SGPC Marks 123rd Martyrdom Anniversary of 21 Saragarhi Sikh Martyrs Who Battled 12,000 Afghans

CHANDIGARH, Punjab—On September 12, a religious event was held at Gurdwara Saragarhi Sahib in Sri Amritsar to mark the 123rd martyrdom anniversary of 21 Sikh warriors who had attained martyrdom while bravely battling against 10,000 to 12,000 Afghans in Saragarhi.

In this program, Raagi Jatha of Bhai Simarpreet Singh performed Gurbani Kirtan following the culmination of Sri Akhand Path Sahib.

Kathavachak Bhai Harmittar Singh narrated the bravery tale of these 21 Sikhs who chose to fight against the enemy despite in very low number as compared to the attackers. “There is a long list of Sikh martyrs and our current generation needs to take inspiration from these martyrs,” he added.

The descendant family members of some of these brave Sikhs were present on this occasion who received Siropaos as an honor.

The Battle of Saragarhi was a last-stand battle fought before the Tirah Campaign on September 12, 1897 between the British Raj Sikh Soldiers and Afghan tribesmen. An estimated 12,000 – 24,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen were seen near Gogra, at Samana Suk, and around Saragarhi, cutting off Fort Gulistan from Fort Lockhart. The Afghans attacked the outpost of Saragarhi where thousands of them swarmed and surrounded the fort, preparing to assault it. Led by Havildar Ishar Singh, the soldiers in the fort—all of whom were Sikhs—chose to fight to the death, in what is considered by some military historians as one of the greatest last stands in history. The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent.

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