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IMAM UD-DIN, SHAIKH

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IMAM UDDIN, SHAIKH (1819-1859), who succeeded his father, Shaikh Ghulam Mohly udDin, as governor of the Sikh province of Kashmir in 1845, had earlier served under Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh in the Derajat and had in 1840 assisted his father in the campaign against Mandi. In April 1841, when a mutiny occurred in Kashmir, Maharaja Sher Singh ordered his father, Sheikh Ghulam Mohiy udDin, then governor of the Jalandhar Doab, to proceed to Kashmir to take charge of the province and restore order. Shaikh Imam udDin was then appointed governor of the Jalandhar Doab. When in September 1843, Wazir Hira Singh had Bhai Gurmukh Singh and Misr Belt Ram arrested, he handed them over to Shaikh Imam udDin for custody. 

Imam udDin kept them in the stables near his house in Lahore.Within a week of their confinement, both of them were put to death at Hira Singh`s orders. Shaikh Imam udDin was also involved by Hira Singh in the plot to destroy the derd of Baba Bir Singh of Naurarigabad which fell within his jurisdiction. During the insurrection in Kashmir in 1844 when Shaikh Ghulam Mohiy udDin asked for reinforcements from the Lahore Darbar, Shaikh Imam udDin was sent with a contingent to help him. On the death of his father, Imam udDin took over as governor of Kashmir, with the title of Amin ulMulk Jarig Bahadur.

His fortune, however, declined with the conclusion of the Anglo Sikh treaty of 16 March 1846, according to which Kashmir was to be handed over to Gulab Singh. The arrangement was resented by Raja Lal Singh, minister to the Lahore Darbar, who in a private communication instructed Shaikh Imam udDin to obstruct it. Shaikh Imam udDin was ultimately overcome by the intervention of the British under Major Henry Lawrence to whom he surrendered.He was tried at Lahore by a commission comprising Major General Littler, Lt Colonel Lawrence, Lt Golonel Goldie, Mr Currie and Mr Lawrence, but was exonerated when he produced original letters written by Raja Lal Singh.

His property in Lahore, which was earlier confiscated, was restored to him. In June 1848, Shaikh Imam udDin went at the head of 2,000 troops to assist Herbert Edwardes in the reduction of Multan, and succeeded in arresting Narain Singh, commander of Diwan Mul Raj. He was later rcwaded with the title of Nawab and Bahadur, together with a pension of Rs 11,600 and confirmation of his jdglr of Rs 8,400. Again in 1857, he helped the British raise two contingents of cavalry to fight on their behalf in Delhi. He died in March 1859 at the early age of 40 and was buried in the vicinity of the tomb of the famous saint. Data Ganj Bakhsh, at Lahore.

References :

1. Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umdal ut-Twdnkh. Lahore, 1885-89
2. Griffin, Lcpel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
3. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983
4. Fauja Singh, After Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1982

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