Shaheed Bhai Swaran Singh Nihang

Akaal Federation

Bhai Swaran Singh Nihang was one of many warriors to come out of the Doaba region of Punjab to punish the killers of the Sikhs. Bhai Sahib was born in the year of 1963, in the house of Sardar Ghula Singh and from the womb of Mata Darshan Kaur in the village of Khudda, district Hoshiarpur. Bhai Sahib had 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Bhai Sahib’s family were very poor, Sardar Ghula Singh worked as a labourer to provide for his family. Bhai Sahib had studied up to 10th class and from childhood he was very close to Bhai Gurmeet Singh Nihang (Martyr of June 1984) who was also from the same village. These 2 always talked about Sikhi and recited Gurbani together.

Before the 1978 Vaisakhi massacre of Amritsar, Bhai Sahib was very close to Baba Avtar Singh Kurala (Martyr of Vaisakhi 1978). Bhai Sahib use to attend Akhand Kirtani programs and Rehnsbhai’s with Baba Avtar Singh Kurala. Then on 13th April 1978, the Narakhdhari cult and Punjab police together killed 13 Singhs including Baba Avtar Singh Kurala and wounded 150 Sikhs as they protested peacefully against the disrespect of Dhan Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. This massacre had a deep effect on Bhai Sahib, after Bhai Sahib gathered local Sikhs and started to wipe out any Narakhdhari or their base in his area. In 1979, Bhai Sahib beat up one of the teachers at his school in front of students and other teachers. The teacher was called, Bhagat Ram, he was a Narakhdhari and would always give references of his cult. While beating him up, Bhai Sahib was shouting, “How can u teach us Punjabi, you don’t know it yourself?” Then once again in the village of Tanda, the Narakhdhari cult held Langar for their followers on one of the main roads. When Bhai Sahib found out about this he quickly went to the location himself with a Gandasa and scared off the whole Narakhdhari cult alone. After, the same Langar was given to all the poor people of that area.

In the year of 1982, the Dharam Yudh Morcha started and Bhai Sahib took part and at times due to having love for discussions of Sikhi, Bhai Sahib would at times go and stay with Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale. Even before this, Bhai Sahib had spent some time with Baba Lal Singh of the Nirmala Samparda and Baba Nihal Singh of Harian Bela Nihang Dal. On every Massia, Bhai Sahib would go to Sri Harmandir Sahib to do Darshan and Ishnaan. It was during this time Bhai Sahib started to Manji Sahib where Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa would address the Dharam Yudh Morcha and give speeches. On many occasions after this, Bhai Sahib gave his arrests along with fellow Sikhs as part of Dharam Yudh Morcha. In 1983, Bhai Sahib gave his arrest as part of Baba Harnam Singh Rampur Khera’s group and later as part of Akali Dal Jathedar Upkar Singh’s group. Like this even at a very young age, Bhai Sahib never held back and continued to do sewa of the Sikh panth.

Bhai Sahib’s close friend, Bhai Jagjit Singh Nihang also did sewa with him. Bhai Gurmeet Singh Nihang was living in Guru Ram Das Sraa with Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi and this is where Bhai Sahib also stayed. Bhai Sahib had great amount of love and respect for Bhai Gurmeet Singh Nihang. Bhai Sahib felt very blessed to have done sewa with Sant Ji’s right arm, Bhai Surinder Singh Sodhi and with Bhai Kanwarpal Singh Dhami of Akaal Federation. Bhai Sahib also did many actions with Bhai Gurmeet Singh Nihang as they were from the same village and shared the same passion for Sikhi.

In June 1984, when the Indian army attacked Sri Harimandir Sahib, many Sikhs were massacred. Bhai Sahib’s close friend, Bhai Gurmeet Singh Nihang had attained martyrdom in this attack as he defended the sanctity of Sri Darbar Sahib. This attack had become a big challenge for the Sikh youth. After the attack, Bhai Sahib became an active member of Akaal Federation and started taking part in the struggle for Sikh homeland, Khalistan. In the short time, Bhai Sahib picked police informants and traitors of his area one by one and punished them. Amongst the anti-Sikh elements Bhai Sahib killed was Sarwan Monka, who would have Jhujaru Singhs arrested and killed by the police, after he would take claim the rewards on their heads.

In the Sikh freedom movement, Bhai Sahib did actions with various Jhujaru Singhs such as Bhai Labh Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh Balli, Bhai Lembher Singh, Bhai Iqbal Singh Bagha, Bhai Gurjant Singh, Bhai Bikram Singh and Bhai Jagjit Singh Nihang. Bhai Sahib did many big actions which installed fear into the hearts of Indian security forces. The Punjab police had put a big reward on Bhai Sahib’s head.

In the end on 15th May 1987, Bhai Sahib was travelling back to the village of Tanda via the bus after attending a Shaheedi Smagam at a nearby village. An informant had given this information to the police and as soon as Bhai Sahib got off the bus he was surrounded by hundreds of police officers. At this time Bhai Sahib was with Bhai Avtar Singh and both were unarmed. Bhai Sahib tried his best to escape but the police opened fire upon him and Bhai Sahib wounded and both Singhs were arrested. The police took Bhai Sahib to PGI hospital of Chandigarh for his wounds but Bhai Sahib did not allow the doctors or nurses to treat him. Bhai Sahib had been seriously wounded with gunshots to his chest and on the 17th May 1987, he gave his martyrdom.

Bhai Sahib’s body was given to the family and was cremated in the village of Khudda, thousands of people from surrounding villages attended to pay their respects to a fallen soldier of Khalistan. Even after the martyrdom of Bhai Sahib, his family were continuously harassed by the Punjab police. Bhai Sahib’s brother, Bhai Charanjit Singh was blindly tortured and kept in jail for many months.

Khalsa Fatehnama – March 2016