MS Bitta is an Indian social activist and former politician who served as a minister in the Punjab state government. He was a member of the Indian National Congress and served as President of the Indian Youth Congress. He is is the chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front that works to support the kins of martyrs of the Indian Army.
MS Bitta aka Maninderjit Singh Bitta FaceBook – MSBittaAIATF was born in 1957 (age 65 years; as of 2022) at Chowk Babasar, near Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab. He was not interested in studies and would have many street fights during his childhood. When he was 7 years old, he used to go to Jallianwala Bagh with his grandfather who told him about the 1919 massacre. MS Bitta took oath in the Jallianwala Bagh that he will always protect the rights of Indians by any means. His grandfather gave him biographies of many Indian freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, and Subhash Chandra Bose. Due to his multiple fights with other children, he had to change schools three times, and he dropped out of his studies after studying for 2 years at Khalsa College Amritsar. He joined Congress Seva Dal when he has 14 years old. India Today
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He belongs to a lower-middle-class non-jat Sikh family
He follows Sikhism.
In the late 1970s, he joined the Indian Youth Congress and started organising public rallies and gatherings near his home.
In 1983, he became the district chief of the Indian Youth Congress. He used to organize rallies in his area and echo pro-nation sentiments when Punjab was caught up in the wave of terrorism. He would frequently travel between Amritsar and Delhi. He became known for his anti-Arjun Singh stance, and PV Narsimha Rao made him president of the Indian Youth Congress. During his stint as president of the Indian Youth Congress, Bitta formed a group of its members who would often wear white attire with maroon turbans, which, reportedly, caught the attention of Rajiv Gandhi. In 1992, he became the PWD minister in Beant Singh‘s government; however, after the attack on him, he left politics and formed the All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF).
MS Bitta formed an NGO named All India Anti-Terrorist Front(AIATF) in 1995 and started working towards spreading anti-terrorism messages in India. His NGO provides for the education of martyrs of the Kargil War and the Parliament attack in 2001. He is a vocal critic of terrorism and openly condemns the political parties for their stand against terrorism.
His NGO AIATF worked during COVID-19 to provide support to the families of Covid victims and helped people and other groups in their humanitarian efforts. His NGO also awards people across India for fighting against terrorism and their acts of bravery. He has criticized ISI and blamed them on many occasions to spread terrorism in India. He has also spoken freely about political terrorism as he said that politics do not allow the law to punish the culprits appropriately. He openly blamed the farmer leader Rakesh Tikait for the unrest at the Red Fort during Republic Day celebrations in 2021.
Mr Bitta has escaped many fatal assassination attempts; most of them, almost 15 times, used bombs to kill him. Some people call him ‘Zinda Shaheed’. Reportedly, he saved himself in these attempts by changing routes, canceling the programs, or leaving early from the programs. In 1983, when he was in 9th class, he was warned by the SHO Amritsar Police to not hoist the Indian flag on 15 August as the terrorists had warned to bomb the place and kill him. Terrorists bombed his house at 5 am while he was studying using 45 kg RDX following which he took out his father’s revolver and ran behind them to shoot them; however, the terrorists had already run away. He remained unfazed and hoisted the flag at 12 noon. Some people came to attack him during the ceremony, but he fought with them and handed them over to the police. In 1983, a bombing, aimed to kill him again, took place in Delhi using 40 kg RDX. In 1997, a terrorist Major Singh was arrested in Delhi who planned to kill MS Bitta with a bomb fitted in a truck. In April 2017, he received a threat letter from a Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen terrorist, India Today and in February 2022, he received a threat letter from ISIS.
