Third Battle : HARIPUR ENCOUNTER

At the peak of the Khalsa movement in the mid-80s, amongst the several Sikhs who transformed themselves into warriors, was Bhai Gurpal Singh from Bhuccho Mandi in the district of Bathinda. Having been born into a highly educated family, he was an amritdhari from childhood and a devout worshipper of the Sikh faith.

At the time of his engineering program was when Gurpal Singh met with the Singhs working towards their fight for independence. In no time, he picked up knowledge about weapons and became an active part in the freedom movement. Gurpal Singh played a major role in the rescue operation of Bhai Anokh Singh from the Ludhiana Court house. He worked closely with all organizations of Singhs. He was also the mastermind behind the operations conducted in the Malwa region.

In May 1987, Gurpal Singh discovered that another prominent Singh in the Movement, Bhai Jarnail Singh Halwara had cut his kesh in order to conceal his identity after assassinating Harchand Singh Longowal. Gurpal Sahib was firmly against compromising Sikhi values, irrespective the reasons. As a devout follower, he decided to meet with Jarnail Singh in order to convince him to attempt keeping his kesh again. But this meant, he would have to face the wrath and the huge numbers of the Indian Security Forces, who were on his trail. But such was the determination of Gurpal Singh, who was willing to take such a huge risk to help a fallen brother.

On another such occasion, when Jarnail Singh and Gurpal Singh were together asleep at Haripur, they were alerted with the noise of scuffles outside. Being aware of how they were now most wanted by the Indian forces, they equipped themselves with their armor and made their way out of the back door, where they were met with heavy resistance from the CRPF. The two Singhs fought like true Khalsa warriors and killed dozens of CRPF and policemen. Both Singhs suffered multiple bullet wounds in the process.

At the time of his death, Bhai Gurpal Singh was a tender 19 years old.