Nadar Shah of Persia, invaded India, overrun the Punjab and plundered Delhi in 1739. On his way back he avoided the heat of the plains and passed through the Shivalik Hills with all his loot that included many young Hindu girls taken prisoners, for being sold as slaves in his country.
At that point, he had no idea that many Sikh Jathas (groups) had taken shelter there temporarily. So, it came as a great surprise for him and his weary men, when the Sikhs suddenly fell upon them calling out their thunderous Jaikaras of ‘Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal’. Many of his men died and many others ran away. The Sikhs recovered much of the plundered goods and got the innocent women released. Shocked as well as infuriated Nadar Shah ordered Zakria Khan, the Governor of Lahore (the then Capital of Punjab) to annihilate the Sikhs and destroy their religious places completely.
Zakria Khan intensified his campaign against the Sikhs and appointed one of his trusted men, Massa Ranghar as incharge of the Amritsar District. Most notoriously, Massa Ranghar desecrated the Golden Temple by smoking and drinking inside there and watching young girls perform dance for him.
These days Bhai Mehtab Singh, a devout Sikh of the Guru was passing his days in hiding in the deserts of Rajasthan. When he heard about the desecration of the Golden Temple, he became very angry. He took a vow to stop this disrespectful use of the sacred Harminder Sahib. He took Bhai Sukha Singh, another dedicated Sikh with him, as his companion. They disguised themselves as Mohammadan Revenue Officials, and filled up two bags with round pieces of baked clay. Each one placed one bag before him on his horse and galloped away towards Amritsar. They tied their horses to a small tree, by the ‘Darshni Deori’, the main gate to the bridge to the Golden Temple - Harminder Sahib, and very confidently walked in carrying their bags on their shoulders. Nobody checked them as they looked like Mughal Revenue Officials going to deposit their revenue bags full of coins to the Chief Collector Massa Ranghar. When they entered the temple, they found Massa Ranghar to be drunk and busy watching some dancing girls.
Bhai Mehtab Singh and Bhai Sukha Singh placed their bags before him. Obviously pleased, Massa bent forward to check them. Bhai Mehtab Singh, cut off his head with his sword, picked it up and both of them vanished on their horses before anyone knew what had happened. This took place in 1740.In 1745, when Bhai Mehtab Singh came back to visit his village, in District Amritsar, he was surrounded by the Mughal forces, captured, chained and taken to Lahore. There he was asked to choose between Islam and death. He refused to change his faith. He was ordered to be crushed between two rotating wheels with sharp teeth. The Berry tree to which his and Bhai Sukha Singh’s horses were tied outside the Golden Temple is still respectfully touched by all devotees.The daring noble deed of Bhai Mehtab Singh’s martyrdom is recalled and admired by one and all.

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