Gurbachan Singh Manochal
‘’’Baba Gurbachan Singh’’’ was the last major Sikh Resistance leader to fall. The Indian Government had put a RS 25 lakh reward on his head and was searching the entire Tarn Taran area for him, conducting 45 raids at one time to trap him. Baba Ji escaped each time and continued to be a painful thorn in India’s side. When all the other Singhs had been martyred and the entire Indian Security Force was on his trail, he refused the order to go and hide in Pakistan and spit on the offer to surrender. He simply could not be caught. Even in the end, he was martyred not by police bullets, but by the betrayal of those he considered his own.
Baba Ji was a Saint-Soldier and a farsighted General.
- 1 Birth
- 2 Bapoo Atma Singh and Mata Gurmej Kaur
- 3 Becoming a Baba
- 4 Days in the Army
- 5 Meeting Sant Kartar Singh Bhindranvale
- 6 1978 and After
- 7 Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Bhindranvale & Baba Ji
- 8 1984
- 9 June 1984 & After
- 10 No Compromise
- 11 Early Battles
- 12 Panthic Committee & The Tiger Force
- 13 Trip to Pakistan & Tragedy
- 14 Bhai Mohinder Singh
- 15 Daily Routine and Rehit
- 16 People gathered around a Pir's grave
- 17 Shaheedi
Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochal was born on June 6, 1954 at village Manochhal in Amritsar district. His parents were Bapu Atma Singh and Mata Gurmej Kaur. His parents were simple farmers but their family had a heritage of struggle against injustice. Bapoo Atma Singh’s uncle had become shaheed in the Jaito Morcha, marching against the British Raj.
Bapoo Atma Singh and Mata Gurmej Kaur
Baba Gurbachan Singh was from childhood a very strong and muscular boy. He enjoyed wrestling and other sports. The family moved from village Manochal to Naushera Panoan when Baba Ji was still young because his mother’s brothers had left for Singapore and left behind a large farm that had to be maintained.
Becoming a Baba
Baba Ji was in the tenth grade when once he saw a boy inappropriately teasing and harassing a group of girls. Baba Ji grabbed the troublemaker and beat him badly. The teacher found out and in front of the entire class asked the young Gurbachan Singh to explain why he had beaten the other boy. Baba Ji explained, “Sir, he was harassing the bibis and after all, all women should be like our sisters. So, I couldn’t help myself and I did what I had to.”
The entire class began to laugh at Gurbachan Singh’s use of the word “bibis” for the schoolgirls. The teacher laughed and said, “I see! These girls are “bibis” and you would be the “Baba Ji. All students! From now on, everyone will call Gurbachan Singh, Baba Ji!”
After that day, the nickname “Baba” stuck and everyone began to call him Baba Gurbachan Singh. In the entire area, people began to know him as “Baba Ji”.
Days in the Army
Baba Gurbachan Singh completed his education and at his father’s wishes, decided to join the army. Baba Ji was 6”1 and over 200 pounds. The army happily enlisted him as an “A level” recruit.
Even in the army, the name “Baba” Gurbachan Singh stuck. He was known for doing paath and being a devoted Sikh, even though he was not yet amritdhari. Every day he dedicatedly did his nitnem. One day, as Baba Ji was doing nitnem, he fell into deep meditation. The time for the daily military parade came and went and Baba Ji had no awareness of it. The officer in charge of the parade demanded to know where Baba Gurbachan Singh was. The other soldier tried to explain that he was meditating but the Hindu Officer had a bias against Sikhs and refused to understand.
The officer went to Baba Ji and shook him into awareness. Baba Ji apologized for missing the parade and explained he was reciting Gurbani. The officer responded, by making fun of the Sikh faith and insulting the Gurus. Baba Ji’s anger couldn’t be controlled and he tackled the officer. His fists flew and the officer shrieked for someone to help him. The other Sikh soldiers watching did nothing as they knew how much the officer hated Sikhs. The beating continued for some time when finally other officers came and stopped Baba Ji. Baba Ji had broken the Hindu officer’s arm and his nose.
