Lahore was occupied by three Sardars: Chet Singh, Sahib Singh and Mohar Singh. The Sardars were men of loose character and extremely oppressive. The leading citizens of Lahore sent a secret invitation to Ranjit Singh to come and’ take the city. Ranjit Singh accepted the offer. His forces and those of his mother-in-law Sada Kaur, encircled Lahore during the night. The siege operation began the next morning. Maharaja’s cannons loomed and after the first breach was made in the wall, the gates of the city were thrown open for the Khalsa armies to move in. Ranjit Singh’s first public act on entering Lahore was to pay homage at the Badshahi mosque and then at the Mosque of Wazir Khan. On July 7, 1799, the massive gates of the fort were opened and its eighteen year old conqueror Shere Punjab, Ranjit Singh entered the citadel to the boom of guns firing a royal salute. The capture of Lahore confirmed Ranjit Singh’s position as the Premier Chieftain of Punjab.

* After settling the affairs at Lahore, Ranjit Singh, led ‘an expedition against the Raja of Jammu, who had promised help to the Afghans. On the way to the hills, he took Vairowal, Narowal, and Jassowal, and with rapid marches came to a halt within four miles of Jammu. The Raja submitted and paid his tribute. After Jammu, Ranjit Singh turned his attention to Gujarat. He was constrained to raise the siege on the intervention of Sahib Singh Bedi. Sohan Lal, a historian, gives a graphic account of the scene. “The Exalted One (Ranjit Singh) untied his sword from his waist and placed it on the ground before Baba Sahib Singh Bedi. All the Sardars, Jodh Singh, Dal Singh and Sahib Singh did the same. For one hour the swords lay on the ground and the Sardars did not say anything. Afterwards, the said Baba Sahib Singh tied the sword round the waist of the Exalted One and said that within a short time all his opponents would be extirpated and his rule would be established throughout the country.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 6, 1987