3. Sikhs get Organized

Sardar Kapoor Singh was one of the thousands of Sikhs who were attracted to the Khalsa Panth after the sacrifice of Bhai Tara Singh of the village of Van, in 1726. The murder of this devoted Sikh, popular both with Muslims and Hindus, forced the Sikhs to unite and organize themselves to respond to state repression against them. The Khalsa held a meeting to make plans for future actions. They decided to appropriate government money and weapons in order to weaken the administration, and to equip themselves to face the everyday attacks. Kapoor Singh was assigned to plan and execute these projects. Information was obtained that money was being transported from Multan to the Lahore treasury. The Khalsa then came like hawks from nowhere, looted the money, took over the arms and horses of the guards, and vanished in moments, leaving the guards stunned. In another raid, they took over the revenues of the Kasoor estate. A third foray, against a caravan from Afghanistan, resulted in capturing numerous arms and horses, so important to them in their fight against state forces. Some war supplies were being taken from Afghanistan to Delhi. When Kapoor Singh learned of it, he organized an attack to capture them. In another attack, the Khalsa recovered gold and silver which was intended to be carried to Delhi. The able leadership of Jathedar Darbara Singh and Sardar Kapoor Singh strengthened the Khalsa and provided them with the confidence and the strength to destroy the foreign tyrants and establish self rule. The looting of the government treasury created a panic in Lahore. The governor approached the Emperor in Delhi for help. He sent a strong army to search for the Sikhs and kill them, but the Sikhs hid in the forests and sedges near the river beds, not easily approachable by the army. Finding no Sikhs around, the government falsely announced in each village with the beat of a drum, that all Sikhs had been eliminated. This met with little success. People knew the truth and did not stop supporting the Khalsa who were spread all over the area. The Sikhs did not face the army directly, but adopted guerilla warfare tactics which suited their small numbers. Once, while coming to Amritsar, Sardar Kapoor Singh and his contingent met, by chance, the roaming squads of the army near Ropar. In the ensuing skirmish the Sikhs prevailed and won the day.