Diwan Sawan Mal Chopra (died 29 September 1844) was a military officer and Governor (Diwan) of Lahore and Multan during the Sikh Empire.
Sawan Mal was born into a Hindu Khatri family of the Chopra gotra originally from Gujranwala, the region where Maharaja Ranjit Singh‘s Misl, the Sukerchakias held sway. He was a ‘Munshi’ to Malik Mohan Lal, Subahdar of Multan under the Durranis.
Along with Hari Singh Nalwa, he was a top commander in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. As a general under Ranjit Singh, he assisted in wresting the ‘subah‘ (province) of Multan from the Durrani Afghans in 1823, after which he was made Diwan of the region. He instituted improvements in agricultural production through irrigation schemes.
In 1834, he signed an agreement on behalf of the Maharaja with Sardar Karam Khan, a Mazari warrior respected highly in his tribe as well as in the Sikh Army. Sardar Karam Khan was the younger brother of Mir Bahram Khan, Chief of the Baloch Mazari tribe, thereby ending the long war between the Sikhs and the Mazaris of Rojhan. He was succeeded to the governorship of Multan by his son, Diwan Mulraj Chopra, who was the last ethnic Punjabi to administer Multan.
He died on 29 September 1844 due to wounds inflicted upon him by an under-trial prisoner
Hari Singh Nalwa
Video – Hari Singh Nalwa
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Raja Mulraj (also reffered to in some history texts as Raja Moolraj or Diwan Moolraj)
The Siege of Multan
The East India Company’s Bengal Army under General Whish began the siege of Multan. but it was too small to encircle the city, Currie decided to reinforce them with a substantial detachment of the Khalsa under Sher Singh Attariwalla. Sher Singh’s father, Chattar Singh Attariwalla, was openly preparing to revolt in Hazara to the north of the Punjab. On 14 September, Sher Singh also rebelled against the East India Company and joined the revolt. However, Dewan Mulraj and Sher Singh could not agree to combine their forces and fought separately against the British.
On 27 December, Whish ordered four columns of troops to attack the suburbs of the city. Mulraj’s forces were driven back into the city, and Whish’s force set up batteries 500 yards from the city walls causing great damage in the city. On 30 December, the main magazine in the citadel exploded, killing 800 of the defenders. Mulraj nevertheless maintained his fire and sent a defiant message to Whish, stating that he still had enough powder to last a year. He attempted to mount a sortie against the besiegers on 31 December but this was driven back.