GULAB SINGH BAKHSHI
GULAB SINGH BAKHSHI (d. 1716), originally a tobacco seller Bania known by the name of Gulabu, impressed with Banda Singh`s armed victories, converted a Sikh, joined him as a soldier and rose to be paymaster of his army. He took part in various battles under his command. In the siege of Lohgarh in December 1710, Gulab Singh decided to sacrifice his life to save the life of Banda Singh. Since he had a striking physical resemblance with him, he dressed himself in his fine garments and seated himself in his place.
Banda Singh made his way through the imperial camp in the disguise of a Mughal soldier and fled towards Nahan in the mountains. When on the morning of 11 December the royal troops entered the fortress, they took Gulab Singh for Banda Singh and made him a prisoner. There were great rejoicings, but soon it was discovered that the real Banda Singh had in fact escaped. In the words of Khafi Khan, “the hawk had flown and an owl had been caught.” Gulab Singh was put in an iron cage and sent to Delhi where after several years of incarceration he was executed on 9 June 1716 along with Banda Singh and the last batch of his men captured at GurdasNangal.
1. Deol, G.S., Banda Bahadur. Jalandhar, 1972
2. Ganda Singh, lAff of Banda Singh Bahadur. Amritsar, 1935