jail he started doing farming. But the Indian government did not allow the Sikhs who had any sort of connection with Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale to continue their lives instead such Sikhs were harassed and tortured regularly. Bhai Sahib was ordered to attend a nearby army camp daily. Bhai Sahib was also ordered to inform the army whenever he went out of the village. Bhai Sahib continued to fulfil these demands of the Indian army for 2 months. Then a Sikh army officer called Bhai Sahib over and told him, “We have received fresh orders from our superiors about your case. Looking at these orders I am certain that they won’t let you go now, they will kill you. For that reason you should leave your house and go into hiding. Save yourself if you can.”

Bhai Sahib thanked the Sikh officer for sharing the information and quietly left his village. Bhai Sahib started staying in Karnal and remained unknown there. When Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal started their armed struggle they located Bhai Sahib in Karnal and said, “Nothing will happen by sitting down or by hiding. You should join us in the struggle for freedom.”

Fed up of living in hiding, Bhai Sahib agreed to join Bhai Sheena in the armed struggle. This group of singhs now started to punish enemies of the Sikhs and black cats in the Ajnala area. Fellow Jhujaru Singhs would also call Bhai Sahib ‘Padhri’.

Once Bhai Sahib and his singhni, Bibi Shinder Kaur went to the village of Kakkarh to stay at house of Bibi Shinder Kaur’s sister. Bhai Sahib shoes to sleep up on the roof so he could keep an eye out for any Indian forces. It is said that the mother in law of Bibi Shinder Kaur’s sister was the person that informed the CRPF. As the CRPF was surrounding Bhai Sahib, they were seen by Bibi Shinder Kaur who alerted Bhai Sahib. By the time CRPF could get their hands on Bhai Sahib, he had escaped. When Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal found out about this betrayal, they started preparing their weapons to punish the informants, but Bhai Sahib stopped the singhs from doing any actions regarding this case. While Bhai Sahib was alive he did not allow anyone to do any actions of the family of Bibi Shinder Kaur’s sister.

On 30th September 1987, the group of Jhujaru Singhs killed 3 police officers in Tolenangal and after taking their weapons escaped from the village. At that time the group had 5 singh, Bhai Sahib, Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal were on one motorcycle, while Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi Kamalpura and Bhai Bhupinder Singh Bhinda were on another. After the action the police was still chasing the singhs, when these 3 singhs reached the village of Kohali, their motorcycle broke down. Checkpoints were being set up all over the area and the police was also closing in on the singhs. Bhai Sahib forced Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal out of the area and he himself took up a position to battle the Indian security forces. Bhai Sahib started to battle against the Indian security forces while Bhai Satnam Singh Sheena and Bhai Kuldeep Singh Tolenangal escaped even further. Bhai Sahib fought bravely as he shouted war cries of Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akaal and finally attained shaheedi. In this encounter many CRPF soldiers were sent to hell. At the time of the encounter, Bhai Sahib’s son, Bhujangi Satinderpal Singh was only 2 months old.

Vangaar – April 2014