Kehar Singh, Bhai
One of the Nankana Sahib Martyrs (1869-1921)
Was the eldest of the three sons of Bhai Jivan Singh and Mai Harnam Kaur of the village of jarg, in Patiala state. Kehar Singh grew up into a strongly-built, fair-complexioned, young man much interested in wrestling and weightlifting. In 1887, he joined army service during which he rendered distinguished service in several anti-tribesmen operations in the North-West Frontier Province winning seven medals. He was a known marksman in his battalion.
Bhai Kehar Singh remained a bachelor until towards the end of his service when he married the childless widow of a comrade who had died while still in service. He retired from the army in 1908 after 21 years of meritorious service on a pension of Rs 7 per month.
As the Gurdwara Reform movement got under way, Bhai Kehar Singh registered himself as a volunteer with Bhai Lachhman Singh’s jatha. As he prepared to set out in obedience to the Panth’s call on 19 February 1921, his young son, Darbara Singh, defying the wishes of his father and entreaties of his grandmother, accompanied him. Both father and son met their end at the hands of the hired assassins of Mahant Narain Das inside the sanctum sanctorum of Gurdwara janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, on the morning of 20 February 1921. The boy, it is said, was burnt alive.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee settled upon his grandmother a pension of Rs 135 per annum.