100 years of Saka Panja Sahib: Why a railway station in Pakistan holds significance in Sikh history

Source: The post is based on the article “100 years of Saka Panja Sahib: Why a railway station in Pakistan holds significance in Sikh history” published in Indian Express on 29th October 2022

What is the News?

The gurdwara management bodies from both sides of the border — Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee(SGPC) and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) — will jointly observe the 100 years of Shaheedi Saka Panja Sahib (martyrdom massacre) at Hasan Abdal city, Punjab province of Pakistan.

What is Saka Panja Sahib?

Saka Panja Sahib is a heroic event that took place on October 30, 1922, at Hasan Abdal railway station close to the sacred shrine of Panja Sahib in Punjab province of Pakistan.

On this day, Sikhs from nearby Panja Sahib wanted to serve langar (community kitchen food) to the Sikh prisoners but were told by the station master at Hasan Abdal station that the train would not stop at the station. 

In protest, the Sikhs squatted on the railway tracks and as the train approached, the Sikhs who were determined to halt the train continued to stay, demanding their right to serve langar to the Sikh prisoners.

The train finally came to a screeching halt, but only after crushing many Sikh protesters — of whom Bhai Karam Singh and Bhai Partap Singh died after sustaining serious injuries. 

Since then, both Sikhs are hailed as martyrs of Saka Panja Sahib who sacrificed their lives fighting for the rights of Sikhs against the British.

About Gurdwara Panja Sahib

Gurdwara Panja Sahib is a famous gurdwara located in Hasan Abdal, Pakistan.

The Gurdwara was built on the site believed to be visited by Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, along with his companion Bhai Mardana.

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