Attack while hoisting the Indian flag in Amritsar
When he was 19 years old, he decided to hoist the Indian flag in front of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, he was attacked by bombs and survived. Recalling that incident, he said in an interview,
“Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was those days lodged inside the temple complex. They threatened us but we went ahead. That is when a bomb was hurled on to the road. Smoke engulfed the area. We survived to unfurl the national flag.” The Times of India
7 July 1992 Amritsar bombing
On 7 July 1992, he was going to the inauguration ceremony of a Laundry plant at Golden Avenue, Amritsar, Punjab. He had already anticipated the bombing one day before; however, he did not cancel his plan. The bombing took place near Waryam Singh hospital in the Rambagh area of Amritsar. Terrorists parked their Maruti car roadside, and when his convoy passed them, they detonated a remote-controlled bomb, which killed 12 people and injured 63 people. He was travelling in the car with the number PB08 A0002 was damaged. His security personnel picked him up and shifted him to the bulletproof vehicle; however, his leg was severely injured. Terrorists also fired at him from the roof of a neighbouring house; however, he did not suffer any bullet injury. Later, MS Bitta had to undergo a rod implant surgery in his leg; the rod, reportedly, weighed around 4 kg, due to which he still cannot climb stairs or sit on the floor by folding his legs. In an interview, he recalled the attack and described the bombing and said,
“I was a victim of a bomb attack in 1992 while I was PWD minister in the Punjab government. The bombs blew prople around on the street. My bodyguards were ripped apart and rifles reduced to ashes.” The Times of India
11 September 1993 Delhi Bombing
His security cover was withdrawn on 8 September 1993, and the bombing happened on 11 September 1993. MS Bitta left the Congress Youth Wing headquarters in an ordinary Ambassador car as his bulletproof car had gone for repairs. Two bombs were planted inside a car, which was parked roadside. Just as the pilot car came out of the gate, a terrorist detonated the remote-controlled bomb. His 2 bodyguards and 7 others died on the spot, and 36 people were injured. MS Bitta suffered a minor injury to his chest. He was rescued by his other bodyguards from the spot. Many pieces of metal and glass got scattered around 100 yards across Parliament and nearby government buildings. He was being taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital; however, he anticipated that terrorists will be waiting for him there, so he went to AIIMS Delhi. Later, Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar was arrested, who was considered the mastermind behind this bombing. When asked about this incident in an interview, he said,
I was Youth Congress president and that day, on September 11, 1993, I was saved by sheer luck. Nine others, however, were killed, and many injured at the Youth Congress office. I came out of the office and sat in my car. The pilot car was ahead of me when another car came between the two. Just then a car loaded with RDX parked in the vicinity blew up into a mass of fire. This car that came in between my cars took the impact and I escaped with injuries.” The Times of India
- He is a fitness enthusiast and pescetarian who eats fish only three days a week.
- He extensively uses Henna products in daily life.
- PV Narsimha Rao gave him the name ‘Zinda Shaheed.’
- He has lifetime Z+ security cover.
- He has signed to donate his body after death.
- In 2011, he requested permission from the then-president Pratibha Patil to end his life as he believed terrorists will definitely kill him and he does not want civilians to die due to him. India TV
- He is one of the 3 persons who have government accommodation without being an MP or holding any government position. The Times of India
- In 2019, a biopic titled Zinda Shaheed was announced on Bitta’s life.
NEWS UPDATE… A biopic on MS Bitta… Producers Shailendra Singh and Priya Gupta acquire rights to the life story of MS Bitta… Biopic is titled #ZindaShaheed… Starts first half of 2020… Director and cast will be announced soon. pic.twitter.com/txGPmnCMF5
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) May 28, 2019
- In 2007, he said that he will commit suicide if the DMK government in Tamil Nadu tries to harm the Ram Setu. He said in an interview,
Ram is respected by all Indians irrespective of caste and religion. Ramayana is known throughout the world. When the country itself is identified with Ram, how could a structure built by him could be allowed to be damaged. I will be the first person to sacrifice my life for preventing any damage to the bridge.” DNA India
- He follows the ideals of Lal Bahadur Shastri and Sardar Patel.
- After joining Congress Seva Dal at the age of 14, he started hoisting the Indian flag in front of Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar.
- During his stint as a politician, Bitta was known for his aggression, and he once beat an MLA in the 1992 Punjab assembly when the MLA was heckling the then Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh. India Today
- Lt.Col. SP Singh was once asking bribe from the family of the late Indian Air Force fighter pilot Vijay Ahuja, who died during the Kargil War. Later, MS Bitta assisted the Bathinda Police to trap and catch Lt Col SP Singh red-handed with forty thousand rupees as a bribe from Vijay’s brother Ajay Ahuja.