Shaheed Bhai Surinder Singh Baba

Sikh Student Federation/ Khalistan Liberation Force

Shaheed Bhai Surinder Singh Baba alias Bhai Gurbachan Singh is one of the martyrs of the 20 century Sikh struggle for freedom, whose Shaheedi and life is a role model for the youth of the Sikh Panth. Bhai Surinder Singh Baba was born on 12th December 1965 in the village of Bahla, district Hoshiarpur. Bhai Sahib’s parents were Subedar Guljar Singh and Mata Naseeb Kaur. From early childhood Bhai Sahib had immense love for Sikhi. Bhai Sahib went to his local Gurudwara in the morning and in the evening to do sewa. Bhai Sahib had 2 sisters, Bibi Manjit Kaur, Bibi Jaswinder Kaur and 2 brothers, Bhai Harwinder Singh Laddu (Also Martyr of Khalistan), Bhai Amarjit Singh.

Bhai Sahib started his education in 1970 at the local government primary school. Bhai Sahib studied until 5th class there and from 6th class onwards he started his studies at Khalsa Secondary School of Garhdiwala village. As well as studying Bhai Sahib also loved reciting gurbani and doing sewa at Gurudwaras. Bhai Sahib took Amrit in 8th class from the Panj Pyare at Gurudwara Rampur Khera and after Bhai Sahib started doing Santhaya of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from Sant Harnam Singh Rampur Khera. After taking Amrit Bhai Sahib did his Nitnem at Amritvela and until he didn’t fully complete his Nitnem Bhai Sahib would not have anything to drink or eat. By the time Bhai Sahib was in 9th class, Bhai Sahib was a good Sri Akhand Path Sahib Granthi. In 1979 Bhai Sahib passed his metric exam with good results.

In 1980 after passing higher secondary, Bhai Sahib took admission into Khalsa College of Chardiwala. Bhai Sahib was very keen on his studies and always passed with high scores. Bhai Sahib wouldn’t speak much as his main interest was studying. As well as studying, Bhai Sahib also focused on Gurbani and knew Nitnem and Sukhmani Sahib by heart. During his time at Khalsa College Bhai Sahib also became a member of the All Indian Sikh Student Federation. After finishing his studies, Bhai Sahib returned to his village and continued to do sewa for the Sikh Student Federation, recruiting more members. Bhai Sahib had immense love for Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale, whenever he got a chance he would go to Sri Darbar Sahib and attended the seminars of Sant Ji. Even during the Dharam Yudh Morcha Bhai Sahib gave his arrest many times.

In June 1984, the Indian Army attacked Sri Harimandir Sahib and demolished Sri Akaal Takht Sahib. This attack on the Sikh throne and killing of thousands of innocent Sikhs had a deep impact on Bhai Sahib, now Bhai Sahib had made his mind up on leaving studies and fully concentrating on taking revenge from the Indian government. Bhai Sahib started doing sewa day and night he was part of Baba Joginder Singh’s Jatha. Bhai Sahib was chosen as one of the Panj Pyare and like this he helped many people take Amrit and become Gursikhs. Due to Bhai Sahib being an active member of Sikh Student Federation, the Punjab Police raided Bhai Sahib’s house. Bhai Sahib was interrogated for information of Jhujaru Singhs. Regular harassment from the police forced Bhai Sahib to leave home. Bhai Sahib did sewa of a Granthi Singh at a Gurudwara in the village of Chaldha. Bhai Sahib maintained his contact with the Jhujaru Singhs of the Sikh Freedom Movement. Bhai Sahib had only been doing sewa in this village for about a year, when an informant gave thus information to the police. The police then raided the Gurudwara and arrested Bhai Sahib and another Jhujaru Singh, Bhai Harbhajan Singh alias Bhai Manjit Singh. Both Singhs were taken to Hoshiarpur police station, and released on bail on the forth day after the Panchayat of Chaldha village took full responsibility of both singhs.

Bhai Sahib stayed home for one night and then again joined his Jhujaru brothers. For the next 6 months Bhai Sahib continued to do sewa, but was arrested once again by the Punjab Police, at the scene of Bhai Sahib’s arrest, Bhai Sahib Turban was removed and he was tied to a tree and beaten by the Punjab Police in front of the public. Bhai Sahib was then taken by the police, fortunately Bhai Sahib’s younger brother Bhai Harwinder Singh Laddu was also on the same bus but was not stopped, he went home and informed the family that Bhai Sahib had been arrested. For 8 days no one knew where Bhai Sahib was, a brother of another Jhujaru Singh went to visit his brother in Amritsar police station and he saw Bhai Sahib there also. When this Singh returned home, he informed Bhai Sahib’s family that Bhai Sahib was in Amritsar police station. Even Bhai Manjit Singh, President of Sikh Student Federation had done a press release stating, “the Punjab police has arrested Bhai Surinder Singh Baba illegally and if any damage is caused to him then the Indian government would be held responsible”. After many attempts Bhai Sahib was finally released on the 12th day. Bhai Sahib was continuously tortured for 12 days by Izhar Alam. Bhai Sahib was asked for information of fellow Jhujaru Singhs, but Bhai Sahib gave no information and continued to recite Gurbani.

