Maharaja Sher Singhs samadh in Pakistan vandalised

Maharaja Sher Singh, who ruled Punjab from January, 1841 until his death in September, 1843, was the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

He was born on December 4, 1807 to Mahitab Kaur, Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s first wife.

They alleged that the samadhs had been vandalised after the demolition of Babri Masjid, mistaking them (samadhs) for a Hindu shrine.

The descendants visited the samadhs recently and saw these in dilapidated condition.

They brought the matter to the notice of the then Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board president Lieut-Gen Javed Nasir.

However, the Pakistan Government did nothing to restore the samadhs.

The samadhs are located in southern Lahore, where the Ravi once flowed. The baradari of Shah Bilawal is also located by the river.

Maharaja Sher Singh came here to inspect the troops on September 15, 1843. His general, Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia, presented him with a gun. But he pulled its trigger while handing it over to the maharaja. He died on the spot. Sandhanwalia also killed his seven-year-old son, Kunwar Partab Singh. The two were cremated at this place and their samadhs were built later.

The samadh of the maharani is on the eastern side of Maharaja Sher Singh’s samadh, whereas one on the western side is that of Rani Partab Kaur. Though the baradari of Shah Balawal and samadhs are still present, these face the threat of total destruction.

Maharaja Sher Singh took part in many campaigns undertaken by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the expansion of his kingdom.

From 1831 to 1834, he acted as governor of the province of Kashmir.

He was one of the army commanders who led forces in 1834 to Peshawar and seized the city from the Afghans.

In the political vacuum created by the deaths of Maharaja Kharak Singh and his son Kanvar Nau Nihal in November, 1840, Sher Singh staked his claim to the throne of Punjab.

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