MASSE KHAN RANGHAR
MASSE KHAN RANGHAR (d. 1740), a Rarighar Rajput landlord converted to Islam, belonged to the village of MandialT, 8 km south of Amritsar. He was appointed kotwdl of Amritsar by Zakariya Khan, the Mughal governor of Lahore (1726-45), after the death of Qazi `Abdur Rahman who had met his end at the hands of the Sikhs. Masse Khan`s specific charge was not to allow Sikhs to visit the Harimandar or have a dip in the tank around it. He stationed himself in the Harimandar, the sanctum sanctorum in the middle of the sarovar, the sacred pool.
There he caroused and indulged in revelry with women of ill repute. Most of the fighting bands of Sikhs had already been driven out by Zakariya Khan`s drastically harsh measures to seek refuge in hills and deserts outside the central Punjab, and Massa had a free rein until the news of the sacrilege reached the jathd or band of Sardar Shiam Singh camping in Jaipur, in Rajasthan.Matab Singh, one of the jathd, vowed to avenge the desecration of the holy Harimandar and, accompanied by another brave warrior, Sukkha Singh, he forthwith left for Amritsar.
The two, finding all approaches to the city strongly guarded, took recourse to a stratagem. Disguised as revenue officials come to deposit their tax collections, they entered the Harimandar, cut off Massa`s head, and made good their escape before the Mughal soldiers knew what had happened. This occurred on 11 August 1740.
1. Bharigu, Ratan Singh, Prachin Panth Prakash. Amritsar, 1914
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970.