Jagga Jammeya,fazar di baangay
Laudhay vele khed da firay.
Jagga jammeya te milan vadhaiyan
vadda hoke dakay marda.
Jagge mareya Lyllpur daka
taran kharhak gayian.
Jagga was born in 1901 or 1902 in village Burj Singh Wala,teh. Chunnian,distt. Kasur. Jagga’s father Makhan Singh passed away when Jagga was only a small child. He grew up under the care of his Chacha Roop Singh and mother Bhagaan.
Makhan Singh and Bhagaan had six children before Jagga was born but nobody of them survived. At last Makhan Singh went to the nearby village Sodhiwala to meet and pay tribute to a saint Sodhi Inder Singh. Sodhi Inder Singh told them to buy a Bakkra (male goat) before the birth and told that it should be touched by the newly born. The Sage Inder Singh also told them to not to name the child with initials of J.
But when the child was born, an uncle of the child insited on naming the child Jagat Singh which was against the directions of the saint. In a few days Bakkra fell ill and died. So in the course 12 Bakkras died and were buried in the backyard. Finally young child survived by the great saint’s blessings.
Jagga owned 10 muraba(250 acres of land) so he was not asked to do anything by his chacha and mother. He was grown up as a pampered child. Once he cut a lot of sugar cane from his one uncle and distributed those to his friends. For that, he was given a hard beating by his uncle. Jagga went at night and broke all the Tinds of his uncle’s khuh and threw into the well. When this uncle told his shirika to go to the police and report against Jagga, the relatives asked him, “who told you to name him Jagga?” So he realized his mistake.
In village Burj Singh Wala, most families were Muslim Telis but only 17 or 18 families of Sidhu Jatts. Both communities used to live in harmony. When Jagga was in his teen age, he started to go wrestle at akhara (Open Wrestling Ring) with his friend Sohan Teli. Sohan Teli maitained his friendship with Jagga till the last breath of Jagga. Because of Jagga’s fondness of wrestling, this is said in a folk song.
Jagge Jatt da jahngiya patt da
killay uttay tangeya reha.
Jagga married Inder Kaur of village Talwandi. They had only a girl child, Gaabbo who is living now at village Vanwala near Lambi in Mukatsar distt. She is believed to be in her 80s now.
During the English rule, all the people of guts and independant nature were watched carefully by the British. Govt’s first units of Informers were Patwari, Nambardar,Thanedar and Safedposh. Jagga was of a medium height, wheatish color, sharp features, strong body, trimmed beard and double ringed kunddian muchhan. One day Jagga went to Patwari to get the numbers (farad) of his land. Jagga paid no respect to the Parwari and paid no bribe. Patwari refused to give him the Farad. Jagga gave him the worst beating of his life that he had to give him farad and apologize as well.
In one of the folk songs we hear,
Kachay pulaan te larhaiyan hoiyan
Chhaviyan de ghund murh gaye.
This Kacha Pul was located between Jagga’s village Buraj and his in law’s village Talwandi. Beharhwala’s Nakai used to live at their Bhua’s village in Talwandi. These Nakai had some relation with Maharja Ranjit Singh’s in-laws and were very notorius for their evils. Nobody could cross the bridge without their permission. One day,when Jagga was going to cross the bridge, one of the Nakai hit his horse with bamboo club (daang) thus horse and Jagga both fell. Though Jagga was alone, Nakais were 5-6 brothers. They had a fierce fight and finally Jagge ne vahni paa lae (gave them a tough beating). Later those Nakais fled the area and settled in Lahore.
Jagga’s fame in the area resulted in attracting the ire of the Jaildar of Kal Mokal. Jaildar considered Jagga’s braveness to be a challange. He stucked Jagga in a false case and convicted him for 4 years in the jail. When Jagga got released and came back to Buraj, in those days in vill. Bhai Feru a theft incident happened. The inspector of the area was a person named Asgar Ali who was a friend of Jaildar. Both Jaildar and inspector found this theft incident to be another chance to harass Jagga. They called Jagga to apear at the police station but Jagga declined to go. The leading and friendly people of Jagga persuaded him to appear at Police station. Their names were Kehar singh and Mehal Singh of Kawaan village and Dulla Singh of Jajjal village. This Dulla Singh made Jagga his Dharam da Puttar. (In later days this Dulla Singh and his family killed 8 people and were hanged to death).