Baba Gurbachan Singh was arrested and court marshaled. After a year of prison, Baba Ji left the army and returned home with a desire to dedicate his life to Sikhi.
Meeting Sant Kartar Singh Bhindranvale
Although Baba Gurbachan Singh did nitnem and had a love for Sikhi, he was still not amritdhari. Baba Ji always attended programs by various Sants and one day he found out that Sant Giani Kartar Singh Bhindranwale would be coming to his village for a program. Baba Ji was very moved by the katha and wanted to speak with Sant Kartar Singh. Sant ji encouraged him to become amritdhari and so Baba Ji did so within just a few days.
After receiving the gift of amrit, Baba Gurbachan Singh decided to travel with Jatha Bhindra. He became very close to Sant Kartar Singh and also learned Gurbani Santhiya and Katha. Baba Ji had memorized many banis and had a very long daily nitnem which he began very early at amrit vela.
After the passing of Sant Kartar Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale became the next jathedar of the Jatha and Baba Ji was also very close to him.
1978 and After
In the 1970s, the Indian government sponsored Nirankari cult began to come to the forefront and publicly derided the Sikh faith and insulted the Sikh Gurus. The cult chief, Gurbachana was known to have said insulting thinks like “Guru Gobind Singh made the Panj Pyare, I’ll make the sat sitaray”. He also insulted Guru Granth Sahib.
On April 13, 1978, the Nirankaris had a march through Amritsar in which slogans against the Sikh religion were shouted. Singhs from the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and Jatha Bhindra(n) marched peacefully against the Nirankaris but were brutally attacked. 13 Singhs were martyred and many more were injured. Baba Gurbachan Singh had also taken part in this march and was shot in the arm.
When the Nirankaris continued with their insulting parchaar and were protected by the Indian Government, the Singhs began to punish the Nirankaris themselves and Baba Gurbachan Singh also wanted to join this movement. When he asked Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale for permission, Sant ji kept saying that Guru Sahib was to take a very big seva from him yet. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale asked Baba Gurbachan Singh to return to his village of Naushera Panoan and direct the building of Gurdwara Baba Dhanna Singh Kaviraj there. Baba Ji accepted this hukam and returned to his village, but visited Sant ji regularly even after.
Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Bhindranvale & Baba Ji
Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal’s relationship with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was very close. Once, someone in Naushera Panoan made the accusation that Baba Gurbachan Singh didn’t even know Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and was using his name for his own purposes. Baba Ji gathered the Sangat and traveled to Amritsar to disprove this allegation. Baba Ji and the Sangat went to the roof of Guru Ram Das Langar and when Baba Ji told Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale about what had been said, Sant Ji replied, “Gurbachan Singh is so near to me that he can cut off my head and take it away if he wants…”
When in 1982, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had gone to Bombay, the Indian Government thought it was the perfect time to capture him. The police surrounded the area and when Sant Ji received word of this he thought of a clever ruse. Baba Gurbachan Singh, who had been traveling with the Jatha, was about the same height as Sant Ji and wore the same style of clothes. He covered his face and lay down in Sant Ji’s bed so those watching would be fooled. Until Sant Ji had made his escape, Baba Gurbachan Singh continued to lie in bed and when he finally got up, the government agents were shocked and disappointed that their opportunity to arrest Sant Ji had passed.
Later when Baba Gurbachan Singh would volunteer for different missions to punish the enemies of the Panth like Bhajan Lal and various police officers, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale would always say, “these are all small jobs for you. I am going to take a very big seva from you eventually…”
The Gurdwara in Naushera Panoan where Baba Ji did seva was regulary visited by Singhs serving in the Movement.
As the days of the attack seemed to be drawing nearer, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Bhindranvale sent a message to Baba Gurbachan Singh for him to come meet him at Sree Darbar Sahib. Baba Gurbachan Singh was waiting for the opportunity. Sant Ji met Baba Ji very warmly and told him that an attack on Sree Darbar Sahib was imminent. Baba Ji requested that finally this time his seva should be accepted and he would join Singhs in defending the Complex and become Shaheed. But Sant Ji knew that this Singh would one day be a General that would shake all of India. Sant Ji said that not all the Singhs should be Shaheed in the attack. That after the attack the struggle must continue and it would no longer be a struggle for greater water rights or concessions from the Center, it would only be for independence. For Khalsa Raj. Baba Ji vowed to give his all in the fight for the Panth and for sovereignty. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale gave Baba Gurbachan Singh a siropa and lovingly ordered him to return to his village and not return until summoned. Baba Ji knew this would be their final meeting.
