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MEVA SINGH (d. 1915), a simple but religious minded peasant who was a reciter of the Guru Granth Sahib, came from the village of Lopoke, in Amritsar district. He migrated to Canada where he was an associate of Bhai Bhag Singh Bhikhivind and Balvant Singh Khurdpur, two prominent leaders of Indian immigrants in Canada. In the Punjabi community, Meva Singh had heard stories of the hostility towards them of a Canadian immigration official by the name of William Hopkinson.

No further proof of his malice was required after his stooge and informer, Bela Singh, had shot dead Bhai Bhag Singh while he was reciting the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara.The immigration authority`s complicity in the murders the second Punjabi killed by Bela Singh on that occasion was Batan Singh was established on Bela Singh`s own admission. Meva Singh vowed to avenge the murders. He started practising pistol shooting and he smuggled the weapon into the supreme court where the appeal in Bela Singh`s case was being heard. There in front of the judges, Meva Singh shot Hopkinson. He was tried for murder and was sentenced to death.

In jail, he spent his time reciting gurbni and ascended the gallows singing Guru Tegh Bahadur`s line: hari jasu re mana gai lai jo sangi hai tero (Sing, 0 my heart, sing God`s praise; He alone is thy supporter). There was an akhand path recited in his memory in the Vancouver Gurdwara. Daily divans were held thereafter for a whole week. The Pacific Khalsa Diwan of Stockton, California, circulated his portrait with these words printed beneath it: "Bhai Mewa Singh, martyr. Hanged January 11, 1915. 7.45 a.m." The day of Bhai Meva Singh`s martyrdom is observed every year in the Stockton Gurdwara.

References :

1. Asli Qaumi Dard, 6 August 1928
2. Jagjit Singh, Ghadar Parti Lahir. Delhi, 1975
3. Sainsara, Gurcharan Singh, Ghadar Parti da Itihas. Jalandhar, 1969


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