Jagga agreed to go to the police with them but on the way he disagreed to go as he thought the haughty nature of inspector Asgar Ali. He said his fellows clearly, “If this inspector said something insulting, that will be hard to swallow for me. That’s why I’m not going back.” From that day Jagga went underground and became a Dacoit. First he snatched a riffle from a police sapoy then another from Atma Singh of Acharke village.
The first decoity by Jagga was at village Ghumiari at some goldsmith’s house. Ghumiari vilage is located at the border of Kasur and Lohore distts. Jagga’s other companions were Jhanda Singh Nirmal Ke and Thakur Singh Mandeyali. They robbed all the gold from them and lit fire to Vahis(ledgers) which were the loan records of the poor mass. They shared the gold at Jhanda Singh’s khuh which was almost 1/2 ser(4 pounds?) for everyone in the group. After that Jagga made his own group. His new members were Banta Singh,his childhood friend Sohna Teli,Lalu Nai (he was Kaana from one eye), Bholu and Bawa. Lalu Nai was an expert in cooking, when all used to sleep at night Lalu Nai was guarding them with riffle.
While Jagga made many decoities but his most famous decoities are of Sayadpur and Layllpur. Jagga’s one nephew, Thakur Singh was the reader of D.S.P. That D.S.P. asked Thakur Singh for the help in capturing Jagga. When Thakur Singh went to Jagga with some offer, Jagga asked him to fulfil his long desire to make an encounter with D.S.P. Thakur Singh felt to be sandwitched in two troubles, Jagga and D.S.P., so he decided to be neutral.
Jagga used to tell police in advance whatever village he went. “Capture me there or don’t vex the innocents” were his words. Once he went to his nanke (maternal grandparents home) at village Ghumman Ke to watch a drama. Even though he had sent an advanced notice to police, no police personnel came all night. Jagga torned all the ledgers of that village’s Bania and Shahukars and freeholded the poors from heavy loans.
A woman from village Lakhu ke was his dharam Bhen (baptised sister) who used to serve them food. Jagga gave her countless gold coins. Samelike once Jagga saw an old man with no warm clothes selling carrots in extreme cold,when asked, that oldman had no son or daughter. He gave him plenty of gold.
In those days police would sleep in locked police stations,from the fear of Jagga. Police feared Jagga would decoit them their riffles and other amunition. Inspector Asgar Ali made the two entrances of the station for his protection.
Jagga’s fellow Banta Singh had argued with his Chachi on many occassions. Banta’s Chachi was involved in adultry (extra marital relations) with a Vairagi of her own village Thamman Ke Wala. He tried to straighten them many times but all his tries were in of no use. One cold night Chachi was sitting and was warming herself in front of fire when Jagga and Banta aproached her. They again tried to conciliate her from her bad deeds but she told them in a cold manner to do whatever they want to do, she won’t change.They shoot her on the spot and went to her lover Bawa Vairagi’s home. They challanged him to come out of the house but he didn’t come out but locked from the inside. Jagga and Banta called him to come out many times but he didn’t and finally they climbed and bursted the roof. From the Paarh(hole),they threw fire in as an idea to make them come out but all the family of about ten people burnt to death instead. Jagga fell in deep sorrow for Vairagi’s family’s death.
Jagge maariyan Thamman ke kurhiyan
Jagge nu paap laggeya.
Jagga knew that dacoits don’t live long lives.He engaged his daughter to his fellow Kehar Singh Kawan’s younger brother Makhan Singh’s son Avaar Singh. He made all the arrangements and sent all gold and dowry even before the marriage.
