Open main menu

Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/206

This page needs to be proofread.

The First Sikh War and its results.— In 1845 these intriguers, fearing the Khdlsa army which they could not control, yielded to its cry to be led across the Sutlej in the hope that its strength would be broken in its conflict with the Company's forces. The valour displayed by the Sikh soldiery on the fields of Mudki, Ferozeshah (Pherushahr), and Sobraon was rendered useless by the treachery of its rulers, and Lahore was occupied in February, 1846. By the treaty signed on 9th March, 1846, the Maharaja ceded the territories in the plains between the Sutlej and Bias, and in the hills between the Bias and the Indus. Kashmir and Hazara were made over by the Company to Raja Gulab Singh for a payment of 75 lakhs, but next year he induced the Lahore Darbar to take over Hazara and give him Jammu in exchange. After Raja Lai Singh had been banished for instigating Shekh Imam ud din to resist the occupation of Kashmir by Gulab Singh, an agreement was executed, in December, 1846, between the Government and the chief Sikh Sarddrs by which a Council of Regency was appointed to be controlled by a British Resident at Lahore. The office was given to Henry Lawrence.

The Second Sikh War.— These arrangements were destined to be short-lived. Diwan Sawan Mai's son, Mulraj, mismanaged Multan and was ordered to resign. In April, 1848, two English officers sent to instal his Sikh successor were murdered. Herbert Edwardes, with the help of Muhammadan tribesmen and Bahawalpur troops, shut up Mulraj in Multan, but the fort was too strong for the first British regular force, which arrived in August, and it did not fall till January, 1849. During that winter a formidable Sikh revolt against English domination broke out. Its leader was Sarddr Chatar Singh, Governor of Hazara. The troops sent by the Darbar to Multan under Chatar Singh's son, Sher Singh,