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Namdhari Shaheeds -

Foremost Freedom Fighters-Page 3

S. Gurmukh Singh asking the Muslim trader to not to mistreat the highly laden ox. A dispute occured and the magistrate ordered the ox to be slaughtered in front of Gurmukh Singh.
The open permission for kine killing in the Punjab accorded to Muslims by the British rulers was assented bitterly by all sections of the non-Muslim population. Muslims, on the other hand became over-zealous everywhere and deliberately injured the religious sentiments of their Hindu and Sikh neighbours. An incident of a minor nature, in which a Namdhari had requested a vegetable seller to come down from the back of an ox, resulted in altercations between Gurmukh Singh Namdhari and a Muslim at Malerkotla. The matter went to the court and the Muslim judge instead of pacifying the excited feelings ordered that the ox be butchered before the eyes of Gurmukh Singh. Orders were instantly carried out. Next day Gurmukh Singh went to Bhaini Sahib to attend a gathering, and narrated what had taken place before his eyes.
On 13th January 1871, a batch of about 2O0 Namdharies under the leadership of Sardars Hira Singh and Lehna Singh started for Kotla to avenge the wrong done to one of their fellow religionists by the fanatic Muslim judge. On the way, there was a free fight with the men of the Sikh Feudal Chief of Malaudh in which. 2 Namdharies and two men of the Sardar group were killed. On the morning of 15th there was a riot between the Namdharies and the officials of the Malerkotla State. Eight Kotla men were killed and several wounded. On the side of the Namdharies, 7 died on the spot, and 2 wounded were captured, besides, 29 severely wounded who had left the city. One of the two wounded died later on
A Kuka Waryam Singh was rather short in height, and was related to the Maharaja of Patiala. A member of the firing squad was interested in saving his life. So he alleged that this man could not be blown, as his height was lower than the cannon aim. Waryam Singh ran at once to the neighbouring ploughed field and brought some stones with him. He stood on these stones and challenged the gunman to fire as his height now posed no problem to the cannon aim.

The Namdharies left the city and reaching the police post Sherpur in the Patiala State voluntarily surrendered themselves to the police officials. In the meantime, Mr. Cowan, the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana district, had reached Malerkotla. The ruler of the state was a minor and Mr. Cowan was working as superintendent of the Council of administration. He ordered that the Namdharies should be brought before him. On the 17th January, 49 of them were blown away with guns and the fiftieth cut to pieces with swords without trial. On the 18th, the remaining sixteen were also done to death in the same ghastly manner by an order of Mr. Forsythe the Commis-sioner of Ambala Division.

"Kuka-Massacre al Maler-Kotla." "These reminiscences of 1872 would be incomplete without some reference to what I can only describe as the Massacre at Maler Kotla. .. For my part, I can recall nothing during my service in India, more revolt-ing and shocking than these executions, and there were many who thought, as I did, still think, that the final orders of the Government of India were lamentably inadequate. (Indian and Home memories by Sir Henery Cotton.P.110-113)

The last person to be executed was a boy of thirteen years by the name of Bishan Singh. Mr. Cowan's wife felt pity for the boy and asked her husband to release him. Cowan went to the boy, bent down to him and said: "Disown the fool Ram Singh and you will be pardoned." The boy got enraged on hearing his Guru being abused. He jumped up, caught hold of the beard of Cowan and did not let it go till both his hands were severed. His body was cut to pieces and he became a martyr.
Shaheed Bishan Singh being hacked with a sword for wrenching the beard of Cowan.
The Government took the occasion as affording an appropriate opportunity for exercising its absolute power for crushing the Namdhari movement. Guru Ram Singh and his three Subahs, Jawahar Singh, Sahib Singh, and Lakha Singh and his personal attendant. Nanoo Singh were put under arrest on the night of 17th and taken to Allahabad. Immediately after, Sahib Singh, Rur Singh Kahn Singh, Barhma Singh, Maluk Singh, Man Singh and Hukma Siugh were also arrested and sent to Allahabad All of them were ordered to be kept in detention under Bengal Regulation III of 1818. Consequently, Guru Ran Singh Ji was taken to Rangoon in March 1872, along with his personal attendant, Nanoo Singh, and the Subahs were confined in different jails.
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