Youngest Babar Akali Martyr (1907-1926)
The youngest of the Babar Akali martyrs was born in 1907 at Dhamian Kalan, a village in Hoshiarpur district. Dalip Singh was barely 14, when a group of peaceful Akali reformers was massacred in the Sikh shrine at Nankana Sahib by the men of the local mahant or custodian. Dalip Singh’s young mind was filled with anger against the British who, he thought, were really responsible for the tragedy. He started attending the Babar Akali divans at which violence was preached. A meeting with one of the Babar leaders, Babu Santa Singh, led to his enlisting in the party in April 1923.
He proved a determined and fearless worker, but was betrayed by one Javala Singh, pretending to be a sympathizer of the movement, and was arrested on 12 October 1923 at Midi Channu railway station, in Multan district. He was mercilessly tortured by police, yet he yielded no secret information to them. In the course of his trial in the sessions court, he refused to reply to any of the questions put to him. He however filed a written statement owning himself an active member of the Babar Akali Jatha.
The judge, J.K. Tapp, was inclined to be sympathetic because of his young age, but he had to record in his judgement : "This accused, young as he is, appears to have established a record for himself second only to that of Santa Singh accused, as to the offences in which he has been concerned in connection with this conspiracy. He is implicated in the murders of Buta Lambardar, Labh Singh Mistri, Hazara Singh of Bahibalpur, Ralla and. Dittu of Kaulgarh, Ata Muhammad Patwari, in the 2nd and 3rd attempts on Labh Singh of Dhada Fateh Singh, and in the murderous attack on Bishan Singh of Sandhara."
Dalip Singh was awarded the extreme penalty of the law and hanged on 27 February 1926, at that time not more than 19 years old.