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Shaheed Bhai Manbir Singh Chaheru

Bhai Manbir Singh aka Iqbal Singh aka Hari Singh was born in 1959 at village Chaheru of Kapurthala District in Panjab. His father Sardar Mohinder Singh was a well to do farmer and had lived in the village for generations. Manbir Singh completed his primary education at his village school and at Kala Bakra, village of his maternal aunt; he completed the 10th grade and then started to assist his father in farming along with his two brothers and continued to do so for next six years.

During these six years Manbir Singh continuously use to visit her maternal aunt, Niranjan Kaur, at Kala Bakra village and that is where he came in contact Giani Joginder Singh of Chak Raju Singh village who was a retired army officer and son-in-law of Niranjan Kaur. Giani Joginder Singh encouraged Manbir Singh to take up the baptism, Amrit, and become a True Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Manbir Singh was 19 years of age when the Nirankari Saka took place in which 13 Sikh's were shot and killed on April 13th, 1978. This incident left a deep mark on Manbir Singh's thoughts; he was later married with Bibi Ranjit Kaur. In 1979 at Sodal Gurdwara in Jalandhar, Manbir Singh along with his wife and his father's younger brother, Karnail Singh, took the baptism from Sant Nihal Singh Harian wela wale.

After baptism Manbir Singh started to attend religious classed being provided by Damdami Taksal at Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash, Mehta Chownk and that is where he met Bhai Mohkam Singh, Bhai Gurbant Singh, Bhai Prem Singh and Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale.

In 1981 a police car followed his motorcycle as he left the grain market towards his home. The police car caught up to him, pulled him over and then the SSP of Jalandhar, GurIqbal Singh Bhular questioned Manbir Singh on his actions and where he was going. After a heated argument Manbir Singh was arrested but was released on bail by his uncle Karnail Singh who said that Manbir Singh will show up at Police station tomorrow. After this incident Manbir Singh left for Sri Harmandar Sahib and met with Sant Bhindranwale, Manbir Singh told Sant Ji about the Police incident Sant Ji then told Manbir Singh to stay with them were he would have a duty to serve in the Langar, after some time Manbir Singh became Sant Ji's bodyguard. Meanwhile, the Police arrested his uncle Karnail Singh for not bringing Manbir Singh to police station as promised.

Manbir Singh started staying in room 53 of Guru Nanak Niwas along with Giani Joginder Singh, Bhai Sant Singh, Bhai Malagar Singh and Bhai Gurtej Singh. He also came in contact with Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha of village Fatu Dinga, Major Singh Nagoke, Balwinder Singh Khojkipur, Joginder Singh Rode, and Kabal Singh.

During the Sikh Holocaust referred to as Operation Bluestar in 1984, Bhai Manbir Singh was not at Sri Harmandar Sahib. In 1984 he visited the Damdami Taksal headquaters located at Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash and met Bhai Bachan Singh, Sant Singh, Balbir Singh, Dalbir Singh and Bhai Mohkam Singh. Here he was told that Sant Ji is alive and so decided to leave for Pakistan.

During this time Manbir Singh came in contact with many other youth workers, including Harjinder Singh Jinda, like him who was hurt by the Indian Government for attacking Sri Harmandar Sahib. In 1986 Manbir Singh and Bhai Balbir Singh Raipur planned to release Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Sawarnjit Singh from Police custody. Balbir Singh arranged a car and Bhai Jarnail Singh arranged a jeep as a get away vehicle. They planned to execute their plan to free both Singh's from police custody on the day when Sukhdev Singh and Sawarnjit Singh were brought to court for their monthly hearings. Manbir Singh, Ajitpal Singh, Balbir Singh Raipur, Rashpal Singh, Jarnail Singh met outside the courts. Manbir Singh was carrying a stein gun and all other Singh's had revolvers. When Sukhdev Singh and Sawarnjit Singh arrived under heavy police protection, Manbir Singh signalled them to go to the washrooms and once they went Manbir Singh and his partners opened fire on the policemen, six policemen died on the spot. They were able to free Sukhdev Singh Sukha, Sawarnjit Singh and Gurinder Singh Bhola.

During this time Manbir Singh also came in contact with a retired army officer, Major Baldev Singh Ghuman, at Sri Harmandar Sahib and Mehta Chowk. Major Baldev Singh Ghuman was saddened by the Operation Bluestar Massacre and wanted to do something to improve the Sikh turmoil in Panjab. Manbir Singh and Baldev Singh Ghuman became good friends and they both respected and trusted each other. During 1986 Baldev Singh Ghuman became the middle man and united the AISSF (Ropar Group) and KCF (Chaheru group). But Sarabjit Singh Ropar, president of AISSF, who was son of a DSP, became a Police informer and called a meeting at Baldev Singh's house were Manbir Singh was also invited and on August 8 1986, Manbir Singh was arrested by Police at the residence of Major Baldev Singh Ghuman in Jalandhar. The Police also arrested Major Baldev Singh Ghuman, and Charanjit Singh. The raid was conducted by DSP Sawarn Singh "Ghotna", a well renowned 'butcher' police officer. After Manbir Singh's arrest Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha took over the command of KCF.

Manbir Singh Chaheru was kept in various jails in Panjab and later moved to a jail in Bihar. Manbir Singh always stayed in Chardi Kala during his jail time and would continuously read Sri Japji Sahib and constantly pray that one day he would be able to give his life for the Sikh Faith. In December of 1987 Police announced that Manbir Singh escaped from the Police custody while Police were transporting him back to Panjab from Bihar, but in fact the police had killed him and had disregarded his body into Beas River. In Chandigarh the Panjab Police Chief J.F. Rebiero told news reporters that they don't need to worry as Manbir Singh will not come back.

 

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