DURLI JATHA was an impromptu band of Sikh volunteers active during the Jaito agitation, 1923-24, to force their way through in contrast to the AkaliJ`at has vowed to a nonviolent and passive course. Durii is a meaningless word: whatever sense it possesses is communicated on omatopoetically. At Jaito, on 14 September 1923, an akhandpath (nonstop end to end recital of the Guru Granth Sahib) being said for the Sikh princely ruler of Nabha state, Maharaja Ripudaman Singh, who had been deposed by the British, was interrupted which, according to the Sikh tradition, amounted to sacrilege, and the sangat had been held captive, no one being allowed to go out or come in, not even to fetch food or rations for those inside. Jathedar Dulla Moga tahsfl, then in Firozpur district, organized a small band of desperadoes, naming it Durii Jatha, who collected the required rations and managed to smuggle these in through feint or force.
When largesized shahidi jathas began to be sent to Jaito by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee from Amritsar, the Durii Jatha also mobilized support and sustenance for them en route. When the first Shahidi Jatha, sworn to nonviolence, was fired at by government troops on 21 February 1924 resulting in 19 dead and 30 injured, the government in order to justify its action held fake enquiries by two magistrates, first by Lala Amar Nath and then by Balvant Singh Nalva, who gave the verdict that Durii Jatha personnel who had accompanied the Shahidi Jatha were armed and it was they who fired the first shot forcing the troops to open fire.Twenty-two members of Durii Jatha including Jathedar Dulla Singh, Suchcha Singh and Mat Kishan Kaur were tried in the court of Lala Amar Nath, who had meanwhile been elevated to sessions judge, on 17 May 1924. They were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years each.The Durii Jatha, however, remained active until the Jaito morcha ended successfully for the Akalis in August 1925.
1. Pratap Singh, Giani, Gurdwara SudAar arthat Akali Lahir. Amritsar, 1975