Sardar Lehna Singh Of Bhangi grandfather was a Jagirdar Of Sadhawala . He, in the time of scarcity, left his native village of Sadhawala in the Amritsar district for Mastapur near Kartarpur in the Jalandhar Doab.” He belonged to the Kahlon sub-caste of the Jats. Lehna Singh, the son of Dargaha, was a high-spirited youngman. Once he was beaten by his father for allowing cattle to stray into the green fields. He ran away from home and, after wandering for some time, reached the village of Rotanwala, one mile from Atari, where a Bhangi Misaldar Gurbakhsh Singh lived.” This man was one of the best warriors under Hari Singh Bhangi. He owned about forty villages and helped Hari Singh to maintain law and order in his territory with a band of his horsemen Gurbakhsh Singh took a fancy to young Lehna Singh and enlisted him among his horsemen and later, having no male issue of his own, adopted him.” Gurbakhsh Singh died in 1763, and dissensions arose between Lehna Singh, the adopted son, and Gujjar Singh, the son of Gurbakhsh Singh’s brother,” each claiming the property.Jhanda Singh and Ganda Singh came to Vanyeki to settle their dispute but Gujjar Singh was not prepared to listen to the terms of settlement and set out with his followers for Roranwala. Lehna Singh pursued and came up with him. There was a fight between the followers of the two which resulted in the death of a few men on either side. At last the estate was divided by Lehna Singh and Gujjar Singh. The former kept Roranwala and the latter founded a new village between Bharwal and Ranni, which he called Ranghar, in remembrance of his fight with Lehna Singh, with whom he now became the fast friend.” When Ahmad Shah Abdali left India he appointed a Hindu, named Kabuli Mal, as the governor of Lahore,” The governor was a timid and, at the same time, a tyrannical man. Lehna Singh and Gujar Singh formed a design to expel Ahmad Shah’s representative from Lahore and capture the city for themselves. When Kabul Mal obtained secret intelligence of the Bhangi plot he fled from Lahore, leaving it in charge of his nephew (sister’s son), Amir Singh (or Amar Singh). Kabuli Mal plundered the city before leaving it. He took road to Jammu and on the way he was roughly handled by some of the persons who had left Lahore because of his tyranny. He would probably have been killed, had not some troops, sent by Raja Ranjit Deo as his escort, saved him. The Raja sent him to Rawalpindi where Ahmad Shah’s rearguard had halted and there he died shortly afterwards.  Lehna Singh and Guijar Singh collected their men and decided to surprise Lahore. Bhai Nand Ram Purbia, who was the thanedar of Lahore fort and who had been hostile to Kabuli Mal. secretly joined with the Bhangi chiefs. He sent a message to the Sikh Jat Sardars through Dyal Singh that entry into the city by the gates was doubtful and they were asked to enter at night by causing a breach in the wall at a specific point. The Bhangi chiefs agreed and they did likewise” and before moming the whole city was in their possession. The occupation of Lahore took place on April 16, 1765. Amir Singh, the deputy governor, was captured and put in irons. Early next day Sobha Singh Kanaihya, nephew (brother’s son) of Jai Singh Kanaihya, arrived.” He had been, since the last Afghan invasion, staying at his native village Kanah. Though he was late to participate in capturing the city, he was allowed to share the prize. Then came the other chiefs of the Bhangis, Kanaihyas, Sukerchakias, etc. But Charat Singh Sukerchakia would not go away without having got the Zamzama gun from the Bhangis, which he carried to Gujranwala, The three chiefs then divided Lahore amongst them.” Lehna Singh rook the fort with the Masti, Khizri, Kashmiri and Roshani gates. Guijar Singh built for himself a fort without the walls, which he called Qila Gujjar Singh. On the request of a deputation of grandees of the town, the Sardars issued a proclamation thar persons who oppressed the people would be severely dealt with. The plundering of the town was stopped forthwith. They took to administering it whole-heartedly.” Lehna Singh and Soba Singh remained in Lahore in peace till Ahmad Shah Abdali made his final descent upon the Punjab in December 1766, when they retired from Lahore.” But the Afghan ruler feeling the infirmity and old age creeping upon him and having no such general as should successfully deal with the Jat chiefs, decided to, conciliate them. A deputation of the prominent persons of Lahore, then, waited upon Ahmad Shah Abdali and told him that Lehna Singh was good ruler and was sympathetic towards his subjects. He made no distinction between Hindus and Muslims. He bestowed turbans on the gazis, mutis and imams of the mosques on the festival of id ul- zuba. The Muslims of Lahore had no fear of the Khalsa, said the deputationists, and they had started looking upon them as their comrades rather than hostile enemies. This happy circumstance, said they, had made the Muslim leaders of Lahore recommend to Ahmad Shah the appointment of Sardar Lehna Singh, as their governor, in preference to a Muslim nominee of his. Ahmad Shah wrote to Lehna Singh offering him the governorship of Lahore and sent him some dry fruit of Kabul. Ichna Singh declined the offer saying that to accept an offer from an invader was against the policy of his community and returned the fruit saying that it was not his food as he lived on parched grams.” Ahmad Shah speedily returned to his country leaving the whole of the territory of the Punjab in the hands of the Sikhs. After Ahmad Shah’s departure Gujjar Singh, Ichna Singh and Sobha Singh marched towards Lahore.” The nobles of Dadan Khan, the new governor of Lahore, told him plainly that the people were satisfied with the Sikh rule and they might open the city gates and admit the Sikh Jat chiefs into the town. Dadan Khan, therefore, on the advice of his friends, met the Jat Sardars who treated him with respect and consideration and granted him a daily allowance of twenty rupees and occupied Lahore. For the next thirty years the Bhangi and Kanaihya Jat Sardars remained in possession of Lahore till 1797, when Shah Zaman, who had succeeded to the throne of Kabul, invaded the Punjab and Lehna Singh again retired from Lahore. On account of the goodness of his heart, the people of the town invited Lehna Singh to come and shoulder the administration of the place after the departure of the Shah. He came and died the same year.Sobha Singh also died the same year and was succeeded by his son, Mohar Singh, while Chet Singh succeeded to Lehna Singh.

References :-

  • Bute Shah, op. tit, p. 17; c£, Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. tit, I, p. 207.
  • Lepel Griffin, op. tit, p. 391; c£, Bute Shah, op. tit, p. 17.
  • Bute Shah. op. tit, p. 17.
  • Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. tit, p. 85; Bute Shah, op. tit; p. 19; Lepel Griffin and Muhammad Latif write Gujjar Singh to be the son of Gurbakhsh Singh’s daughter.
  • History of the sikhs by Hari ram Gupta
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