Birth & Family
Bhai Jatinderpal Singh Billa was born on 6th April 1966 in the house of Sardar Kripal Singh and from the womb of Mata Jaswinder Kaur in the village of Lashkari Nangal, district Ajnala. Bhai Sahib was the eldest of two brothers and one sister, Bhai Gurwinder Singh, Bibi Amarjit Kaur and Bhai Harpreet Singh.
Bhai Sahib studied up till 5th class at his grandparents (mother side) village in Kot Sindhu and then studied until 8th class at the local school of Lashkari Nangal. In 1978-79, Bhai Sahib was the best sportsman in his district. While in 9th class at Government High School in Sangatpura, Bhai Sahib was once again chosen as the best sportsman. After this Bhai Sahib took admission into Sports College in Jalandhar and in the first year, 1983-84 Bhai Sahib came second place in whole of Punjab in high jump. Following the advice of his coach, Bhai Sahib started practising and competing in long jump.
State Sports Tournament
Then in 1984-85, Bhai Sahib competed in long jump at the State Sports Tournament. Here the record for long jump was 6 metres and 95 cm and this had been unbeaten for 15 years. Bhai Sahib beat this record and set the new record at 6 metres 98 cm, which remains unbeaten till today. Then in the national tournament, Bhai Sahib again competed for long jump and here he jumped the total distance of 7 metres 2m to reach first place.
Working at DCM
After leaving college Bhai Sahib started working at DCM Mills in Ghaziabaad. In 1984, AIM (All India Mills) held a sports tournament in which Bhai Sahib took part in long jump. Bhai Sahib came in second place, this made Bhai Sahib’s manager really happy who then awarded Bhai Sahib with 10 days of holiday. Bhai Sahib went on holiday on 21st October 1984 to 30th October 1984 and on 31st October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Bhai Beant Singh and Bhai Satwant Singh, for this reason Bhai Sahib could not make it too Ghaziabaad on 31st October 1984.
Made contact with Sikh Student Federation’s / BSF Headquarters
One of Bhai Sahib’s friends, who had studied with him, had become an officer at BSF (Border Security Force). Bhai Sahib went to meet his friend at the BSF headquarters in Jalandhar. Bhai Sahib applied for BSF and did his fitness trails at the BSF headquarters. BSF sports coach Randhawa passed Bhai Sahib and made gave him the job of BSF Hawaldar. In the Border Security Force, Bhai Sahib earned respect from colleagues through his fitness abilities. Bhai Sahib was very popular at the BSF headquarters and fellow officers nicknamed Bhai Sahib ‘Billa’. While staying at BSF headquarters. Bhai Sahib use to go and eat at Santokh Dhaba which was situated on the Ladhowal Road. It’s here Bhai Sahib made contact with Sikh Student Federation’s press secretary, Bhai Sewa Singh. Soon Bhai Sewa Singh introduced Bhai Sahib to General Labh Singh, Bhai Malkiat Singh Bapu and Bhai Gian Singh Chacha. These singhs would regularly come and visit Bhai Sahib in his room at the BSF headquarters. Then slowly Bhai Sahib started taking part in small Khadku actions with General Labh Singh of Khalistan Commando Force. When Julio Francis Rebeiro was attacked at the BSF headquarters of Jalandhar, Bhai Sahib had provided the singhs with the uniform and also played a part in the actual action.
