Dr Gurnam Singh Buttar was one of many brave Sikhs who gave up their well paid Government jobs in protest of Operation Bluestar and the atrocities being carried out upon Sikhs all over Hindustan.
Dr Gurnam Singh Buttar was born in the small village of Buttar, District Gurdaspur into the household of Sardar Daleep Singh and Mata Niranjan Kaur. Dr Gurnam Singh was the youngest of 6 children, with 2 elder sisters and 3 elder brothers. Dr Gurnam Singh was from a simple farming family, who made ends meet with their small 5 acres of land.
The village of Buttar was often referred to as “the village of Shaheeds” as many Singhs such as Bhai Satnam Singh Buttar, Bhai Kulwant Singh Buttar, Bhai Amarjeet Singh Buttar and Bhai Ranjeet Singh Buttar all hailed from this village.
Dr Gurnam Singh was very clever as a child, his family had high hopes of him, wishing for him to be educated and gain himself a high paying job. As the family was poor, they took out loans to pay for his education.
Dr Gurnam Singh studied at the local high school till metric, in which he passed with flying colors. This allowed him admission at D.A.I College, Amritsar where he completed his degree in MBBS. Dr Gurnam Singh not only made his family, but the entire town proud, as he was the first person from a simple farming family to have graduated as a doctor.
At the time of Operation Bluestar, Dr Gurnam Singh was a Junior Medical Officer. The events of June 1984, deeply hurt the entire Sikh community all over the world, and Dr Gurnam Singh felt the same pain. However, after Operation Bluestar in which thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed, Sri Akal Takht Sahib was destroyed, and bullets fired at Sri Darbar Sahib, the Akali leadership began talks with the very government that commanded the attack. This infuriated Dr Gurnam Singh further.
After selling out to the Government, Surjeet Singh Barnala was elected as the Chief Minister of Panjab. As Barnala’s reign began, so did the so-called ‘police encounters’, when the Punjab Police was unable to achieve its actual goals, it started fabricating fake encounters. In most cases, innocent people were killed to substitute for the actual death of eminent militants.
On the 23rd of December, at the Shaheedi Jorh Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib, Dr Gurnam Singh and fellow Singhs took over the Akali’s stage and presented the resolution of Khalistan to the sangat. Dr Gurnam Singh addressed the sangat, and explained why there was now the need for the creation of a Sikh homeland, Khalistan. Upon hearing Dr Gurnam Singhs speech, the entire Sikh sangat raised there hands in support of this resolution.
In April 1987, at a conference held at Sri Darbar Sahib, Dr Gurnam Singh publically resigned from his post of junior medical officer at Kaadian Civil Hospital. Resigning from his government job, Dr Gurnam Singh stated that the Khalsa is now my government, and the creation of Khalistan is my occupation, and my retirement will come in the form of Martyrdom.
Dr Gurnam Singh’s popularity was rising, and this irritated the central government. The Panjab Police were frantically searching for Dr Gurnam Singh. At this time, the SSP of Batala was the notorious Gobind Ram. Gobind Ram would daily visit the village of Buttar to interrogate the Dr Gurnam Singh’s family and ask as to why he had resigned from his job. Each time, Dr Gurnam Singh’s father would present Gobind Ram with the last letter the family received from his son.
On the morning of 9th April, 1988 Bhai Gurnam Singh was captured as he was cycling unarmed to Sports College, Jallandhar. Bhai Gurnam Singh was captured by the team of Swarn Ghotna, the then SSP of Kapurthla. Bhai Gurnam Singh was dealt many blows to the head, and as he fell unconscious, the police took him to Kapurthla police station.
On the 10th of April, the chairmen of Panjab Human Rights, Justice Ajit Singh Bains and Sardar Gurbhajan Singh requested to the government for Dr Gurnam Singh to be tried in court. However, SSP Ghotna along with DSP Kehar Sio and SHO Pooran Kubay after having tortured Dr Gurnam Singh, had made plans to kill Bhai Sahib in a fake encounter.
On April 12th, Dr Gurnam Singh was taken to Fatu Dhinga, and here he attained Shaheedi. The fabricated story was that Dr Gurnam Singh was caught on his way to handing out weapons, and was killed in an encounter which followed.
The village panchayat and scores of sangat accompanied Bapu Daleep Singh to Kapurthla to get Dr Gurnam Singh’s body, but SSP Swarn Ghotna had instructed his officers, that whoever came to inquire about Bhai Sahib, their arms and legs were to be broken, and then presented in front of him.
Bapu Daleep Singh was neither given Bhai Sahib’s body nor the remains after cremation. Not only this, but 4 Sikh youth’s that attended Bhai Sahib’s bhog, were picked up by Gobind Ram and killed in fake police encounters. Others attending the bhog such as Bhai Baldev Singh who was a worker in the Punjab Electricity Board were questioned as to why an educated and govt worker like him was at Bhai Sahib’s bhog.
Dr Gurnam Singh’s shaheedi had awoken the educated youth of Panjab, and brought a new wave of self respect and warrior spirit amongst them. These awoken lions were now picking up from were Dr Gurnam Singh left off and causing mayhem for the likes of Gobind Ram and SSP Swarn Ghotna.