ON THIS DAY IN 1989 SHAHEED SATWANT SINGH & KEHAR SINGH WERE SENT TO DEATH
On this day 6th January in 1989, in the early morning at four o'clock, twenty seven year old Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh (uncle of Shaheed Beant Singh) were led to the hangman’s noose. Their voices could be heard from outside the jail, shouting, "Bole So Nihal ! Sat Sri Akaal!", as they both stepped forward and kissed the hangman’s noose.
Bravehearts Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, knew that the consequence of their actions would be certain death, but they also knew that any leader who purposely slaughters thousands of her own citizens for no reason other than to keep her grip on power, has to be brought to account. Satwant Singh and Beant Singh saw with their own eyes, the destruction of their holiest shrine followed by the mindless killing of thousands of innocent Sikhs across Punjab. In fact, they felt honoured to be the ones who lifted the heads of the Sikh Nation. On 31st October 1984 they assassinated Indira Gandhi, resulting in Shaheed Beant Singh being gunned down and killed on the spot. Satwant Singh was seriously injured and taken into custody.
The Indian Government then took an innocent Sikh, Kehar Singh, framed him with the assassination case and sentenced him to death alongside Satwant Singh. The capital punishment given to Kehar Singh evoked strong reaction from the senior political leaders at the national level as there was no evidence, but he had been sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate Indira Gandhi. Four senior Opposition leaders came out against the hanging of Kehar Singh hours before the execution of the death sentence. They tried to reach Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to prevent what they said would be senseless, inhuman and judicial murder. Kehar Singh told his son on the eve of his hanging, “this has happened with the Sikhs before, it is still happening today and it will continue to happen. This is nothing new, but if by my sacrifice, the Panth can be strengthened, it is for the good. I did nobody any harm”.
Kehar Singh’s only crime was that he was a Sikh who happened to be related to Beant Singh. A man whose guilt was in grave doubt was sent to the gallows by a government incapable of making a distinction between right and wrong, between compassion and vindictiveness. Kehar Singh’s hanging was MURDER, but seeking the truth has never played a large role in the Indian justice system. The brutal Indian regime may have killed Bhai Beant Singh, Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh, but in the hearts of all Sikhs, they will live forever. Sangat Ji, please take time out of your day to stop and pay respects to these great Sikhs - there are few who walk this earth who can give their lives in such a way.