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ZAIN KHAN

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ZAIN KHAN (d. 1764), an Afghan, was appointed governor of Sirhind in March 1761 by Ahmad Shah Durrani. Earlier he had acted as Faujdar of Char Mahal the four districts of Sialkot, Gujrat, Pasrur and Aurarigabad. This was from 1759 when Karim Dad Khan was appointed governor of the Punjab by the Afghan invader. For his relentless campaign against the Sikhs and for his part in die Vadda Ghallughara ( 5 February 1762), or Great Carnage, at the village of Kup Rahira near Malerkotia, Zain Khan had become a special target of their vengeance. Within four months of the Ghallughara they attacked Sirhind with a strong force, inflicting upon him a severe defeat and laying him under tribute.

In January 1764, the Sikhs under the leadership of Jassa Singh Ahluvalia invaded Kurali and looted Zain Khan`s diwan Lachhmi Narain.Zain Khan, apprehending an attack on his capital, opened negotiations with Ala Singh of Patiala offering jagirs to Sikhs if they would withdraw from his country. Ala Singh, according to Ratan Singh Bhangu, Prachin Panth Prakash, deputed his agent Nanu Singh Greval to the Sikh chiefs, who forthwith turned down the terms he had brought, saying, "Authority does not come by charity... The Guru has assigned sovereignty to us. The Khalsa had won it by bargaining away their heads for it." Oh 14 January 1764, the Sikhs besieged Sirhind.

Jassa Singh Ahluvalia commanded 10,000 horse of his own misi or clan. As head of the Dal Khalsa, he had under him troops of seven misis, six of these belonging to the Buddha Dal and the seventh being the Bhangi misi of the Taruna Dal.In the battle that took place at PirJain about 10 km from Sirhind, Zain Khan was wounded. He fled the field on horseback and entered a mango grove to hide himself. A Sikh soldier, Tara Singh of Man, who was pursuing him spotted him and cut off his head. The territory of Sirhind, a vast tract of plain country, 350 km long and 250 km wide, extending from the Sirmur hills and the River Yamuna in the east, to the borders of Rajasthan in the west, and from the River Sutlej in the north to Panipat in the south, now fell into the hands of the Sikhs.

References :

1. Bhangu, Ratan Singh, Prachin Panth Prakash. Amrilsar, 1914
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twankh Guru Khalsa. Patiala, 1970
3. Ganda Singh, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluvalia. Paliala, 1969
4. Gupta, Hari Ram, History of the Sikhs, vol. IV. Delhi, 1982
5. Gandhi, Surjit Singh, Struggle of the Sikhs for Sovereignty. Delhi, 1980
6. Bhagal Singh, Sikh Polity in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Delhi, 1978

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