Satwant Singh

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Satwant Singh, was born in 1962 in the house of his father Sardar Tarlok Singh and Sardarni Pyar Kaur, in the village Agwan Kurd, district Gurdaspur. He and Beant Singh were bodyguards to the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, who on October 31, 1984 they assassinated in the garden of her residence.

The assassination was motivated by Operation Blue Star, the attack on the Sikh "Golden Temple" in Amritsar, which had been thought to be occupied by armed Sikh revolutionaries. Satwant Singh and Beant Singh fired around sixteen bullets into Indira Gandhi's chest and abdomen.

Beant Singh was killed by gunfire as, after his arrest, he struggled with a commando for his weapon.

Satwant Singh was arrested[1] and later sentenced to death by hanging, along with another Sikh charged as a conspirator Kehar Singh. The sentence was carried out on January 6, 1989.[2]

Satwant Singh's father Tarlok Singh[3] was a farmer and he was born in the village of Agwan in Gurdaspur District, Punjab. His mother's name was Piar Kaur.[4] His brother's name is Sarwan Singh Agwaan.[5] He married Surinder Kaur (daughter of Mr. Virsa Singh) on May 2 1988 while he was in jail[6]. His fiance married him in his absence by marrying his photo in an Anand Karaj.[7][8][9]

Satwant Singh's Statement to the Court

In the Supreme Court, Bhai Satwant Singh made a statement. He said, "Let any part of my body, after my Shaheedi, be removed and used by anyone (Donated for transplants) who may need. However if you need my eyes, let the authorities first tell my parents."

"I have no hatred for any Hindu, Muslim, Christian, neither hatred for any religion. After my Shaheedi, let no Sikh throw any rock at any Hindu. I am not in favour of any retaliation or bloodshed over my Shaheedi. If we do create bloodshed, then there is no difference between us and Rajiv Gandhi. I am Proud of the task that I did! I do ardas in front of Waheguru! If I am blessed with another human life, then give me a death of the Brave when I am hanged. Forget one life, if I could I would give up a thousand lives to kill dushts (enemies) like Indira Gandhi, and laugh as I become Shaheed by hanging…."

Satwant's last meeting with his Vakeel

His lawyer, Sardar Bhupinder Singh Sodhi was the last to meet Satwant Singh in Tihar jail. Sodhi said, "Beloved Satwant, I am so sorry I was unable to save you from the death sentence. Now this is the last time we will ever meet." The lawyer said as he became emotional.

Sardar Satwant Singh replied, "Vakeel Sahib, you should be making me strong. We will meet again. Promise me you will fight my case next time aswell!"

Bhupinder Singh Sodhi replied, "Pyare Satwant, I do not understand what you are saying? All your appeals have failed. Tomorrow morning, 6th January, at 6am, both you and Kehar Singh will be hanged."

Satwant Singh replied, "Vakeel sahib, whenever Waheguru gives me a human life, I will once again destroy the enemies of the Sikh Nation like Indira Gandhi. Then again you will come and fight my case. Those who believe in truth and human rights, will always have to fight these brutal regimes. I will keep taking births! I will keep killing dushts! You will keep meeting me!"

Seeing Satwant Singh in such Chardi kala, lawyer Bhupinder Singh Sodhi says, "Pyare Satwant, Great are you, Great is your Sikhi, so blessed am I who was able to fight a case of a Lionheart, brave warrior such as you. Waheguru ji has blessed me just to have the darshan of you. Any nation that has warriors like you, Satwant Singh, brave, mard, soormais. That Nation can never be controlled, intimidated or suppressed."

The Day of the Execution

On the 6th of January 1989, at 4am - the time the Sikhs call Amrit Vela, the authorities walked Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh towards their nooses, their voices could be heard from outside the jail, shouting, "Jo Bole So Nihal ! Sat Siri Akaal (God is truth - he who says this will be saved!)" Then after a few moments silence, as both of them stepped forward and kissed the hangmans noose, a very heavy rainfall started to fall.

Just as the British had done with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Their bodies were taken to Ferozpur, and cremated on the banks of the Sutluj river. Similarly, the Indian Government did not hand over the bodies of Shaheed Satwant Singh and Shaheed Kehar Singh to their next of kin. Their bodies were cremated within Tihar jail.

As the bodies burned, the authorities did not have the heart to hand them back to the families, the mens' lawyer, Sardar Bhupinder Singh Sodhi said to the authorities, "I can understand you have hatred for those spirits who killed Indira Gandhi, but how can you even have hatred for their corpses?"

The last wish of both Shaheed Satwant Singh and Shaheed Kehar Singh was that their ashes be taken to Siri Kartarpur Sahib. Citing concerns about possible violence, the autorities refused to turn even the ashes over to the relatives for use in religious ceremonies. The Police forced the families of the two Shaheeds into jeeps and vans and drove them to Hardwar. Throughout the whole journey to Hardwar, it rained heavily.

Then at gunpoint giving the families no choice, the final ardas for the Shaheeds was done. Just as the ardas began, the rain stopped. It was like nature was also paying respect to the Shaheeds. Bhai Satwant Singh`s father, Bapu Tarlok Singh, and the son of Bhai Kehar Singh, Sardar Rajinder Singh, poured the ashes in to the river at Hardwar.

Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh were the last men to be hanged in Tihar Jail.

Honors and death anniversaries

In the year 2003, a Bhog ceremony was held at Akal Takhat, Amritsar where tributes were paid to Satwant Singh and Beant Singh.[10]

In the year 2004, his death anniversary was again observed at Akal Takhat, Amritsar, where his mother was honored by the head priest and tributes were paid to Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh by various political parties.[11]

In the year 2007, the death anniversaries of Satwant Singh and his wife were observed in various parts of Punjab and other countries.[12]

On January 6 2008 the highest Sikh temporal seat (Akal Takhat, Amritsar) declared Satwant Singh and other assassins of former prime minister Indira Gandhi martyrs of Sikhism[13][14][15][16] SGPC also paid homage to both Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh and called them "martyrs of Sikh nation".[17] Shiromani Akali Dal observed their death anniversary as 'martyrdom' on October 31 2008[18]


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  9. ^ Miami Herald - June 26, 1988
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  • 1. wikipedia
  • 2.
  • 3. The New York Times / PROTESTS FOLLOW HANGING OF 2 SIKHS, S. Hazarika, January 7, 1989