Sukha Jinda's Last Days

We don't know why the jailers have taken a hating to our clothes. Today they came again with 20 or 25 police officers along with the jail's DIG. We were stubborn and said "Who's going to come forward first?" They want that we should be hung while wearing prisoner's uniforms. But we will try to go while wearing Kesri dastaars, Cholas and Kachera. We have full faith in Satguru Ji that our wish will be certainly fulfilled.

Today the police DSP came and asked for a Kara as a memento. We said "We'll give you the Kara, but then you're going to have to do good things with your hands." He replied, "I already do good things." Two inspectors also took Karas.

Today we've locked down early. Otherwise for the past few days we used to lock up at 11 or 12 because the jail officials would cause some problem and we'd refuse to be locked up. Until today, we've broken about 80 tube-lights in our yard, along with four cameras which used to always show on jail TV's what was going on.

One night, we refused to be locked up and it was 10pm. Veer Harjinder Singh began to read the newspaper. I said, "What have you grabbed the newspaper for? Let's talk. After all, how many days are left now? Veer replied, "We went into the struggle together, have stayed together in jail and will ahead too."

4th October 1992

"The battle for Khalistan is different from all other wars that have been fought or wars or movements that are being fought now. This is because other struggles are based on worldly values while our war is based on truth and freedom for the individual. The struggle for Khalistan is not just political or subscribed to worldly values, it is truly a Dharam-Yudh. We colour ourselves with Dharam before going into battle and our only support is Akaal Purakh. The Sikhi principles for which we have started this Dharam Yudh are beloved to us. We don't want to achieve any worldly kingship that forces us to lose our Dharam. Any such Khalistan which is devoid of the colour of Dharam and which was established by abandoning our faith will be suicidal for the Sikhs."

"For our principles, we must fight a war that has a high character. For those who travel this path, it is essential that they have a very high character. The right to punish a dusht only goes to that Gurmukh who's own life and character is much higher than that dusht. Only by travelling on these lines will Satguru Ji have mercy on us. We have no strength of our own. Akaal Purakh will only give us power and strength if we stay within the divine principles [of Sikhi].

5th October 1992

Beloved brothers, yesterday they were asking your brothers about our final wishes. We said, "If you have the courage to fulfil the final wishes of us Khalistani's, then we want that we should be hung in front of the entire world so that people know how Sikhs go laughingly to the gallows for the sake of truth and Dharam." We've written this down for them too. Yesterday the newspapers carried news of our execution date, that too was because of the Supreme Court. They [jail officials] had wanted that the world find out only after the hanging. No one has come to meet us yet. Perhaps they haven't sent out a telegram yet.

From Bhai Jinda:

I just finished doing paath. Sukhdev veer is in front of me, lying in his room reading the newspaper. We sent messages for you all to come meet us, I don't know if they sent them out or not. Today, because of Dussehra, it was a holiday in the jail. Lock down took place a bit early today, but we always lock down when we feel like it. The past couple weeks have been very tense. Every day we locked down about four or five hours late, so about 11pm. No one even had the courage to come tell us to lock down. We used to lock down ourselves when we used to think that the guards were hungry and thirsty for the whole day and also, we used to start to feel sleepy. The Superintendent and the rest of the staff used to stay until we locked down.

October 6, 1992

Let me tell you what happened today. I was doing paath from the Gutka at around noon time when a call came from the guard room, "Sardar Ji, Sat Sri Akaal!" They then called for me to come near. Sukhdev veer had fallen asleep while doing paath. When I came near the guardroom, the DSP and the IG from the CBI were standing there. The DSP laughed and said, "Jinda Ji, your face is beginning to glow more and more!" I replied, "This is because of Satguru's blessings. Come look on the day of the hanging, it will glow even more." The CBI's IG had met me before in Nasik Jail. I asked why he had come and he said that he just thought he'd ask how we were doing. We talked for quite some time. After a while, Sukha veer also came.

The IG said, "You are brave. Even after being so close to death, there is no sign of fear on your faces. There is in fact a glow." I laughed and said, "Otherwise you call us extremists and terrorists, and today you are calling us brave?" The IG then replied, "You too have some reason for which you are going to the gallows with laughter. We can say whatever we want about you, you are still lions." When leaving, he spoke very warmly and said, "I will pray for you." I said, "Don't pray just for us, pray for the well being of everyone." A lot of things were said, but because I don't have enough paper, I can't write them down.

Mother, Father, your sons have been greatly blessed by Satguru Ji. Today even death is afraid of your sons. We feel a weird sensation of happiness and consider ourselves very lucky that Satguru Ji has given us so many blessings. Mother, I think about you and feel so proud that I have received a godly mother with whose teachings I have now reached my goal in life. It is my Ardaas that in every life, I stay your son. Mother, Father, always stay in Chardi Kala and meditate on Naam. I am proud of my entire family. Only two days remain until the hanging and I don't know if you will reach Poona or not. It seems that we'll only be able to meet only once on the last day. It doesn't matter. God has given us many meetings already. Even if it doesn't happen, it doesn't matter.