The attack took place and the Singhs defending Darbar Sahib became Shaheed after wreaking havoc on the Indian Army. Baba Gurbachan Singh knew that the “big seva” Sant Ji had spoken of was now at hand.
Even before the 1984 attack, Baba Gurbachan Singh was a wanted man. The security forces knew he was close to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and committed to the Sikh nation. As early as 1980 the police had once surrounded Gurdwara Baba Dhanna Singh in Naushera Panoan where Baba Ji was doing seva and ordered Baba Ji to surrender. Baba Ji told the police party that he would change his clothes first. He went inside his room and came out with a big kirpaan. Taking it out of its sheath, Baba Ji bellowed, “Whoever has got the courage can come and arrest me…” The police party was terrified and no one approached. By this time the village Sangat had also assempled and the Police were forced to return to their stations empty-handed.
In 1981 Baba Ji had begun to carry a revolver and knew that the Sikh struggle would have to resort to arms.
June 1984 & After
Baba Ji’s heart was breaking when news of the attack on Darbar Sahib arrived. He was wishing that he too could join his fellow Singhs in defence but he was bound by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Ji’s orders. He knew Sant Ji wanted him to organize the Sikh Freedom movement after the attack.
When villagers began to march towards Darbar Sahib, Baba Ji understood their pain, but knew this would be fruitless. Thousands of Sikhs had risen up from the villages and had been mowed down by the army. Baba Ji sent messages everywhere that marching on Amritsar without any weapons was useless. They should wait for weapons and then together, with a set strategy, they would fight the government. In this way Baba Gurbachan Singh saved many lives and laid the foundation for the future movement.
After the attack, those Singhs who were close to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and were ready to take on the government began to have secret meetings. Reporter Dalbir Singh was a well-educated journalist who knew Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale very well. He gathered with the remaining Singhs like Manbeer Singh Chaheru (General, Khalistan Commando Force) and others and told them that a fight for Khalistan would not be useful. He said that there were not enough Singhs to fight and the Indian government had a security force that could not be defeated so easily. The other Singhs began to discuss with Dalbir Singh about what could be done. When Baba Manochahal was asked for his opinion, he said plainly, “Bhaji, the government and its agents have oppressed the Sikhs. They’ve dishonored our mothers and sisters. We are going to take justice for that. Regarding all these political issues you’re talking about, you can deal with them as you see fit.” There was no discussion left. Baba Ji was determined to keep his promise of fighting for Sikh freedom.
Through 1985, Baba Gurbachan Singh began to organize the Singhs to fight against Indian oppression. He made speeches and created popular support for an armed movement.
The police were on Baba Ji’s trail and once even managed to capture him. The CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) had sideswiped Baba Ji’s motorcycle one night and then after tying him, threw him in their Jeep. Baba Ji managed to untie himself and after pushing his captors, jumped from the moving Jeep. He ran through the fields and managed to escape.
This was just the beginning. Baba Ji’s true life as an outlaw would begin after a battle in his own home village Manochahal. Baba Ji had gone to meet his family and was to spend the night in a small hut in the fields when someone informed the police. Baba Ji and his brother Bhai Mohinder Singh were asleep when the police party surrounded the hut. The head of the police party knocked on the door and shouted for Baba Manochahal to surrender. Baba Manochahal knew that the situation was dire and decided to buy some time. He demanded that the village head (sarpanch) be summoned and only then would he come out.
