Mughal army was killing every Sikh found anywhere in the first half of the 18th Century. Some Sikhs, driven from place to place, came to Eminabad, a city now in Pakistan. They wanted to visit Rori Sahib, a Gurdwara built there in the memory of Guru Nanak Dev ji. They wrote a letter to the Chief of the town, Jaspat Rai, seeking his permission to enter the city and purchase some eatables as they had not eaten in many days. They promised to stay there only for one night.
Jaspat Rai, a proud and hot tempered man, in a bid to please his Mughal superiors denied the permission and ordered his men to crush the Sikhs with full force. The Sikhs resisted the attack. A Sikh climbed on Jaspat Rai’s elephant and cut off his head with one stroke of his sword. The Mughal force ran away.
Lakhpat Rai, the real brother of Jaspat Rai, was a minister under the Governor of Lahore, Yahiya Khan. Yahiya Khan, as you know by now, was a sworn enemy of the Sikhs. When Lakhpat Rai heard the news of his brother’s death, he vowed to destroy the Sikhs. Yahiya Khan readily agreed to help him.
Lakhpat Rai got all the Sikhs living at or around Lahore arrested and murdered in cold blood. All of them rejected the usual offer to accept Islam for freedom and died bravely. He disallowed keeping or reading of the Sikh scriptures.
Following this, a huge army under the command of Yahiya Khan and Lakhpat Rai started to chase and destroyed about 15,000 Sikhs that were taking shelter in the marshes near the river Ravi. With the cutting of reeds and bushes by the Mughals for the movement of their troops, many of the hiding places of the Sikhs were lost and they were pushed towards river Ravi. The Sikhs had no food and ammunition. Their supply lines had been totally cut off. The river was in flood and could not be crossed easily.
Most of the Sikhs rushed through the pursuing army, fought them bravely and died. Many were surrounded, taken prisoners and killed. About 2000 of them were able to cross the river. Hungry and barefoot, they continued their journey and some of them crossed the rivers Beas and Satluj as well and headed for safer areas.
Lakhpat Rai returned to Lahore after killing about 7000 Sikhs. About 3000 were made prisoners and tortured at Lahore. As usual, they were offered a happy life if they embraced Islam. Not one yielded. They all embraced death chanting Waheguru, Waheguru.
This wholesale murder of Sikhs took place in 1746 and is commonly known as the ‘Chhota Ghalughara’.

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