Chandigarh: Sant Baba Ram Singh, the Sikh preacher who allegedly committed suicide at the farmer protests outside Delhi, had purportedly written a letter prior to his suicide note that has been recovered from the Nanaksar Thath Gurdwara in Karnal, Haryana, which he headed.
In the letter, Singh is said to have vociferously attacked the BJP and the RSS not only for the plight of the agitating farmers, but for trying to “finish the entire Sikh community and the Sikh race”. He called the RSS a “snake winding itself around the Sikh community”.
Sonepat’s Senior Superintendent of Police J.S. Randhawa, while confirming the recovery of the letter mentioned in the suicide note, also informed ThePrint that the revolver Baba Ram Singh had allegedly shot himself with had been recovered.
“The weapon was handed over by Baba Ram Singh’s associates last evening. It is licenced in the name of one of the aides there (at the gurdwara). We have asked the aide to join the investigation to find out how the revolver reached Baba Ram Singh,” Randhawa said.
‘It’s his handwriting, experts can analyse it’
At Baba Ram Singh’s funeral in Karnal Friday, his closest associate Sant Amarjeet Singh Bhola read out the single-page handwritten suicide note found with the body, which referred to this “other letter” he had written.
“When I came here earlier, I had written something with a heavy heart, that is a second letter,” stated the suicide note, according to Sant Bhola.
He then told the gathering — which included several prominent religious preachers from Punjab, farmer leaders, as well as Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee chief Bibi Jagir Kaur — that the other letter, written by Baba Ram Singh after returning from the Singhu Border, had been found.
Sant Bhola also read out the letter, in which Baba Ram Singh wrote: “Bullets fired from the guns kill only those whom they strike. The bullet of injustice, however, kills many with a single stroke… It is humiliating to suffer injustice.”
Sant Bhola said he and his associates, who had been working with Baba Ram Singh for decades, recognised his handwriting and could vouch that the note and the letter were indeed written by him.
He said the note and the letter could be independently probed in a laboratory or by handwriting experts.
SSP Randhawa said of the letter: “The suicide note was one page long, while this letter is about 10 pages long. The suicide note was written on 16 December but this was written on 14 December.”
‘Some Sikhs have become RSS sycophants’
Reading out the letter at the preacher’s funeral, Sant Bhola said: “The RSS has resolved to end the Sikh community and the Sikh race. The Sikh community has always been under attack and is still being attacked. Some Sikhs themselves have become their sycophants. It is a shame that they are working for the RSS — some for the sake of power, some for the sake of money, and others by force. The RSS is winding itself around the Sikhs like a snake.”
Baba Ram Singh purportedly also wrote that the Sikh community has “always been” under attack and “continues to be under attack”. He went to the extent of writing that former PM Indira Gandhi was “incited” by the BJP and the RSS to attack the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple), referring to 1984’s Operation Blue Star.
“It was the RSS and the BJP office-bearers who instigated Indira Gandhi to attack the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple). They have admitted it and it has been documented. They continue to plan to harm the Sikhs even today.
On the farmers’ ongoing agitation against the Narendra Modi government’s three farm laws, Baba Ram Singh is said to have written: “Daas (servant of God, meaning himself) went to the farmer’s agitation at the Singhu Border yesterday. My heart was filled with pain. The Sikh community, farmers are sitting on the roads like the homeless. The farmers are suffering on the roads for their rights. The government is not listening to them.
“The farmers are not asking for anything. They are only saying that their land should not be grabbed by others. Their only demand is that their land should remain with them. It is like the crow swooping down and taking away the only morsel that a child has.
“I was anguished to hear about what was going on, but now that I’ve seen it with my own eyes, my heart is filled with pain.”
‘Tradition of sacrifice’
Baba Ram Singh went on to state in the letter that he was following the tradition of sacrifice set by his predecessor Sant Baba Jang Singh, who took “bullets on his chest” when he saw that innocents around him were being killed by bullets.
Baba Ram Singh had taken over the reins of the Nanaksar gurdwara in Karnal after Baba Jang Singh was killed in 1982 by security forces outside Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in New Delhi. He was among the Sikh activists heading towards Parliament House to demand a judicial inquiry into the death of 34 Sikhs in a train accident near Tarn Taran.
“There may not be bullets coming out of guns but bullets of injustice are being used. Those bullets coming out of the guns only shoot down a handful, but this bullet of injustice is being shot at the entire farming community. The bullet from the gun only kills the person it strikes but the bullet of injustice will strike every member, every victim, turning it into a bullet that leads to poverty and slavery,” he purportedly wrote.
“Today, the voice of Amar Shaheed Baba Jang Singh ji is saying something. Today, I can hear that voice. He is saying — ‘do something, why are you sitting? Some have returned their awards and honours in protest. Among the 84 lakh life forms, the human form is the highest honour, and all else is lower than that’,” the letter said.
“To be given the human form is the biggest honour of them all, and I am sacrificing my body (human form) against the injustice done by the government. Gurbani says do not harm yourself harm. But this is not self-harm, this is self-sacrifice,” the preacher’s letter added.
(A previous version of this report identified J.S. Randhawa as the SSP of Karnal, instead of Sonepat. The error is regretted.)
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.