Chhota Ghalughara

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Persecution of the Sikhs (1739-46)

Zakaria Khan, the Governor of Lahore, offered lucrative rewards for the discovery and killing of Sikhs. A blanket was offered to anyone who managed to cut off the distinctive mane of a Sikh or Khalsa. A substantial monetary reward was offered for information on the whereabouts of a Sikh, and a larger sum for the delivery of a Sikh scalp. The plunder of Sikh homes was made lawful and anyone giving shelter to or withholding information about the movements of the Sikhs was liable to themselves being executed. Zakaria Khan's police scoured the countryside and brought back hundreds of Sikhs in chains. They were publicly executed at the horse market of Lahore, since renamed “Shahidganj” (place of the martyred). [3]

This period pitted the might of the intolerant Islamic state against the plucky and fiercely independent Sikhs. Aligned with the Mughal, then Afghan, rulers were the members of the Hindu ruling caste who maintained their privileges by cooperating with the government. The Sikhs, for their part, often enjoyed a good deal of support from the rural population