Baboo Singh, Lithur

Baboo Singh, son of Bhagwan Singh, from the village of Lithur, Jullunder district, was a well-educated Sikh working in Vancouver as a real estate agent by 1911. He was closely associated with Bela Singh and Ganga Ram as an immigration employee and informant. In 1911 he was the source of information that led the immigration department to investigate the activist Husain Rahim and try to deport him. Ghadr party supporters in Vancouver saw Baboo Singh as one of their principal antagonists; when Mewa Singh explained his actions at his trial for shooting Inspector Hopkinson, he spoke at length of Baboo Singh’s threatening role as messenger for the immigration department. Baboo Singh had his own troubles with the law. He successfully defended himself against charges brought by the Vancouver Real Estate Board in 1911, but was convicted of forgery in 1915 and sentenced to twelve months at Oakalla Prison farm, which he served at the same time as Bela Singh who was there for assault. Both men lost their immigration department employment at this time, although they did appeal unsuccessfully to the former immigration agent Malcolm Reid for help in getting released from jail. Baboo Singh disappeared from Vancouver after serving his sentence and may have returned to India with Bela Singh.  

Sources: Library and Archives Canada, Governor General’s files, RG 7 G21, particularly Vol. 201, File 332, Vol. 4. Hopkinson to Scott, 11 July, 1911, and in same series, vol. 13 (a) Statement by Bela Singh, Ganga Ram, and Baboo Singh, January 1915; also LAC, Immigration files, RG 76, Vol. 385, File 536999, pt. 9. Malcolm R.J. Reid to W.D. Scott, 10 August 1915; I.M. Muthanna, People of India in North America. Part First (Bangalore: Printed at Lutus Printers, 1975).HH