Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhawalia Of Raja Sansi (d. 1843), was son of Bhatti Jat Jagirdar Sardar Basava Singh Sandhawalia Of Raja Sansi. One of the younger generation of the Sandhawalias Of Raja Sansi,The Sardars Of Raja Sansi comes from Cousin line of Lahore Durbar.He was Great Great grandson of Sardar Chanda Singh Of Raja Sansi ,who was real brother of Sardar Naudh Singh of Sukerchak, both were son of Chaudhari Budh Singh Of Sukerchak later in the age of 9 he accept Sikh Panth.

Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhawalia Of Raja Sansi outstripped his uncles, Atar Singh Sandhawalia and Lahina Singh Sandhawalia, in political ambition and conspiracy. In 1840, on his return from the expedition against the Raja of Mandi, he joined his uncles in supporting Rani Chand Kaur`s claim against Sher Singh.

Fearful of the Dogra minister, Dhian Singh, who had supported Maharaja Sher Singh against Rani Chand Kaur, Ajit Singh fled Lahore in January 1841 clandestinely, along with his jewellery, and arrived in Ludhiana to seek the help and protection of the British political agent. Meanwhile, his uncle Atar Singh also left Lahore and joined him in Ludhiana. At this, Sher Singh besieged the Sandhawalia fortress at Raja Sarisi and ordered that both Lahina Singh  and his son, Kehar Singh Sandhawalia, be detained in Kot Kangra. The Sandhawalia refugees in the British territory now came out openly against Maharaja Sher Singh.

They wrote letters inciting the officers of the Khalsa army to rise against him. Ajit Singh took the journey to Calcutta to plead with the British governor general the cause of Rani Chand Kaur. Eventually, obtaining Maharaja Sher Singh`s pardon through the good offices of the British, Atar Singh and Ajit Singh returned to Lahore in May 1843. The unsuspecting Maharaja released Lahina Singh Sandhanwalia and Kehar Singh Sandhanwalia as well and restored all the confiscated Raja Sansi chiefs. Ajit Singh and other Sandhanwalia sardars, however, nursed feelings of malice in secret and waited for their opportunity to strike.

On 15 September 1843, as Maharaja Sher Singh was inspecting troops in the Baradari of Shah Bilawal, Ajit Singh shot him dead with an English rifle which he cunningly pretended to present to the Maharaja for inspection. As the Maharaja fell, Ajit Singh drew his sword and severed his head. The senior Sandhanwalia Lahina Singh murdered, in a garden close by, the Maharaja`s minor son, Kunwar Partap Singh. Later, inside the Lahore Fort, while apportioning the office of prime minister among themselves, Ajit Singh killed Dhian Singh on the spot.

Hira Singh, son of Dhian Singh, and his uncle, Suchet Singh, aroused a section of the army, and with General Avitabile`s crack battalions, they besieged the Fort on 16 September 1843, and in the resultant action both Ajit Singh and Lahina Singh were slain. Their heads were cut off and bodies quartered and hung on the different gates of the city. At Raja Sarisi the Sandhanwalia fort was razed to the ground, and the houses of all Sandhanwalia chiefs were destroyed. It was then ordered that henceforth all Sandhawalia lands be ploughed with asses instead of oxen.

References :-

  • Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umdat-ut-Twankh. Lahore, 1885-89
  • Griffin, Lepel and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
  • Chopra, Barkat Rai, Kingdom of the Punjab. Hoshiarpur, 1969
  • Chopra, Gulshan Lall, The Panjab as a Sovereign State. Hoshiarpur, 1960
  • Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983
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