Bullet wounds on the face of Bhai Jagwinder Singh who was assasinated in Belgium
(Photo Credit: Gagandeep Singh, Belgium)
Brussels , Belgium (KP) - Bhai Jagwinder Singh a Sikh activist who was involved in the Julio Ribiero case in Romania was assassinated under mysterious circumstances on the night of April 17th.
According to witnesses, a lone masked gunman entered the STD business of Bhai Jagwinder Singh, as he was conversing on the telephone and preparing to close for the day. The assassin fired two shots into the head of Jagwinder Singh and promptly fled the scene. Jagwinder Singh succumbed to the gunshot wounds instantaneously. The customer who witnessed this incident narrated the shocking events to the local police. However, what is interesting is that the police are calling this assassination a robbery even though nothing was stolen from Bhai Jagwinder Singh or from his business.
For many, including the police, this murder may seem like a normal everyday crime but to see the reality one would need to look deeper into these events and know the history of Bhai Jagwinder Singh. Bhai Sahib was not just an owner of a STD business and the father of a three year old girl and one year old boy, he was in fact a freedom fighter of the Sikh independence movement.
Bhai Jagwinder Singh hailed from a village in the Ludhiana district by name of Rakba, which is close to Malapur. Bhai Sahib rose to prominence when he along with his associates had tracked down the former head of Punjab Police Julio Ribiero. Ribiero and the forces under his command during his tenure as head of the Punjab Police are alleged to have committed horrendous acts of violence, abuse of human rights, torture, and the ‘disappearance’ of thousands of innocent Sikh youths all across the Punjab.
Ribiero : Mass Murderer
Julio Ribiero, after serving as head of the Punjab Police was appointed as the Indian ambassador in the country of Romania. On the evening of August 30th 1991, Bhai Jagwinder Singh along with his companions carried out an assassination attempt against Ribiero. This attempt failed, however Ribiero was left in a gravely wounded state. Bhai Jagwinder Singh was also seriously wounded in this endeavor, receiving eight gunshot wounds.
One companion of Bhai Sahib by the name of Bhai Jugraj Singh attained martyrdom during this encounter while the security forces apprehended the third companion Bhai Pargat Singh. Subsequently, Bhai Jagwinder Singh and Bhai Pargat Singh were awarded life sentences for their role in the attempted assassination of Ribiero. In the year of 1998 they were both released from prison due to good behavior. After being released from jail, Pargat Singh settled in Greece while Jagwinder Singh settled in Belgium.
Interestingly this was not the first attempt on the life of Bhai Jagwinder Singh. In fact, it is alleged that there has been at least two other attempts on his life that have been narrated by his friends, family members, and acquaintances. One incident is that of men in a police vehicle watching his home and following him whenever he left his home. When this came to the attention of Bhai Sahib, he instructed his taxi driver to drive to the nearest police station. As Bhai Sahib’s taxi entered the police station, the police vehicle that was following him for quite some time turned around and went in the opposite direction. Bhai Jagwinder Singh proceeded to ask the police officials whether they had a police car with the number that the car following him displayed. The police responded that they did not have any such vehicle with that number in their fleet. Bhai Sahib was convinced that those following him were out to take his life.
Being concerned that there was an organized effort to finish him, Bhai Sahib began making arrangements to leave Belgium. Through a travel agent Bhai Sahib was preparing to find the legal means of leaving the country. The travel agent would always find some excuse to give Bhai Sahib whenever he called.
One day unexpectedly, Bhai Sahib received a call from the travel agent instructing him to immediately come to a small airport in a different town as his paperwork to leave the country for another place had been completed. Bhai Sahib left for the airport along with a non-Sikh friend. In route to the airport it crossed Bhai Sahib’s mind that there were no outbound international flights from such a small airport. Bhai Sahib became suspicious that this was yet another scheme in the process of taking his life, but decided to go on ahead and find out for himself.
Bhai Sahib was told that a certain individual would receive him at the airport. Upon reaching the airport Bhai Sahib’s non-Sikh friend ran into the man who was going to receive Bhai Sahib. It turned out that his friend and the receiver had known each other in the past. Bhai Sahib’s friend upon questioning the receiver came to know that he was there to eliminate Bhai Sahib and had received the amount of $50,000 from an official of a certain country.
After they parted ways, Bhai Sahib met the man who was there to receive him. There he began questioning Bhai Sahib whether or not he had all his paperwork in his bag and what else that bag contained. Bhai Sahib was one step ahead of those who were out to get him, and told the man that his bag also contained weapons. As they parted Bhai Sahib and his friend returned to the car instead of fully entering the airport, which they then noticed that yet again they were being followed by a car. As they came to an isolated section of the town, the occupants of the pursuing car opened fire on Bhai Sahib’s vehicle. With Akal Purakh’s kirpa, Bhai Sahib was not hurt or injured in the firing and the other car sped off.
Although previous attempts suspected to be the handywork of a certain government agency failed, unfortunately they finally managed to take the life of this great individual. They have just added one more name to the long list of Sikh freedom fighters that continues to grow and as a result bringing the Khalsa Panth towards its righteous goal of self-determination.