Cremated under police supervision and declared as unidentified bodies, Shaheed Bhai Ravinder Singh, Shaheed Bhai Harminder Singh Ji Chaluper, Shaheed Bhai Baldhir Singh Ji Fauji and Shaheed Bhai Jhilman Singh Ji gave their lives for the Sikh nation against the state imposed beadbi of our beloved Guru.
In 1986, Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji were burnt at Shri Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara in Nakodar.
The Sikhs decided to protest to demonstrate their angst and pain at such a desecration. It was decided that the Sangat would go to Gurudwara, lead by the Panj Pyare, to retrieve the burnt Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which were burnt by Pro-Hindutva supporters under the supervision of Darbara Guru and Charanjit Atwal who now enjoy patronage within the Shiromani Akali Dal Badal. After the retrieval of the saroops they would take them to Kiratpur Sahib for their last rites. The Panj Pyare were leading the Sangat and doing Naam Simran. As they started to move towards the Gurdwara in the city of Nakodar, the police began to open fire on the Gursikhs who were unarmed apart from their Sri Sahibs.
Out of the Panj Pyare, Bhai Ravinder Singh, Bhai Baldhir Singh Fauji and Bhai Jhilman Singh became shaheed from the indiscriminate police firing. Bhai Harminder Singh, the fourth Gursikh was arrested in the presence of the enemies of the Panth which included Swaran Ghotna and Jaskirat Singh who shot Harminder Singh in the mouth with a revolver. He was then later killed by the Police after they had found out he had survived the gunshot earlier on. This horrific method was used because Bhai Sahib was the President of Khalsa College in Jalandhar and was an outspoken Gursikh who was deeply involved in activism for the benefit of the Khalsa Panth.
The Saka of Nakodar is a prime example and reminder for the Sikhs, how the Hindutva state has openly attacked our way of life and committed the beadbi of our Guru. Whenever our people have used peaceful means to protest the oppression taking place, we have always been subdued to unjustifiable levels of violence which has resulted in the torture and deaths of hundreds and thousands of our people.
At the expense of this devastation, sell out Sikhs such as Darbara Guru and Charanjit Athwal, used their position of power during that time to sell their souls to the Hindutva masters. They knew about the 4 Gursikhs being killed and refused to bat an eyelid at the horrors which took place.
Darbara Guru needs to be accountable to this paramount question:
Did your administration not cremate all the four bodies on one funeral pyre on 5 February 1986 morning without allowing the families of four young men killed to have a last look before cremation? Were you present in the Nakodar police station when these orders were given? Whom were you trying to protect?
In addition to this, the Hindutva appointed leaders who control our institutions have failed to bring justice to the Shaheeds families for over 35 years.
Most notably, the Hindutva-Badal appointed Jathedar of the Akal Takhat Harpreet Singh and the SGPC have failed to take action against those responsible, instead they have promoted and supported the killers.
Mohammad Izhar Alam was later promoted as DGP of Punjab Police. According to a paper released by the US Embassy in New Delhi on 19 December 2005, during his tenure he fostered a combat force, by name Fauj-e-Alam Sena (Alam’s Army), composed of police officials and CAT’s which was engaged in torture and fake encounter killings of Sikhs from 1984 to 1994. He was later promoted by the Shiromani Akali Dal Badal and attempted to contest the 2012 Assembly elections from Malerkotla constituency on Akali Dal (B) ticket, but withdrew when he faced opposition from the Sikhs and his wife Farzana Nissara Khatoon, replaced him in the elections and won.
Darbara Singh Guru He was the ADC for Jalandhar in February 1986 and Darbara signed the curfew orders for February 3. He ordered the protesters to go to a different location where the police opened fire. He later became the Principal Secretary to former Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal from 2007 to 2011. He contested 2019 Indian General Election in Punjab from the constituency of Fatehgarh Sahib district but lost. He is named in the Punjab and Haryana High Court petition and accused of indiscriminate firing and killing of 4 Sikh youth in Nakodar in 1986.
The firing was order by Ashwini Kumar Sharma the then SP CRPF of the 76th battalion stationed in Nakodar who ordered the firing on the victims and protestors SP(D) Surjit Singh, DSP Swarn Singh (Gotna), Inspector Harinderpal Singh Kang. All are named in the Justice Gurnam Singh report.
On the 13th February 1986, a judicial inquiry found that no warnings were given or issued by the police and/or security forces to disperse the protest and the use of live rounds was without any warning by the police. The firing by Police was found to be unnecessary, excessive and disproportionate. The police administration hastily cremated the bodies of the victims in secret, by illegally and unlawfully declaring them ‘unidentified and unclaimed’, despite the post-mortems revealing and recording the identities of most of the victims.
Between 1986 – 2021 (a period of 35 years) the families have been seeking the truth, justice and accountability from the Indian authorities for the killings. There have been no criminal prosecutions of any of the perpetrators. Part II of the report and the evidence contained therein is being deliberately concealed and suppressed by the authorities to shield the perpetrators. Justice Singh concluded his enquiry the report, which was finally submitted to the Government of Punjab, yet it still remains unavailable to the family.
Acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh’s refusal to meet the family and non-support.
A parallel enquiry was announced by then Jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Kirpal Singh in 1986 and ordered the SGPC to form a committee and commission its own report. The report recommended that the family should be given legal and financial assistance by the SGPC and that the culprits should be prosecuted and punished according to the law. Even the SGPC report has never been made public. Human Rights Organisation PHRO under the auspices of Ex-High Court Judge Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Commissioned its own report.
Despite numerous requests in person, in writing and telephone calls over a number of years the family has still not received the SGPC report either.
The family is both shocked and disappointed at the indifferent attitude of those Sikh Institutions that are there to support victim families and instead have protected, shielded and promoted The Killers. Despite the pictures of all four Shaheeds being installed in the Central Sikh Museum Amritsar by then Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh 2017 and declaration as as Quami Shaheeds. The present “acting” Jathedar has refused to meet the family.
On the 13th of March 2020 Bapu Baldev Singh Ji aged 74 years went to meet Giani Harpreet Singh. He had gone with the dossier and with a copy of the Justice Gurnam Singh Report. This was received but no written acknowledgement given.
A reminder was sent to Giani Harpreet Singh on the 20th of May 2020 then on the 23rd of May 2020, 29th of June 2020, 24th of August 2020, 13th of January 2020 no formal reply has been received. To add insult to injury despite being sent an invitation to officiate over the 35th Anniversary commemorations he did not attend. Sikh Organizations strongly condemn this this insult to the shaheeds and a prominent shaheed parivaar family.
The family has a simple question why is the Acting Jathedar silent? Are you protecting those who patronise and protect the Killers? All Sikh organisations present today support the family in this fight for justice and pose the same question to the very Sikh institutions that were formed to oppose injustice and tyranny not to protect it. A letter will be forwarded to Giani Harpreet Singh demanding that he responds to the family’s letters and representations within 7 days and ask the SAD(B) remove Izhar Alam and Darbara Guru from all posts and positions within their party and for the immediate initation of criminal proceedings against them for these heinous crimes as per the Justice Gurnam Singh enquiry report.
“All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.”
From Sikh Organisations present at the Akal Takht on the 4th February 2021