Harnam Singh, Kahri Sahri (1884-1916)

Harnam Singh, son of Labh Singh, from the village of Kahri Sahri, Hoshiapur district, Punjab, was an immigrant to Canada hanged as a revolutionary in Rangoon, Burma. He had served in a cavalry regiment in India, the 4th Lancers. In 1904 he arrived in Hong Kong where he worked for three years as a storekeeper for the Electric Tramway Company. In August 1907 he landed in Victoria. During 1908-09 he attended Lincoln High School in Seattle, Washington; by 1910 he was living with G.D. Kumar in Vancouver. In July 1910 he was deported from Vancouver back to Seattle; and in May 1911 when he applied for permission to visit Canada to settle his business affairs his application was turned down. He had slipped back anyway to Victoria where he ran a grocery store. While the Komagata Maru was in Vancouver he was arrested in the U.S. with Bhag Singh Bhikiwind and Balwant Singh Kurdpur after a shopping trip for revolvers and amunition, and he was deported from San Francisco by the Americans. He was arrested and tried in Burma; the Canadian government sent detective Ezra Carlow from Victoria to testify to the existence of letters about bomb-making found in Harnam Singh’s house there. That served to secure his conviction and his execution in the Mandalay jail where he was being held.

Sources: Sohan Singh Pooni, Keneda de Gadri Yodhe (Amritsar: Singh Brothers, 2009); The Ghadr Directory, 1934, Compiled by the Director, Intelligence Bureau, Home Department, Government of India (Published, Patiala: Punjabi University, 1997); Struggle for Free Hindustan: Ghadr Directory, Punjab Section, 1915 (published Mehrauli, New Delhi: Gobind Sadan Institute for Advanced Studies in Comparative Religion, 1996); Library and Archives Canada, Immigration Files, RG 76.