The entire family, relatives and those in our town should stay in Chardi Kala and keeping reciting Naam. Sukhdev veer is also writing a letter. Outside it is raining a bit. It is really beautiful weather.

Now let me tell you something funny. Yesterday or the day before, the jailer came and asked in a quiet voice, "What is your final wish?" I replied with a laugh, "Hang the Superintendent in my place". He laughed very hard. I told two jokes to the IG as well. One was the Superintendent one and the other was this: someone sentenced to hang is asked his final wish and he says, "I want to eat a cantaloupe." They reply, "It's not the season for cantaloupes the prisoner then says, "That's ok, I can wait."

6th October1992

It's nine at night. We haven't locked up yet. All the officers are sitting outside, cross-legged. I want to send everyone a separate letter, but there isn't enough time and our paper has run out. The jail officials won't let us send letters either. They took away all the paper. Even our pen and paper look like AK 47s to them. Here, these people's sleep has been ruined. Everyone is terrified, but with all your Ardaas and Satguru Ji's blessings, we are roaring [like lions]. That great hour which we have been awaiting will come on 9-10-1992 at 4AM. We can't control our excitement.

We were talking to the jail officials just now about you. We said, "Everyone must have arrived by now, but you haven't let us meet them." There isn't anything called humanity in these people. The souls of Chandu and Gangu are live in them. We haven't locked up, but we're still sitting inside. Veer Harjinder Singh is also writing a letter. It's raining a bit. Before it was raining quite hard.
No one should feel sad at our Shaheedi. This is a happy moment for all of us and we've prepared boondee [Indian sweet] to distribute in celebration. We've always got so much love from all of you. It is because of all your Ardaas that today we are in total Chardi Kala.

7th October 1992

Last night I stopped my letter in between. We locked up at twelve last night. I took my bedding outside and veer said, "You sleep, I'll keep guard." At 11pm, the Superintendent and his other people came. Veer got angry and like wrestler took his chola off and got ready. He grabbed the Deputy Superintendent by the neck and roughed everyone up pretty badly. We said, "We don't care about the meetings, but we didn't think you all would fall so much. You are such cowards. Your treachery and excesses are the reason we are fighting. We have never bowed and will never bow in the future. Look at your humanity, in the end, you have even stopped letting us meet Nirmal Singh."

We started to feel sleepy, so we locked up by our own will at 12. Say Fateh to our aunts from Jandiala and Rana. Veer has come up to stand by the bars and his eyes have fallen on this letter as well. Now, with a load of love, let us end this letter. Forgive our faults.

Your own,

Sukhdev Singh, Harjinder Singh.

8th October 1992

Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha did not write any further. From 10am till 10pm on October 8th, they met with their families. During these meetings, they showed no fear at all. In fact, they were happier than usual. They forcefully told their family that after their Shaheedi, no one should try to take political advantage and no one should build a memorial or Gurdwara for them.

Bhai Jinda's mother asked the girl family members who came to do a dance as her son was going to be married tomorrow. Before leaving, Bhai Jinda's mother took her son's face in her hands and said, "Wherever you go, be happy. And know that I am proud of you." She did not cry. Her face was red with emotion.

From 10pm until 12 am Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha rested.

Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda woke up at 12am. The bathed and until 3am they did paath. They had prepared some dahee (yogurt) which they then ate along with one apple each. They then did their final Ardaas and Kirtan Sohila paath.

They dressed in white Cholas with Kesri dastaars and Kamarkasa. Bhai Jinda shook hands with the jail officials and thanked them for keeping them for 5 years. Bhai Sukha and Jinda also asked about their 30+ relatives who were in Poona. When they were lead to the gallows, they shouted Jaikaras. They walked with long strides. Bhai Nirmal Singh who was in a cell near the gallows also replied to the Jaikaras.

The two Singhs climbed the gallows with smiles. They had wanted to bring sweets for the executioners, but perhaps they were not allowed. They kissed their noose and even though they wanted to put them around their own necks, were not allowed to do so. The time had come and according to Bhai Nirmal Singh, Bhai Jinda shouted loudly to Bhai Sukha, "Veer Sukhaya! Roar a Fateh!" He then heard Jaikaras. And then they stopped.

Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda were kept hanging for 30 minutes. They were hung together. For the execution, 4 Deputy Police Commissioners, 10 assistant Police Commissioners, 14 inspectors, 145 sub-inspectors and 1275 officers had been assigned.

At quarter to 5 in the morning, police vehicles came to the Poona Gurdwara Sahib where the families were staying. They took the family to a police station outside Poona from where they were taken further.

The family was then taken to a spot near the Moola River where a part of a sugarcane field had been cleared. Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda's bodies had been brought to the site in a truck. The family brought clothes and items for the cremation and despite police protests, insisted on doing everything themselves. They washed the bodies and Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha's fathers lit the pyres at 6.20am. No relative showed any sadness but instead congratulated each other. Three bibis from Jammu did Kirtan. The ashes were not given to the family.

Jail Chitthiyan - Sukha Jinda

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