The police brought the sarpanch and when the sarpanch went to speak with Baba Gurbachan Singh, he tried to explain that the hut was completely surrounded. The Police again demanded that Baba Ji open the door. The sarpanch was asked to stand aside. Baba Ji then yelled from inside, “Give me a flashlight!” The police were confused and asked “Why do you need it?” Baba Ji replied, “We’ve locked the door from the inside and need it so we can see the lock!” The police passed a torch through the space under the door. Baba Ji and his brother armed their assault rifles and set them on “burst”. Baba Ji threw open the door and began to fire. The CRPF officer at the door fell immediately and the others also came under fire. The Bihari officers began to run in all directions, screaming “Run ! They’re going to kill us!”
Baba Ji and his brother jumped over the officers who were still lying in position. A Punjab Police officer tried to tackle Baba Ji as he was running but also failed. Baba Ji had wreaked havoc on the police and escaped. One officer thought Baba Ji was chasing him and for kilometers ran in front of Baba Ji. Baba Gurbachan Singh did not harm the poor police officer and let him go.
Panthic Committee & The Tiger Force
By 1986, the Sikh Freedom movement had begun and a five member Panthic Committee was formed to give the movement direction. The Singhs choosing the Committee were all affiliated with Damdami Taksal and had chosen five Singhs also affiliated with Taksal. Baba Gurbachan Singh requested that at least one Singh from Babbar Khalsa be chosen and he would give up his own spot if needed. The other Singhs did not agree and the Committee was announced. Baba Gurbachan Singh felt that without including all members of the struggle, regardless of their Jathedbandi, the Committee would not accomplish all it would have, but he continued on as a member.
A Sarbat Khalsa was called on January 26, 1986 in which the Panthic Committee was announced to the Sikh Panth. The five members were Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal, Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, Bhai Dhanna Singh, Bhai ArooR Singh (Shahid) and Bhai Gurdev Singh Usman (Shahid). Bhai Gurdev Singh Kaunke was appointed acting Jathedar of Sree Akal Takhat Sahib.. The Sarkar Takhat that was built by the Indian Government to stand in place of the destroyed Sree Akaal Takhat Sahib was also ordered to be destroyed. The kar seva of the new Akal Takhat building began that day.
On April 29, 1986 the Panthic Committee called a press conference at Sree Darbar Sahib and made the declaration of an independent Sikh nation, Khalistan.
Baba Gurbachan Singh along with the other Singhs had gone into Darbar Sahib undercover. Baba Ji tied his beard and took on the appearance of a lawyer, complete with briefcase.
On April 30, Bhai Gurdev Singh was arrested and Baba Gurbachan Singh was appointed acting Jathedar of Sree Akal Takhat Sahib. In the period that followed it was always confusing who was Jathedar as this position changed quite frequently. Baba Ji was once again appointed Jathedar on October 23, 1987.
It was at this time that Baba Gurbachan Singh emerged as head of a new organization: The Bhindranvala Tiger Force for Khalistan (BTFK). Some top lieutenants who worked with Baba Ji were Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Sangha, Bhai Satnam Singh Chheena and Bhai SurJit Singh Behla. Baba Ji’s brother Bhai Mohinder Singh also was a close associate.
Trip to Pakistan & Tragedy
Baba Manochahal decided to make a trip to Pakistan to secure arms for the Singhs. In his absence, he appointed Bhai Mohinder Singh to supervise operations. When arms arrived, Bhai Mohinder Singh and Bhai Sukhwinder Singh had a disagreement about the distribution and both parted company.
Bhai Mohinder Singh
The touts of the Indian Government decided to make use of this disagreement. They tricked some Singhs working under Bhai Sangha into shooting Bhai Mohinder Singh. They were told he was a goon and terrorizing the common people. Without checking on who they were attacking, the foolish recruits ended up shooting Bhai Mohinder Singh.
Baba Gurbachan Singh returned to Punjab to find out what had happened and many Singhs blamed Bhai Sangha for the death and asked that Baba Ji take revenge. Baba Ji asked for an explanation from Bhai Sukhwinder Singh and then after hearing the story simply said, “What’s done is done. In the future be sure about who it is you’re going to shoot.” The Singhs in the jathebandi were shocked that Baba Ji would let his brother’s death go unpunished but Baba Ji insisted that the mission was Khalistan and to get caught in small personal battles was self-defeating. Bhai Sangha eventually left the Majha area and operated out of Malwa independent of Baba Ji. When eventually Bhai Sangha was martyred, Baba Gurbachan Singh expressed his sadness and when others Singhs pointed out that Sangha had left the Jathebandi, Baba Ji said, “our goal was the same. Everyone makes mistakes and we should over look them.”
