Sakhi 1978 :
Martyrs of Amritsar
13th April 1978 the Sikhs 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 religion.
the Sikh Sangat knew very well that the Nakali Nirankaris had been doing
these things for the past few years. The Nirankaris had given degrading
names to some GurSikhs including Mata Tripta Ji, Bhai Gurdas Ji, Baba Budha
Ji and others. They called the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji a bundle of papers,
and they called Kar Sewa, Bikar Sewa.
Nakali Nirankari leader said that Guru Gobind Singh Ji had made 5 Panj
Pyarai, I shall make 7. etc etc When Bhai Fauja Singh heard the news from
the loudspeaker he 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. After performing Ardas, the
Gursikhs bowed before the Satguru and went off to Ramdas Niwas.
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.
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.
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.
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 Nakali Nirankaris rushed
towards the 200-300 Singhs carrying rifles, guns, spears, swords and within
seconds attacked with stones, acid bottles, hand-made bombs.
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 more injuries.
Fauja Singh was fired upon by the Superintendent of Police, who emptied his
32-calibre pistol into Bhai Fauja Singh`s chest but even then he kept
standing, uttering only Waheguru.
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.
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.
this bloody massacre 13 Singhs were martyred and there were more than 70
should be noted that although Gurbachan Singh's movement call themselves
Nirankaris, they do not have anything in common with the original Nirankari
movement that made enormous sacrifices and significant contributions for