Shaheed Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, son of Sardar Nashatar Singh & Mata Surjeet Kaur, was born in village Budhsinghwala, District Faridkot in 1964. Bhai Sahib’s family had a common farmers living. Sikhi was flourishing in the family for generations. Gurjant Singh had three brothers and a sister, he was the third-eldest out of the sons. He only studied to the 5th grade and he had to leave his studies, as his family needed him to work, as they were not that well off. Bhai Budhsinghwala was religious from a young age and met Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindrawale on numerous occasions. He started helping around the house and started farming along with his brothers on the family farm. He never tired doing work and never lost faith whilst the family went through hardships, and remained always in Chardi Kala.
The governments carnage reached the Moga area and the Bibi Kahn Kaur Gurdwara was surrounded by armed police, indiscriminate firing was opened on sangat and many were drenched in blood and attained Shaheedi, Bhai Sahib’s paternal grandfather Bhai Kehar Singh was one of the Shaheeds of this incident. Bhai Budhsinghwala had much affection for his grandfather.
The Shaheedi of his grandfather had a deep effect upon his tender heart at the age of 18 years. The government tyranny making its way throughout the Moga area, arrived at Bhai Sahib’s village. Bhai Sahib was arrested and imprisoned in Firozpur jail for one and a half years. Bhai Sahib had just been released from jail when the police re-arrested him and his brother Bhai Jagroop Singh for murder. In the ensuing interrogations of the police both Bhai Sahib and his brother were tortured severely. When they were released after 8 days of torture, they both could not walk, they both got home in the evening. On the same night the police again entered their house and took their father, brother and paternal uncle into custody.
Bhai Sahib after undergoing all this oppression and torture decided to live the life of serving the Panth and left his home, to protect and fight for the rights of the people of Panjab. A tornado of fighting for justice was invested within him, after undergoing torture and oppression at the hands of the authorities. From the outset Bhai Sahib worked alongside Bhai Varyam Singh Khapiawale – after his Shaheedi, Bhai Sahib worked under the leadership of Bhai Aroor Singh of KLF. Slowly, slowly Bhai Sahibs fame grew due to the missions he completed and the enemy started to fear for their safety. When the enemy used to hear the name of Bhai Sahib they used to shiver with fear.
Bhai Sahib had undertaken the leadership of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), after the Shaheedi of Bhai Avtar Singh Brahma in 1987. Under Bhai Budhsinghwala’s leadership, the KLF completed numerous successful missions and became one of the leading freedom fighting outfits. KLF was founded by Bhai Aroor Singh in 1986, Bhai Budhsinghwala was appointed Lieutenant General then, Bhai Budhsinghwala was the 3rd Chief of KLF. He was respected as the mastermind and most intelligent, Sikh freedom fighter.
A Nihang who used to live in the same village as Bhai Gurjant Singh informed the police on numerous occasions of Bhai Sahibs actions and whereabouts. This informant helped the police arrest and torture Bhai Gurjant Singh on numerous occasions. Bhai Sahib was arrested and sent to Faridkot jail on one of these occasions. Upon release from jail – on bail, instead of going home, Bhai Sahib went directly to Shaheed Bhai Varyam Singh and became once again engrossed in seva. Bhai Sahib caught the Nihang informant and poured petrol over him and burnt him alive in the middle of the village. People of the surrounding area were happy and ecstatic at the elimination of this Nihang who caused much distress to the inhabitants of the locality.
Bhai Sahib started bringing many oppressors to justice and the police started to repeatedly harass the family of Bhai Gurjant Singh. His brothers were severely tortured and subsequently jailed. Bhai Sahib’s sister’s (Bibi Gurcharan Kaur’s) family were tortured and harassed on a number of occasions. To try to retract Bhai Sahib from his seva,the authorities used oppressive tactics of the worst kind. His paternal Uncle Chand Singh and paternal cousin Bhai Joga Singh were martyred in a fake police encounter. His mother, father, and brothers were also terrorised. But Bhai Sahib was steadfast and did not retract an inch from his resolve.
After seeing the effectiveness of Bhai Gurjant Singh, the butcher D.G.P. Ribeiro got the most brutal S.H.O. Mith Singh appointed at the Bage Purane Police station, which was adjoining to Bhai Sahib’s village in Thana Baga. The S.H.O made Bhai Sahib’s family his target for meting out police brutality and being unjust, this brute got the front iron gate from Bhai Sahibs house removed and placed it at the police station. He humiliated Bhai Sahib’s father by dragging him by the hair, in the heat of the Panjabi summer in front of the police station and made a public display of torturing Bhai Sahib’s father. He challenged Bhai Sahib’s father to “go get your tiger of a son to come and face me, face to face.”
