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Lahina Singh

Lahina Singh was one of the triumvirate who ruled over Lahore for more than 30 years before its occupation by Ranjit Singh. He was son of a person named Daragha but adopted by Gurbakhsh Singh Roranwala, a Sikh chief of note belonging to the Bhangi Misl, after whose death in 1763 he succeeded him to his estates.

The most spectacular achievement of Lahina Singh, in collaboration with Gujjar Singh and Sobha Singh, was the capture of Lahore from the Afghan nominees, Kabuli Mall and his nephew Amir Singh, and minting in 1765 the Sikh coin.

Lahina Singh ruled over Lahore most successfully for 32 years, with some intermissions, until his death in September 1797. He enjoyed complete obedience and respect of his subjects. When in December 1766, Ahmad Shah Durrani invaded Lahore and Lahina Singh retired towards Kasur, the Muslim citizens of Lahore pleaded before Shah to confirm Lahina Singh in the governorship of the Punjab.

To this end, the Durrani actually invited Lahina Singh, but the latter declined the proposal. He returned to the Shah the fruit he had sent him (just like Sardar Charat Singh), saying that such delicacies were meant for royalty alone. The Sikhs, he told the messanger, lived on parched gram. Of this he gave a quantity to the messenger to be presented to Ahmad Shah on his behalf. Lahina Singh occupied Lahore as soon as Ahmad Shah left for Afghanistan.

Lahina Singh retained a permanent body of 3,000 cavalry and 2,000 infantry and in an emergency he could muster a force of 7,000 horsemen and 4,000 footmen. His territory yielded about 15 lakhs of rupees annually.

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