Fresno: Navkiran Kaur, who came from Punjab from Punjab to Fresno State University when she started her semester at the end of 2009, was very excited about her master’s degree in Fresno. At that time when the students were busy searching for their new classes, some of their classmates were not aware of Navarkaran’s trip, his family and his father, who brought him to the Central Valley. Navkaran is the daughter of Shahid Jaswant Singh Khalra. With the efforts of Sikh youth organization ‘Zakara Movement’, City Park will be named after him on 31 August, 2017 at 4:30 pm in honor of Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra at Fresno City Hall.
Hars Hammam Singh’s grandson Jaswant Singh, who was born in 1952 and fought against the British colonialism and Canada’s own largest fighters, always remained active in the battle for justice fighters. During his college days, he was a student organization activist and he always fought the rights of the oppressed people of the society. When he was 30, he was serving as bank director in Punjab and he married Paramjit Kaur, who had two children – a boy Janmate and daughter Navkaran. The Khalra family had a good life due to their wife Paramjit Kaur’s presence in the library at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, but the incidents of injustice around her were disheartening.
During the decade of 1980s and 1990s the ‘dirty bloodline game’ was being run by the government in Punjab. The Indian government has deployed its entire military power against the Sikhs – the Indian Army, the BSF, the CRPF, and the Punjab Police. During this war, thousands of youth were ‘missing’, which was even worse than judicial custodians. The Sikh youth were picked up from their homes by the police and their families were threatened that either they would be filling their pockets or killing their boys. Many youths from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and London escaped the violence.
Jaswant Singh’s heart deepened for humanity as Kashmiri Jalil Orrabi in India, Armenian hunter Dirk in Turkey and Steven Biko of South Africa. On September 6, 1995, Jaswant Singh Khalra was picked up by the Punjab Police from the residential area of Amritsar when he was wasting his car outside his house. The directive to the police came from DGP KPS Gill. Many days he was blindfolded and finally killed. Their dead body was not given to their family.
Navkaran along with his mother and brother continued his father’s struggle under the name of Khaala Mission Organization. After KPS Gill’s death, like his nephew Hartesh Bal, Punjab’s journalists tried to hide Gill’s atrocities and did not even mention the names of organizations such as Jaswant Singh Khalara, Khalara Mission Organization and justice.
On August 31, 2017, Navkiran Kaur Khalra will return to Fresno on this special occasion. Now Fresno City will make sure that the name of martyr Jaswant Singh Khalra’s name is kept forever. Under the leadership of activists of the Zakara Movement, Fiscano’s Sikh community of Fresno, along with Oliver Bennies, will be named after Victorian Park (located in Clinton and Barley Street) named after Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra. In cities such as Livingston and Elk Grove, as the park’s names are ‘Singh Park’, it will be for the first time that a park will be named after him as the honor of the leader of the Sikh community.
On this historic occasion, the entire Sikh community is urged to be involved in this effort. All are invited to the Fresno City Hall. For more information on this program Simranjit Singh can be contacted at 559-779-4916.
(Thanks to: Chad Diqla, Canada)