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Karam Singh

Karam Singh, the companion of Sudh Singh who was taking care of the Misl after Martyrtom of the founder of Shaheedan Misl Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed, succeeded him. He was the son of Chaudhry Bir Singh, a Sidhu Jat, resident of the village Marana (Marhaka) in the pargana of Lahore. After Zain Khan of Sirhind was killed the Sikh Sardars occupied the surrounding territories. Karam Singh also occupied parganas of Shahzadpur, Majri and Kesari in Ambala district from which an income of one lakh rupees accrued annually.

Nawab Zabita Khan of Ranniawala was ruling his territory near Damdana Sahib. He was in Constant warfare with the Sikhs. In order to pacify them he transferred twelve villages in the name of the Gurdwara, including the villages of Dadu, Dharampura, Rampura, Taloke^.vala, Kewal and Huna Pucca. Karam Singh later took possession of Rannia, Damdama, Khari, Jaroli, Faizullapur and the adjoining areas. He lived at Kesari. His brother Dharam Singh was given Shahzadpur. Dharam Siogh died issueless. After Dharam Singh's death his widow Mai Desao was given a village Baragaon for her subsistence. Karam Singh himself shifted to Shazadpur, and brought Mai Desan, the widow of Dharam Singh, into his wedlock. After Mai Desan's death her possessions also passed into the hands of Karam Singh.

During Karam Singh's time a contingent of 404 Sikhs, with two guns and 10 zamburs, was stationed at Damdama. Natha Singh was the mukhtar of the place. He was replaced by the orders of Karam Singh.

When in 1768, on the complaint of a Brahman whose married daughter has been forcibly seized by Hasan Khan, the Nawab of Jalalabad Lohari, the Sikh forces marched on Jalalabad under the command of Karam Singh Shaheed who emerged successful in the fighting. The Nawab was tied to a cot and burnt alive. Nawab's agent, a Hindu Kalal, who informed him of the beautiful girls, was publically executed. The Brahman's daughter was restored to her husband and the Sardar saw that the food cooked by the girl was served to all the Brahmans of her husband's village. The Sikhs gave a sufficient amount of money to the girl's husband to assure good treatment for her.

Karam Singh ruled his territory very efficiently. He kept under his control, the parganas of Bankhandi and Bartha Jawai (in the Saharanpur district) with an income of one lakh rupees annually, for a period of thirty years.

Towards the end of 1779, Karam Singh arrived in the camp of Prince Abdul Ahad at Karnal and presented two horses and some other gifts. He was awarded a khillat of five pieces, a sarpech and a sword. Some other chiefs, including Baghel Singh Karorsinghia and Sahib Singh Khundawala, also met the prince. These chiefs were wining the imperial camp partly to crush their opponents with the assistance of the king's forces and partly to plunder the territory of the Raja of Patiala at whose domination they were chafing.

Due to his hobnobbing with the Marathas Diwan Nanumal of Patiala fell from royal favours. When he was returning from Karnal he heard of all that his enemies had accomplished against him. He thought it unwise to return to Patiala where he could only expect imprisonment or death. He, therefore, took refuge with Sardar Karam Singh Shahid.

The forces of the Shahid Misal comprised 2000 horsemen. Karam Singh died in 1794.

Excerpts taken from a History of Sikh Misals.

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