Transferred to the 54th Battalion of BSF in Srinagar
Looking at Bhai Sahib dedication and loyalty to the Sikh Freedom Movement, the Khadku Singhs of Khalistan Commando Force gave Bhai Sahib the rank of Area Commander of Jalandhar, where Bhai Sahib punished many police taunts. Bhai Sahib and Bhai Malkiat Singh Bapu were like an unchallengeable tag team that finished off many enemies of the Sikh panth. Both of these singhs fulfilled the needs of many freedom fighting groups and for thus reason both singhs were highly respected within the Khadku circle. The Border Security Force started to get suspicious about Bhai Sahib’s activities. Bhai Sahib was transferred to the 54th Battalion of BSF in Srinagar. After one month Bhai Sahib came to Jalandhar on 10 day holiday. On his return Bhai Sahib was given the news that Bhai Malkiat Singh Bapu had been killed and become a shaheed. This was very sad news for Bhai Sahib as he had swapped his turban with Bhai Malkiat Singh Bapu and become brothers. Bhai Sahib made his mind up and decided to avenge the shaheedi of Shaheed Bhai Malkiat Singh Bapu. Once Bhai Sahib’s holiday was over, he never returned back to duty and was court marshalled. Whatever action Bhai Sahib did, he never let his family find out. Bhai Sahib was arrested on 12th August 1988 by the Punjab police and on 15th August 1988, Bhai Sahib’s custody was handed over to the BSF headquarters in Jalandhar. At the headquarters, close friends of Bhai Sahib were also arrested and sentenced. Bhai Sahib was given 10 years of jail, while his friends, Bhai Puran Singh received 7 years and Bhai Sukhjinder Singh was given 6 years. All three singhs were sent to Ferozpur jail and after 6 months Bhai Sahib was moved to Amritsar jail. Here Bhai Sahib met Bhai Darshan Singh Ghora. After 5-6 months Bhai Sahib’s family paid bail for Bhai Sahib to be given a 15 holiday, which the courts accepted. After the 15 day release, Bhai Sahib presented himself at Amritsar jail. The after 6 months Bhai Sahib once again appealed for holiday which the courts accepted, but this time Bhai Sahib never returned to jail. Bhai Sahib straight away met Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal of Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan. Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochahal gave Bhai Sahib the rank of Lt General of the Bhikhiwind area.
Encounter with Indian Security Forces / killing many officers & 2 Singh
Sometime later 3 singhs from Bhai Sahib’s group, Bhai Sukhpal Singh Pala, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Pehlwan and another singh were surrounded by the Indian security forces in the village of Singhpura. At this time Bhai Sahib and some fellow singhs were staying at a village nearby and as soon as they found out the singhs had been surrounded, Bhai Sahib and singhs grabbed their weapons and made their way towards Singhpura. Once both groups of singhs were together, they faught the Indian security forces and managed to escape from the area after killing many officers of Indian security forces with the blessings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji but on this day 2 singhs had also attained shaheedi in this battle of Khalistan.
2nd Time Encounter with Indian Security Forces
After this Bhai Sahib along with fellow singhs were surrounded by the Indian security forces again, but this time in village of Shekhva. In the battle 2 singhs attained shaheedi, Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Pappu and Bhai Ram Singh Nihang, while rest of the singhs including Bhai Sahib escaped. Then on 17th October 1991, the Indian security forces had set up checkpoints near the village of Nangli, here the Indian security forces surrounded Bhai Sahib and fellow singhs, but Bhai Sahib used his BSF tactics and succeeded in breaking the co-ordination of the Indian forces and escaping with rest of the fellow singhs safely. Then after this Bhai Sahib met with Bhai Chanchal Singh Udhoke who was the chief of Khalistan Armed Force. Bhai Sahib knew Bhai Chanchal Singh Udhoke from the time he spent in jail. Bhai Sahib did actions with Khalistan Armed Force for just over 2 months.
On 3rd November 1991, due to an informant passing information to the Punjab police, Bhai Sahib was surrounded at the Guru Ramdas Hospital. Here a civil clothed police officer grabbed Bhai Sahib, but Bhai Sahib slapped him and the officer fell to the ground. When Bhai Sahib realised that he was surrounded by more police on the outside, Bhai Sahib swallowed a capsule of cyanide and attained shaheedi. Bhai Sahib had put his name amongst thousands of shaheeds of the Sikh panth. Bhai Sahib always said that he will not come into the hands of the police alive and he surely lived up to that.
Awaze Qaum – 16th December 1992 | 1984tribute.com