Daily Routine and Rehit
In the early days of the movement, Baba Gurbachan Singh kept a hideout in the swamps of the Mand area. Here he set up some huts and also a separate hut for Guru Granth Sahib. Baba Ji would sleep on the floor and every day wake up at amrit vela and do two hours of naam abhyaas. After, he would complete his very long nitnem and do sehaj paath from Guru Granth Sahib. Baba Ji daily completed five Sukhmani Sahibs even in the thick of battle.
After his morning paath Baba Ji would read up to seven different newspapers to keep aware of events and government propoganda. He would plan strategic strikes that would weaken India’s hold on Punjab and break the occupier’s confidence.
During this time, Baba Ji even had amrit sinchaars at this small dera for those who wanted to become Khalsa.
Baba Ji & the Pirs
If anyone has been to Punjab they will see that at every half kilometer, there is the grave of a Muslim Pir (saint). These graves are often not even real and made just to make money. Ignorant Hindus and Sikhs even worship these graves and when going past them, villagers are very afraid.
Once Baba Gurbachan Singh and another Singh were passing the grave of “Gainda Shah”. The Singh with Baba Ji stopped at the grave and because of fear, offered his respects. Baba Ji stood afar and watched all this. When the Singh was finished, Baba Ji took off his shoe, walked to the grave and began to hit it. The other Singh was terrified and shocked. But when nothing happened, and Baba Ji walked away without a word, that Singh and other villagers watching understood that the graves had no power.
People gathered around a Pir's grave
In Naushera Panoan, there is a grave of a Pir that is considered holy by mothers with sons. They give their sons first pay to those looking after the grave. Baba Ji’s mother also once went to the grave and offered prayers for Baba Ji’s protection and gave Rs. 500. Baba Ji found out about this. When he went home to visit his family one night after his return from Pakistan, his sister-in-law asked, “Do Muslims also come to matha tek at Nankana Sahib?” Baba Ji angrily replied, “Muslims aren’t idiots like you who leave their own places of worship and wander about elsewhere.” The family understood what Baba Ji was referring to.
Baba Ji used to also speak against fake Sants. One such Sant was thought to have magical powers. A Singh asked Baba Ji, “Don’t you feel afraid talking badly about that Sant? Aren’t you afraid of being cursed?” Baba Ji replied, “If Guru Gobind Singh’s Singhs start getting effected by the curses of these Sadhs, then what point is there in being a Singh? If these curses did effect us, I’d take my kirpan and give it back to Guru Sahib and ask him what was the point of being his Singh if we still have to fear fake Sadhs like that…”
`We will spill our last drop of blood and to the last man we will fight for Khalistan.' The immortal words of Shaheed Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal Jathadar Sri Akal Takhat Sahib General of Bhindranwala Tiger Force of Khalistan (B.T.F.K)
The history of the Sikh nation is filled with sacrifices and whenever the rulers of India or any invader has tried to finish the Sikhs by oppression the Khalsa Panth has retaliated by bringing the oppressor to justice . In recent times the Indian authorities have been trying to eliminate not only the Sikh people but also those belonging to other minorities in India by persecution and genocide. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Khalsa Bhindranwale awakened a sleeping nation and invited the Sikhs to raise their voices against the tyrant rulers. In this struggle to defend the Sikh nation thousands of brave Sikhs have received martyrdom and one of these is Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal who was one of the greatest leaders of the present struggle.
In the district of Amritsar, Tehsil Taran Taran there is a village known as Manochahal. In this village Mata Gurmej Kaur the wife of Atma Singh gave birth to Gurbachan Singh Manochahal in 1954. After having passed his metric exams his father wanted him to work on the family land but Baba Manochahal had no interest in this. So he joined the army as a surveyor. While in the army he felt an awakening for Sikhi and his consciousness led him towards the essence of Guru Ji's teachings.
