Gurdwara Sri Shaheed Ganj Singh Singhnian is situated near Gurdwara Sri Shaheed Ganj Bhai Taru in Lahore.
250,000 Sikh men, women and children of all ages were tortured and martyred at this site by muslims.
Muin Ul Mulk (d. 1753), shortened to Mir Mannu, was the evil mughal governor of the Punjab from March 1748 until his death in November 1753.
After Mir Mannu defeated Ahmad Shah Durrani, in the battle of Manupur, he assumed the governorship of Punjab in March 1748.
Mir Mannu promised to exterminate the Sikhs of the Punjab in a mass Sikh Genocide and not leave a single Sikh alive.
Once there used to be a mosque here and the muslims used to call it Shaheed Ganj Masjid. At Mir Mannu's orders Sikh men, women and children, were arrested and brought here. There were offered a simple choice, convert to Islam or be tortured and executed.
Firstly, according to Syad Muhammad Latif in his History of the Punjab, Mir Mannu stormed the fortress of Ram Rauni, in Amritsar, where 500 Sikhs had taken shelter. Mir Mannu stationed detachments of troops in all areas with Sikh inhabitants to apprehend them and shave their heads and beards.
This drove the Sikhs to seek refuge in the mountains and jungles. Mannu issued orders to the hill chiefs to seize Sikhs and send them to Lahore in irons. He offered a 10 rupee reward for the head of any Sikh. Rewards were offered for information on any Sikh's whereabouts. Thus, hundreds of Sikhs were brought to Lahore daily where, refusing to convert to Islam, the Sikh men were quickly beheaded.
The Sikh wives and children were made to suffer much longer and more brutally. Offered an 'easy out' if only they would convert, the women bravely refused and were put to work as prison laborers. Often brutalized and raped they were made to look on as their children were tortured and butchered. The childrens bodies were cut to pieces. The childrens limbs were fashioned into garlands which were draped around women necks.
In the basement of the mosque here, Mir Mannu's prison, the women were raped, tortured, starved and worked to death as they were forced in their weakened condition to mill tons of grain each day. The fighting and reprisals went on until the death of Mir Mannu on 4th November 1753 by a fall from his horse.
Sikhs fought to death, and freed the remaining women and children. When Diwan Kaura Mal's men gave assistance to Mir Manu in the Multan expedition, they were given possession of this site. The Sikhs started reciting Sri Guru Granth Sahib at this place and a Gurdwara was constructed.
An popular adage among Sikhs about the terrorism of Mir Mannu was as follows;
'Mir Mannu saadi datri, asin mannu dey soye. Jyon jyon sano kap da, asin dunay teenay hove.'
Mir Mannu is our sickle and we are Mannu's seed. The more he cuts us down, the more we increase.
The Gurdwara gained importance when the Sardars of the Bhangi Misl captured Lahore. Shere-i-Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh would visit this Gurdwara two or three times a week to pay his homage. The Maharaja granted a jagir to this Gurdwara but the management remained with the Mahants.
A dispute around this Shaheed Ganj erupted in 1910 AD when fundamentalist muslims tried to take over the possession of Shaheed Ganj. In 1936 AD the dispute became so grave that the police opened fire. The muslims filed a suit and the lower court decided the case in their favour. Later, the Higher Court dismissed the case. Governor Emerson maintained its status as a Gurdwara. The last case was dismissed by the court on 6th may 1996 due to the non appearance of the witnesses and thus it continues to be a Gurdwara even today.
On 1st December 1934, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee took over the management of this historic holy place. Unfortunately after the partition, this Gurdwara was abandoned. Today, the management of this place is with the Waqf board which is run by muslims. More recently, Sikhs have constructed a newer Gurdwara building.
The suffering and heroic deeds of the women, who held fast to their beliefs rather than giving in to the tyranny of fanatical muslims, led by Mir Mannu, have been immortalized in the naming of this Gurdwara — Shaheed Ganj Singh Singhnian.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
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