After the death of Qazi Abdul Razak and Mufti Abdul Rehman at the hands of the Singhs in 1738 A.D., Zakriya Khan, the Governor of Lahore put Abdul Samad Khan Yusufi at the head of an army patrol. Wherever that patrol came across a Singh, they killed him there and then. One day, Abdul Samad Khan fell into the hands of Nawab Kapoor Singh. He tied him head down, behind a horse and ran the horse at a gallop which caused his death. After that, the Governor began rewarding those coming with the heads of Singhs. A large number of Singhs left Lahore and went to other provinces. The Singhs who did not leave the Lahore province spent their days hiding in the bushes. Among those were Bhai Bota Singh Sandhu of village Bharana and Bhai Garjha Singh Mazhabi, his companion, who were living in hiding in Tarn Taran area.

Bota Singh and Bhai Gharja Singh ji

Several Sikhs were killed, owing to the information by Muslims, Hindus and other communities who were keen to make quick money. One such massacre was of a father and son, Sardar Subeg Singh and his 18 years old Son Bhai Shahbaz Singh, both Sikhs were executed at exactly as in this picture at Lahore after they refused to become Muslims. Meanwhile Bhai Bota Singh and Bhai Gharjha Singh, One day, while they sat hiding in bushes by the roadside, they heard two soldiers talking. One was telling the other, "Now, the Singhs spend their time hiding in bushes for fear of death." Perhaps he had seen the Singhs sitting. The other one said, "One who passes his days hiding in the bushes like a jackal cannot be a Singh (lion). " The Singhs could not tolerate this insult. They came out of hiding and instantly killed both the soldiers with their staffs. After that, both Singhs posted themselves on a bridge near Noordin's inn on Tarn Taran to Lahore road. They started collecting bridge tolls at the rate of one 'Anna' for a cart and one 'Paisa' for a donkey crossing that bridge. Everyone using the bridge paid the toll-tax without any argument. When sometime had passed with the establishment of Sikh rule over the bridge, they wrote a letter to the Governor, in English it is "Bota writes in this letter: He has a staff in his hand. He has imposed a toll of one Anna on each cart and one paisa on each donkey. Tell brother's wife Khano that Bota Singh says this."


On receiving the letter, the Governor sent Jalal Din with one hundred soldiers to arrest and bring the Singhs with him. Jalal Din came to bridge and said to the Singhs, "There are only two of you while I have one hundred soldiers with me. You have only clubs while we are armed with swords. You cannot face us in a battle. As such, it is better that you surrender." Garjha Singh replied, "Select four of your soldiers and send them to fight us. The you will see our hands wielding the clubs." At this challenge of the Singhs the Commander sent four soldiers. In the twinkling of an eye, the corpses of the soldiers lay writhing on the ground. When no one came forward to face the Singhs again, the Commander ordered all to attack them together. The two Singhs attained martyrdom fighting one hundred men in 1739 A.D.


Salute to great Sikh Warriors Bhai Gharjha Singh ji and Bhai Bota singh ji


BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Copyright © Harbans Singh "The encyclopedia of Sikhism."
  2. Santok singh Jagdev of Sikh missionary society "Bed-Time stories -7"
  3. Khushwant Singh "History of Sikhs"