BELA, pronounced bella, means, in Punjabi usage, a jungle of tall grasses, reeds and assorted shrubbery along the banks of rivers and streams. The word also received a different connotation when an Udasi saint and preacher, Banakhandi, established in AD 1818 a preaching centre on an Island in the River Indus near Sakkhar in Sindh (now in Pakistan) and named it Shri Sadhubela Tirath. This created a new vogue and several other Udasi centres adopted the name Sadhu Bela although they were nowhere near a river.
Similarly, a Sikh dera (habitation with a gurdwara) established by a group of Sikh revolutionaries during 1927-33 was christened Singh Bela. It was located about 12 km north of Baba Bakala along the Beas Batala road in Amritsar district. An innocent looking place of worship, Singh Bela functioned as the secret headquarters of the revolutionary group who planned and executed (on 8 December 1933) the retaliatory murder of a traitor, Bela Singh, who had earlier shot dead, at the instance of a Canadian Immigration Officer, Bhai Bhag Singh Granthi and another Sikh, Bhai Batan Singh, during a funeral service in a gurdwara in Canada in 1914.
1. Amar Singh Tegh, Ghaddar da Katal. Rajpura, 1966
2. Jagjit Singh, Ghadar Parti Lahir. Delhi, 1979
3. Sainsari , Gurcharan Singh, Ghadar Part! da Itihas. Jalandhar, 1969