DIVAN CHAND. MISR
DIVAN CHAND. MISR (d. 1825), a general in Maharaja Ranjit Singh`s army, was the son of a Brahman shopkeeper of the village of Gondlanvala, in Gujranwala district, now in Pakistan. He had come to the notice of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1812 during one of his tours and was appointed a clerk in the accounts section of the ordnance department. In 1814, when Ghaus Khan. head of this department, died, Ranjit Singh appointed Divan Chand in his place. Between 1814 and 1825, Divan Chand was virtually the commanderin chief of the armies that conquered Multan and Kashmir.
The city of Multan had been besieged for four months since February 1818 before it was finally conquered on 2 June 1818. In the final conquest of Kashmir (1819) the main army was placed under Divan Chand while a supporting column under Prince Kharak Singh marched behind him. Divan Chand destroyed the fort of Rajauri. Jabbar Khan, the Afghan governor of Kashmir, opposed him at the inner entrance to the pass and seized two Sikh guns, but was forced to flee and Kashmir became part of the Sikh kingdom.
Divan Chand was honoured by the Maharaja with the title of NusratJang, “Victor in War.” Earlier, after the conquest of Multan, he had received the title of Zafar Jang, “Conquerer in War.” In 1820, Divan Chand captured Rani Sada Kaur`s fort of Atalgarh, and took Mankera in 1821. He also took part in the campaigns of Pakhli, Tonk, Bannu and Naushera. Misr Divan Chand died of cholera at Lahore on 18 July 182^.
1. Griffin, Lepel, Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1957
2. Latif, Syad Muhammad, History of the Panjab. Delhi, 1964
3. Gulcharan Singh, Ranjit Singh and His Generals. Jalandhar, n.d.