After four years service in the army he decided to leave and went to live at his maternal grandfather's house to look after their land because they were in a foreign country. It was here that Baba Manochahal became a Granthi (priest) at Baba Dhanna Gurudwara. Whilst he was staying here Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale came to give Amrit Sanchar and to do parchar. Baba Manochahal was so influenced by Sant Ji's he utterances that he became a firm believer in Sant's message. After this initial meeting Baba Manochahal stayed at the headquarters of Damdami Taksal at Mehta on many occasions.
In 1978 a group calling themselves Sant Nirankaris organised a convention in Amritsar on April l3th, the Birthday of the Khalsa. The so-called Nirankaris backed by the Congress Party were under the leadership of one Gurbachan `Singh' who had claimed himself to be a prophet and incarnation of Guru Nanak Dev ji. At the gathering the Nirankaris mocked the Sikh faith and insulted the Sri Guru- Granth Sahib Ji. On hearing this Sant Bhindranwale sent a group of devote sikhs under the leadership,of Bhai Fauja Singh to hold a peaceful protest march to the place where the socalled Nirankaris were gathering. However the Nirankaris and the police fired upon the Sikhs resulting in the martyrdom of 13 Sikhs and 80 were further injured including Baba Manochahal who was shot in the arm.
In 1982 The Sikh Freedom Fighters shot Lala Jagat Narain the editor of the Hind Samachar newspaper which was writing derogatory; remarks directed against the Sikh religion. In connection with this case a warrant was issued for Sant Bhindranwale and in order to arrest him raids were made in Chando Kalan (Haryana) and Bombay. Baba Manochahal was with Sant Bhindranwale during this time and they managed to reach Mehta Chowk. At Mehta Chowk Sant Bhindranwala peacefully courted arrest. After the arrest the police without any reason shot 22 Sikhs dead and wounded many more. Unable to falsely find Sant Bhindranwale guilty the Brahmin Government was forced to release him. On being released Sant Bhindranwale went straight to the Darbar Sahib and started the `Dharam Yudh' morcha.
In June 1984 the Indian rulers attacked the Darbar Sahib resulting in thousands of innocent men, women and children being butchered. After this incident and the atrocities generally being committed against the Sikhs Baba Manochahal decided to fight in the armed struggle. His first action was in his own village where he shot and killed a soldier after which he absconded
The police in order to force Baba Manochahal to give himself up took from his maternal grandparents home their Jip, motorcycle, tractor and then burnt their crops. They also started to harass his family, which included violence
At Manochahal village the Punjab police and the CRP surrounded Baba Manochahal and an encounter ensued in which Inspector Bhupinder Singh and many other police officers were killed. Baba Manochahal broke through the police cordon and escaped. By 1986 Baba Ji had 9 encounters with the army and police and always broke through their cordons and escaped.
On the 26 July 1986 a Sarbat Khalsa was called at the Akal Takhat which the Punj ab police tried to prevent by blocking and barricading all the roads leading to Darbar Sahib. A five member Panthic Committee was established to over look the affairs of the Sikh Nation and Baba Manochahal was chosen as one of the five. On the 29th April 1986 the Panthic Committee declared that the Sikhs would struggle for the establishment of an independent Sikh state `Khalistan' . The Akali Government led by Barnala sent the army into Sri Harmandir Sahib resulting in hundreds of arrests including that of the acting Jathadar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Bhai Gurdev Singh Kaonke. The Panthic Committee elected Baba Manochahal to replace Bhai Koanke as Jathadar. As Jathadar Baba Manochahal stood firm on the demand for Khalistan and kept the high traditions and morals of Akali Phula Singh Ji. In order to quicken the struggle for Khalistan Baba Manochahal founded the Bhindranwala Tiger force of Khalistan which in a very short time spread its operations throughout Punjab, Delhi and other surrounding states.
