GURDITTA BHATHIARA was, according to tradition, engaged by Chandu Shah to torture Guru Arjan to death. Death by torture had been ordered by Emperor Jaharigir himself and Chandu Shah had, out of personal rancour, taken upon himself the responsibility of carrying out the imperial fiat. Gurditta, a poor bhathidrd or gramparcher by trade, was told to heal up an iron plate placed over a big hearth. Guru Arjan was made to sit on the redhot plate and Gurditta was ordered to pour hot sand over his body. The torture ended in Guru Arjan`s death. Years later, when Jaharigir was reconciled to Guru Arjan`s son and successor, Guru Hargobind, he had Chandu Shah handed over to the Guru to be dealt with according to his deserts.
Chandu Shah was paraded in the streets of Lahore and subjected to insult and shoe beating by the people. As he was taken to the street where Gurditta Bhathiara practised his trade, the latter, filled with contempt and anger, threw the heavy laddie he had, under his orders, used to pour hot sand over Guru Arjan`s blistered frame, at him saying, in the words of Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratdp Suraj Granth, “Keep away, you archsinner, and do not cast your evil shadow upon me.” The hot laddie hit Chandu Shah in the stomach and killed him.
1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Tuiarikh Guru Khalsa. Patiala, 19`70