Once again after being released Bhai Sahib stayed home that night and the following morning Bhai Sahib left home and joined the Jhujaru Singhs. When ever Bhai Sahib’s mother tried talking Bhai Sahib out, he would use the words of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, “Panth Vasay Mein Ujra, Mann Chao Kanera.” Whenever Bhai Sahib was questioned, he would reply with quotes from Gurbani. One of Bhai Sahib’s fellow Jhujaru Singhs was arrested by the Moga police, this Jhujaru Singh named Bhai Sahib to the police. Soon after Bhai Sahib’s name was given, the Moga police raided Bhai Sahib’s house and arrested Mata Naseeb Kaur. The police used foul language towards Mata Ji and she was kept in custody for 10 days. After releasing Mata Naseeb Kaur, the Moga police arrested Bhai Chamkaur Singh, who was the brother-in-law of Bhai Sahib, even he was kept in police custody for a month. Some days later Bhai Sahib’s older sister, Bibi Manjit Kaur who was married had also been arrested, she was released after 4 days. The Indian Security Force committed many crimes upon Bhai Sahib’s family, but this did not sway Bhai Sahib from his chosen path. The police would raid Bhai Sahib’s house 3 times a day, the police officers would be drunk and would swear at the family members of Bhai Sahib.

Bhai Sahib was an example of Saint Soldier, as well as doing Nitnem, Bhai Sahib would do additional 51 Jap Ji Sahib’s daily.  The locals knew these qualities of Bhai Sahib and for this reason dearly respected Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib had also earned respect amongst Jhujaru group because Bhai Sahib had the strength to say what he thought was wrong, wrong and right was right.

The Sri Akal Takht Sahib Jathedar, Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode established one committee on Vaisakhi called the “Aidhawk Committee”. It was this committee of 5 members that were elected in which one of them was Bhai Sahib and he was joined by Bhai Daljit Singh, Bhai Sher Singh Sher, Bhai Kulwant Singh Khukrana and another Singh. Bhai Sahib continued to punish the enemies of the Sikhs, his bravery was known all over Punjab, in areas like Amritsar, Sangrur, Ropar, Faridkot and Hoshiarpur. Indian security forces had put a reward of 1 lakh rupees on Bhai Sahib’s head and had poster with Bhai Sahib’s photo on it stuck up on the walls of Punjab. The Punjab police were loosing sleep as they tried to catch Bhai Sahib, on many occasions Bhai Sahib used his intelligence to escape from the enemy when he was fully surrounded. In the end it was a close Singh of Bhai Sahib’s who sold his friendship to the police for money. This informant/traitor was the son of Balwant Pally from the village of Chaudran, near Garhshankar. The traitor bought Bhai Sahib and Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma to his house and then told Bhai Sahib that he was ill and was going to the pharmacy to get medicine, but the traitor did not go to the pharmacy, instead he informed the police that Bhai Sahib was at his house unarmed. The police quickly surrounded the house and soon as Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma realised they had been surrounded, he swallowed a capsule of Sy-Nyde and attained Shaheedi.

Bhai Sahib was grabbed by 2 Thanedars but he threw the Thanedars off himself and jumped over the wall. Bhai Sahib ran for 6km in the sugar cane fields of the village of Jaura. Bhai Sahib had been shot in the back, and the police chased Bhai Sahib as they knew there would be a big reward for his capture. At that moment the time was 5 o’clock in the evening, the police were too scared to go into the fields. The police called for more back up via the wireless sets, eventually the police arrested Bhai Sahib on the Monday 3rd of October 1988. The police mocked Bhai Sahib and said, “What shall we do with you?” but Bhai Sahib replied, “You can’t give me anything but death”.

Bhai Sahib was brutally tortured by Izhar Alam, Gobind Ram and the Jalandhar police force, but Bhai Sahib continued to recite Sri Jap Ji Sahib. The police officers were angry that Bhai Sahib’s tongue could recite Gurbani but would not answer their questions. When the torture got more brutal, Bhai Sahib stayed true to his words of not giving any information to the Indian security forces and on 5th October 1988, he attained Shaheedi. After Bhai Sahib had attained Shaheedi, the body of Bhai Sahib was taken to Bika village in Jalandhar district and declared Bhai Sahib dead in a fake encounter.

On 6th October 1988, the newspapers gave the news of Bhai Sahib’s Shaheedi. All panthic organisations showed their anger at the government. In many districts the public held a 3 day strike in schools and colleges, and the national exams were boycotted. In the following days the Sikh Freedom Fighting groups were paying their respects to a fallen soldier of Khalistan, for example the groups under the command of Khalistan Commando Force General Bhai Dalvinder Singh, Babbar Khalsa General Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar, Khalistan Liberation Force Chief Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, Khalistan Commando Force General Bhai Gurnek Singh Neka alias Baba Hari Singh. They warned the Indian security forces the people responsible for Bhai Sahib’s Shaheedi will be sent to hell very soon. In a separate press release from Sikh Student Federation conveyer, Bhai Daljit Singh, Bhai Sher Singh Sher and Bhai Kulwant Singh Khukrana declared that Bhai Sahib had attained Shaheedi in police custody and not in a fake encounter as stated by the police.

Khalsa Fatehnama – July 2015