Bhai Budhsinghwala learnt of the atrocities met out to his family, and after a while he made plans to avenge these evil actions. He along with his 3 associates Bhai Lakhvinder Singh Lakha village Dhole Ke, Ajmer Singh Lodhiwal and Bhai Darshan Singh Tarkhanbad, exterminated the S.H.O at the police station whilst he was under the guard of his bodyguards. After removing the S.H.O, Bhai Sahib and his associates fired at the police in the police station, but they locked themselves in out of fear and did not dare to return fire. Bhai Sahib and his associates left the police station at 7.30am with such calmness and braveness, no police official had the courage to even follow the Singh’s after they left. The newly appointed S.H.O got the very same iron-gate reinstated at Bhai Sahib’s house.
Bhai Sahib put many oppressors to justice and he worked with Bhai Jarnail Singh Halwara (Longowal Kand), Varinder Singh Dakha, Amar Singh Maan, Binderjeet Singh Dune ke, Manjeet Singh Mini Baba Moga, Amrik Singh Dune Ke, Kulvant Singh Kukrana, Gurmeet Singh Machaki, Manohar Singh Teera, whilst completing his missions. After the Shaheedi of Bhai Avtar Singh Brahma, Bhai Gurjant Singh was appointed the new commander in chief of KLF, Bhai Sahib and his associates eliminated the following oppressors: S.S.P Gobind Ram, S.S.P AS Brar – Patiala, S.P. Patiala – RS Gill, S.P. Detective RS Tiwara, D.S.P Tara Chand Jagraon and in turn avenged the deaths of many Shaheeds.
Bhai Sahib also seriously injured the following oppresors: D.G.P Mangat, S.S.P Sumedh Saini, S.P Kehar Singh. Other prominent successes of Bhai Sahib were the Panjab Congress Vice President Lala Bagvan Daas who was eliminated along with his bodyguards at Jaito, ex-treasurer Balwant Singh was eliminated in Chandigarh, Magistrate Goyal Moga was eliminated after getting his armed guards to surrender and he kidnapped the Romanian diplomat L. Radu and got the message across to the global media about the Sikh struggle and state oppression. The son of the S.S.P Des Raaj Sharma of Tarn Taran was kidnapped in order to get Bhai Sahib’s associates freed from the police, this was the first time a hostage was taken for political demands in Panjab and Bhai Sahib’s friends were freed.
There was a bounty of 4 Lakh (400,000) Rupees upon his head. Bhai Sahib was the most wanted Sikh freedom fighter and he was believed to be the mastermind of many successful actions against the authorities. The Ludhiana police had received confirmed intelligence reports that Bhai Sahib and other freedom fighters were holding a meeting at Model town extension – in house no. 95. The police along with the assistance of the army at about 10pm surrounded the house and ordered the inhabitants of the house to open the gate, but the house owner replied that he had dignitaries in attendance. According to the police the Singh’s tried to escape through the back of the house, but the police had already surrounded the house and opened fire on the Singhs, one Singh got injured in the firing. Bhai Budhsinghwala did once again try escaping but due to the heavy fire he was martyred in the exchange of fire. The police claimed in their press release that Bhai Sahib was martyred within the house but all other accounts of eyewitnesses said that Bhai Sahib was martyred about 50 meters from the house in an alleyway.
This police operation was carried out by the S.S.P of Ludhiana ‘Chotpadhiea’ & D.S.P DS Gill. There were large engravements made upon the grass around the house – where the police had entrenched themselves. The police did not return Bhai Sahibs body to his relatives.
Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala was a freedom loving spirit who did not enter controversies with others and all Sikh Jathebandhis (Organisations) respected Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib used to speak very little, due to which he was able to command KLF for a relatively long time. Bhai Budhsinghwala was said to be wanted for 37 accomplished actions by the police. The people began to admire and respect Bhai Gurjant Singh more and more as time went by, as he was dead against thieves and robbery and he put numerous such thieves to justice.
Bhai Sahib attained Shaheedi on 31st July 1992 at the age of 28 years. The Panth will never forget the service he rendered.