Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh, the first Shaheed of the Amritsar Saka, was born in 1912 in the village of Kurala in the district of Hoshiarpur to Dhan Kaur and Bhagwan Singh. His father was in the army and due to his bravery was awarded land in the village of Mintgomary in Pakistan, and so the whole family moved there. He completed his secondary education there and was married to Bibi Gurbachan Kaur. Bhai Avtar Singh was involved in agricultural work there until Pakistan was formed in 1947. He then returned back to his old village of Kurala and continued farming.
Bhai Avtar Singh came to meet Bhai Harnam Singh and Bhai Pritam Singh from Dasuha and with their Sangat started to read Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh’s inspirational books. Upon reading he felt a strong urge to take Amrit and lead a Gursikh way of life.
After meeting Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh took Amrit with his wife on 13th April 1961 at the Vaisakhi Smagam in Ludhiana and became heavily involved in Akhand Keertan Smagams where he was involved in the Seva of the Panj Pyare. Bhai Avtar Singh kept exceptional Rehat and was strict in following Bibek.
He had such a desire to do Bhagti that he eventually left the accommodation of his village and erected a hut on his farmland, where he performed Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Parkash and started living there until his last days. He would get up at 12 o’clock at midnight and begin his Amrit Vela until daylight.
Before leaving for the Vaisakhi Smagam of 1978 he said farewell to his family and told them to always follow a Gursikh way of life and to love one another and that he was not going to return. Bhai Sahib had decided to leave his home and to stay at the Khalsa Farm in Gurdaspur to do Sikhi Parchar in the nearby villages.
The Gurmukhs who witnessed his Shaheedi say that when a bullet from the Nirankaris struck him he immediately fell on the floor. But he quickly regained his composure and sat up cross-legged and started doing Nam-Abyass very loudly and then went into a deep meditative state. As he was sitting there, the Nirankaris smashed lathis on his bare head. Bhai Sahib remained sitting there upright and motionless until his last breath
Dhan Guru Dhan Guru Pyare! Parnaam Shaheeda Nu!