Baba Manochahal had many encounters with the Indian police and after causing havoc he managed to escape. For instance in village Vrana he along with his companions Dr Resham Singh and Bhai Buta Singh had an encounter with the police in which they inflicted terror and death. The police commander in charge was Mohammad Izhar Alam and he had his men surround the area. The encounter lasted for 7 hours and Bhai Buta Singh received martyrdom but Baba Manochahal along with Dr Resham Singh managed to escape. See: Vrana Encounter
The Indian Government once again attacked the Darbar Sahib in operation Black Thunder in which many of Baba Manochahal's companions received martyrdom including Lt General Bhai Surjit Singh Penta and Lt General Bhai Karj Singh Thanda . Baba Manochahal's greatest encounter with the police was in village Rotal which lasted 56 hours. In this encounter the police, CRP and the army were involved and in the battle there was a heavy loss on the enemy. The BTF lost Lieutenant General Lakhwinder Singh and four other freedom fighters who became Shaheeds fighting for the Sikh Nation. Once again Baba Manochahal escaped from the clutches of the police.
Being unsuccessful in capturing Baba Manochahal the police turned their attention to his family. His father Atma Singh and his brother Tarlochan Singh who had deserted the army after operation Blue Star were arrested. After spending six years in jail they were released. Baba Manochahal's wife and son along with his other brothers Nirvair Singh who was working as a farmer and Ninder Singh who was working for the electricity board were arrested. The police later killed Baba Manochahal's father Atma Singh and brother Nirvair Singh in a fake encounter. The rest of the family if they have not been killed by the police are still being harassed and tortured today.
Due to Baba Manochahal's military training and his own intelligence he survived in the thick of the battle against the brahmin regime for 15 years. He stayed true to the Khalsa spirit and showed what can be achieved in a short space of time by following the teachings of the Gurus.
At the beginning of 1993 a near companion of Baba Manochahal by the name of Sukhwant Singh Warchiree was arrested by the police. Unable to bear the heavy police torture he told the police the whereabouts of Baba Manochahal's hideouts. But Baba Manochahal was able to change his hideouts before he could be found.
In the village of Bagria the police raided the house of Piara Singh. When the police were about to arrest his son Resham Singh, his mother asked the police why are you taking my son? Baba Manochahal is sitting down in the bunker. Before the police could take any action Baba Manochahal exploded a bomb and rained a spray of bullets on the police. This caused a stampede amongst the police and Baba Manochahal managed to escape. When the police broke the bunker and went inside they found a feast of ' arms and' a small wireless set which Baba Manochahal had been using to track the movement of the police.
The police surrounded all the villages nearby and carried out house to house searches. On the 28 February 1993 outside Rotal village the police raided the farmhouse of Ajit Singh where Baba Manochahal was staying.
This was Baba Manochahal's final encounter and he knew the time had come for him to become one with the Almighty. He came out fighting like a lion and was shot by police entrenched behind a tubewell.
Baba Manochahal's martyrdom was a great loss to the Sikh Nation and his martyrdom was revenged by the freedom fighters who killed five police officers near Barnala. Baba Manochahal's involvement in the Khalistan Movement inspires many a Sikh today to fight against oppression and injustice and will continue to do so. He has joined the endless list of Shaheeds, martyred in a righteous war in defence of his faith.
We are born from the edge of the sword. Grown and swelled with the sword. If we live, we live with self respect, if we die, we die with dignity.
The Immortal words of Shaheed Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji Manochahal, former Jathadar Sri Akal Takhat & General of the Bhindranwala Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK)
My friends will be waiting For my New Year greetings wishing them happiness Oh my friend! How can I wish happy New Year to you As yet I still have to guard my heritage under constant threat of humiliation. The turban of my Father is rolling somewhere in the dust It might be waste in the dark corner of some police station. After the murders of our mothers and sisters, tears have been unceasing. Our innocent boys who are soft as flowers lie beneath the bridges, below the trees murdered in false encounters. Our sister's honour remains unavenged since the Delhi massacre I am in great and constant grief like the tender butterfly that flutters and turns white with fear, whose wings have turned grey with the passing of time. In this struggle I may not be recognised and may get lost And in this dreadful situation in what way can I then convey my New year greetings to you. We will wait for better times. Then shall I send such greetings When Spring visits our garden.