From a few miles away from Jagga’s village avillage named Sidhupur’s one dacoit Malangi had fame. Malangi and his fellow Harnam Singh were killed in an encouter about two years ago. Malangi was son of Muslim fakirs’ family and Harnam Singh was from a poor farmer family. They both were friends like brothers who ate and did whatever together. In those days, in that area one common tandoor’s for the whole village was a normal custom. One day Malangi’s younger sister and younger brother were making Rotis at that tandoor. At the same time Jaildar’s workers also came there to make Roti. They ordered Malangi’s brother and sister to stop making Roti any more and instead told them to make Jaildar’s Roti first. When Malangi’s sister refused to do so, Jaildar workers slapped her and tried to tear her hair(gutt patt ditti). During this time Malangi’s brother called Malangi and Harnam Singh. A fierce fight started,Malangi and Harnama got injured and Malangi’s brother and Jaildar’s one worker died. When Malangi and his father,Harnam Singh were in jail,one night Jaildar’s mates attacked Malangi’s home and raped Malangi’s sister. His mother went insane hitting walls repeatedly. When this news came to them, Malangi’s father died with shock. Malangi and Harnama once torn the wall of the jail and escaped and becamre fugitives. After coming out of the jail,the first thing what they did was killing all the members of Jaildar’s family (sparing women). Jaildar’s one of the son’s avoided his ill will while he was gone to visit some relatives. After that Malangi and Harnam Singh became dacoits. First they started to straighten the Shahukars who were like blood sucking beast of the poor. Then they started to attack govt favouring Safedposh like people. In those days one idiom became famous.
Dinay raaj farangi da
raatin raaj Malangi da.
An award was declared by the govt. who helps to capture these two dacoits,Malangi and Harnam Singh.One night Malangi and his mate were staying at one of aquiantance’s dera.That dera guy served them Rotis made of bhang but lied them as being made of methi.For the gread of the reward,he informed police.While Malangi and Harnam Singh were intoxicated,police raide the dera and both Malangi and harnama died in the encounter.
Oneday Jagga decided to go to Sidhupur with his companions. He wanted to know about the condition of Malangi’s blind helpless mother who was just passing her days in deep sorrow and who was almost mentally retarted. Jagga also wanted to meet those bloody informers of Malangi. Jagga went to meet her and felt sad after seeing her bad condition. He decided to spend that noon in Malangi’s house. He asked his fellow, Lallu Nai to arrange the food. Lallu Nai’s village Lakhu Ke was very near from Sidhupur. Lallu Nai called his five brothers in guise to meet him and told them to bring food and sharab with them. Jagga decided to have a few drinks before the meal. Jagga and Banta started drinking while Sohan Teli had to go to meet a friend in the neibouring village and Lallu Nai had to do watching with his brothers. So they didn’t drink.
For sometime they enjoyed drinking and talking. Malangi’s mother’s was in such a happy atmosphere first time in two years. That day Malangi’s mother was feeling like Malangi is back in Jagga’s disguise. Jagga told the old woman that O mother, Malangi’s soul might not be in rest till his revenge is not taken. Today is the day to take care of his complaints. All ate meal happily together, Sohan Teli went to meet his friends. Lallu Nai and his brothers went out for their watchman job with their riffles. Intoxicated with alcohol, both jagga and Banta slept that hot afternoon on a Manja under the Boharh tree in the yard. Suddenly, Lallu Nai and his brothers started to shoot the sleeping and intoxicated Jagga and Banta repeatedly. Sohan Teli came back after hearing the shooting. He was also shot dead from behind by one of Lallu Nai’s brother when he started attacking Lallu.
Jagga vaddeya bohrh di chhanve
naun man ret bhij gaee
Naiyan ne vadd chhaddeya
With the news of Jagga’s death the whole area was under shock and sorrow.Nobody believed Jagga Soorma’s death.
As a reward Lallu Nai got ten murabas of land and a Ghorhi from the govt. He was imprisoned later in some other case where he was beaten to death by some prisioners.
Jagga lived for only 29 years of his age. And moreover all his adventures and dacoities happened in a short span of only 3 months.
The kind of anakh Jagga left to lead us is well said by Sultan Bahu,
Je sir ditteyan hakk hasal hovay
Bahu,us mauton kya darna hu.