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Pakistan, Jan. 12 -- On June 27, 1839 Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the last great ruler of Punjab died. The following day, his body was accompanied by four of his wives and seven slave girls to a funeral pyre where they to the accompaniment of prayers read by Sikh, Hindu and Muslim priests immolated themselves with the deceased king.
About two weeks later, his successor Kharak Singh ordered that a monument be made to commemorate his father at the site of cremation in front of the Lahore Fort. The ensuing bloodshed for succession meant that the monument would also be used to commemorate Kharak Singh and his son Nau Nihal Singh.
The monument was still partly unfinished in 1849 when Punjab was annexed by the British. Surprisingly, the new rulers...
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