PRATAP SINGH, BHAI
PRATAP SINGH, BHAI (1899-1922), one of the two martyrs in the Parija Sahib (Hasan Abdal) episode, was born on 26 March 1899 to Bhai Sarup Singh and Prem Kaur at Akalgarh, in Gujrariwala district, now in Pakistan. His father was a goldsmith by profession. He received his instruction at the village school, and worked as a teacher for some time at Mandi Bhalval in Sargodha district before moving to Karachi to serve as a clerk in a firm of commission agents. At the instance of his elder brother, Tara Singh, he became a clerk in the army and served in Multan and Rawalpindi cantonments.
Moved by the Nankana Sahib incident (20 February 1921), Pratap Singh resigned his army service resolved to dedicate his life to the Panth. He joined the managing committee of Gurdwara Panja Sahib, brought under the community`s control since November 1920, as a treasurer. He had married, on 11 October 1918, Harnam Kaur, daughter of Kapur Singh of Lohianvala, a village near Gujranwala. On 29 October 1922, Pratap Singh sat with Bhai Karam Singh, also an employee of the Panja Sahib Gurdwara Committee, and several others in the railway track to stop, risking their lives, the train carrying Sikh volunteers held in the Guru ka Bagh agitation with a view to serving to them a meal prepared by the sangat. The special train was to run through Hasan Abdal railway station at about 10 a.m. without making a hall.
The squatters drd stop the train, but not before it had run over the two volunteers and hit several of their companions. The rest of sangat rushed forward to rescue them. Pratap Singh and Karam Singh, though grievously hurt, were still conscious and told them to leave them alone and first serve meals to the jathd. This was done and the train moved on. The injured were brought to the Gurdwara and given medical aid. Bhai Pratap Singh and Bhai Karam Singh, however, succumbed to their injuries the next day. Their dead bodied were carried to Rawalpindi on 1 November 1922 and cremated on the bank of rivulet Lei. Until the partition of 1947, a three day fair used to be held at Gurdwara Panja Sahib at the end of October every year in memory of the two martyrs. P.S.G.
1. Pratap Singh, Giani, Gurdwara Sudhar arthat Akali Lahir. Amritsar, 1975
2. Josh, Sohan Singh, Akdr Morchidn da Itihds. Delhi, 1972