On 13th April 1978 the Akhand Kirtani Jatha gathered together from
all over India at Amritsar to hold their yearly Vaisakhi Smagam. Kirtan
had started from Amrit Vela and at about 10 o'clock a message was
received. The message said that the followers of Nakali Nirankari
Gurbachan Singh were holding a procession in Amritsar and were shouting
slogans against the Satguru and shouting insults against the Sikh
All the Sikh Sangat knew very well that the Nakali Nirankaris had
doing these things for the past few years. The Nirankaris had given
degrading names to some GurSikhs including Mata Tripta Ji, Bhai Gurdas
Ji, Bibi Nanaki Ji, Baba Budha Ji, Bhai Lalo Ji, Bhagat Kabir Ji.
They called the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji a bundle of papers, and
they called Kar Sewa, Bikar Sewa. The Nakali Nirankari leader said
that Guru Gobind Singh Ji had made 5 Panj Pyarai, I shall make 7.
Once he had even dared to place his foot on the Siri Guru Granth Sahib
of the fake Nirankari sect who did anything to insult
Bhai Fauja Singh heard the news from the loudspeaker when he was
kneading the dough for the langar. He washed his hands and rushed
to the congregation. He delivered a short speech, explaining the
dire situation and drew a line, asking for those who are willing
to receive martyrdom to cross it. Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara asked
children and women not to go. However many "Bibian" still
insisted on going. After performing Ardas, the Gursikhs bowed before
the Satguru and went off to Ramdas Niwas.
Singh who led the sikhs in the procession
Upon reaching Ramdas Niwas they found that the procession had finished.
The Gursikhs then decided that they should go to the place where
the Nirankaris had gathered and do a peaceful protest against the
insults shouted at the Satguru. It is known that some of the Sikhs
of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and the Bhindra Jatha reached the Reego
Bridge near Gobind Gar, where they were stopped by the police authorities.
The Singhs told the police about the insults shouted at the Sikh
Gurus and the Sikh Religion in the procession, and which were being
shouted at their gathering, which was taking place at that time.
These insults could be heard clearly from where they were standing.
They told the police that they wanted to do a protest against the
organisers of the gathering about the shouting of these insults.
A police officer told the Singhs that he would go and stop the Nirankaris
and for them to remain there. The police officer went to where the
Nirankaris had gathered and the Sikhs waited for 30 minutes for
him to return. On his return there were more policemen with him.
Joshi D.S.P told the Jatha of Singhs to go back and that the meeting
had finished a long time ago. But at that time violence provoking
speeches could be heard on the loudspeakers. Then about 5-6000 uniformed
Nirankaris rushed towards the 200-300 Singhs carrying rifles, guns,
spears, swords, bow and arrows, sticks and within seconds attacked
with stones, acid bottles, hand-made bombs, firing their guns and
throwing spears. The Singhs that were hit with bullets fell on the
ground and were butchered with swords, spears and axes. When the
ground became covered with bodies of the dead and wounded, the police
fired tear gas, but even that was towards the Jatha of Singhs, so
the Nirankaris received even more help and the Singhs received even
Bhai Fauja Singh was fired upon by the Superintendent of Police,
Kaur stands at the side of her shaheed husband, Bhai
emptied his 32-calibre pistol into Bhai Fauja Singh`s chest. These
were not the only bullets he was to receive that day, but he kept
standing, uttering only "Waheguru". Two Sikhs attempted
to carry the still breathing and chanting Bhai Fauja Singh to the
hospital for treatment, but those two were arrested by the Police.
Bhai Fauja Singh`s body was taken by the Police and put into the
"Dead Wagon". Again, another Sikh came upon Bhai Fauja
Singh and found him breathing and still uttering "Waheguru".
He attempted to help, but half an hour later, when Bibi Amarjit
Kaur arrived, Bhai Sahib had attained martyrdom.
D.S.P Joshi was responsible for shooting Bhai Fauja Singh, and not
allowing any of the GurSikhs medical attention. Eventually the police
took the bodies of the "Shaheed Singhs" to the morgue,
and some wounded Singhs were taken to hospital.
The astonishing thing is that the gathering of the Nirankaris continued
for 3 and a half hours after this bloody massacre. It has also become
known that the D.C of Gurdaspur Naranjan Singh I.A.S and other senior
officers were present in the gathering during the killing of the
unarmed Singhs. It is clear that the authorities of the Amritsar
district allowed the Nakali Nirankaris to do the procession in the
Sikhs main city Amritsar on Vaisakhi. The authorities are guilty
of allowing the Nirankaris complete freedom and not dealing with
them properly at the right time, and they should have been punished
The government did make a Panel of Doctors for the post mortem
of the dead bodies. It has become known that Mr Janjooha D.C ordered
the post mortems of some of the Singhs to be done only by one doctor
and the government orders were not carried out. The D.C was also
involved with the Nirankaris.
The press also printed the news details of the incident incorrectly.
The Singhs of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and the Bhindra Jatha were
called fanatics. Harbhajan Singh Yogi responded stating,
"Today I read the newspaper report in which it was said, a
body of fanatic Sikhs. If doing kirtan and defending the good name
of our father Guru Gobind Singh Ji makes us fanatics, then we welcome
this allegation. Remember, those who do not defend the grace of
their father are never worthy of respect on the earth. These martyrs
of Amritsar have shown us that we shall live in grace; if it is
not possible, we choose to die in grace."
In this bloody massacre 13 Singhs were
martyred and there were more than 70 wounded. Ten GurSikh were members
of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, two were of the Bhindra Jatha. Many
of them left wives and children. The names of the 13 Shaheed Singhs
Bhai Fauja Singh s/o Surain Singh, Amritsar
Bhai Avtar Singh s/o Bhagwan Singh Kuda Kurala Hoshiarpur
Bhai Harbhajan Singh s/o Jagat Singh Bhattian, Gurdaspur
Bhai Piara Singh s/o Kishan Singh, Bhungrani, Hoshiarpur
Bhai Raghbir Singh s/o Nawab Singh, Bhagupur, Amritsar
Bhai Gurcharan Singh s/o Daleep Singh, New Model Town, Ludhiana
Bhai Gurdial Singh s/o Sohan Singh, Mode, Amritsar
Bhai Amrik Singh s/o Kundan Singh, Khujala, Amritsar
Bhai Dharambir Singh s/o Lal Singh, Ajeet Nagar, Amritsar
Bhai Kewal Singh s/o Amar Singh, Prem Garh, Hoshiarpur
Bhai Hari Singh s/o Gurcharan Singh, Kot Ralia Ram, Amritsar
Bhai Ranbir Singh Fauji s/o Kala Singh, Thraj, Faridkot
Baba Darshan Singh s/o Achhar Singh Ji, Mehtha, Amritsar
The funeral of the 13 Singhs took place on Saturday 15/4/78 in front
of Gurdwara Siri Ramsar Sahib in front of a large congregation of
about 25-30,000 people. All the Shaheed GurSikhs were cremated together.
people attended the cremation of the martyrs
Jarnail Singh aiding Bhai Amolak Singh who was still
weak from wounds sustained during the massacre