The civil war among the Sikhs tempted the Mughal court to recover the crown lands and realize tributes from the Sikhs by playing off one party against the other. The Delhi Wazir Mirza Najaf Khan deputed his grand-nephew Mirza Shafi to carry on a campaign against the Sikhs. He was given a select force of 10,000 and a strong park of artillery. On 25 February, 1781, Shafi lay encamped at Radaur 43 kms north of Karnal. The Sikhs were staying 13 km distant. Dhaliwal Jat Chief Baba Baghel Singh wrote a letter to Shafi on 27 February saying that as owing to his presence in that quarter, crops were being ruined,he would be held responsible for their loss. On 23 March Baghel Singh’s son marched from Sikandra and tried to recapture Mustafabad, but he failed in the attempt and returned. On 4 April Shafiexpelled Baghel Singh’s military post from Indri 10 kras south of Ladwa. The Sikhs leaving their horses in the jungle fought on foot. Just then 3,000 Afghans with guns joined Shafi from Karnal and Kunjpura. The Sikhs left 150 men dead, while Shaft lost 30 men in killed and 50 wounded. The Sikhs retired to Radaur. On April 27 Shafi realized a fine of Rs. 7,000 from Indri. Baghel Singh retaliated by attacking Khalil Beg Khan at Shahabad. He took a defensive position under the walls of the sarae outside the town. The sarae was besieged and the Sikhs fired at it from the roofs of neighbouring houses. On 22 May Khalil Beg surrendered with 300 horse, 800 foot and two pieces of cannon. Khalil Beg was shot dead. Afterwards Baghel Singh and other Sikhs attacked Shafi’s camp, and forced him to retreat to Kunipura.

References :-

  • History of Sikhs -Vol. IV ,The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of Sikh Misls By Hari ram gupta.
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