In Malerkota, an incident of a minor nature occurred in which Gurmukh Singh Namdhari requested a vegetable seller to show mercy on an Ox which was suffering at its owners orders. The ensuing verbal confrontation between the two led Gurmukh Singh to the court for punishment. A Muslim judge, instead of pacifying the excited feelings, ordered that the Ox be slaughtered before the eyes of Gurmukh Singh. The next day Gurmukh Singh went to Sri Bhaini Sahib and narrated the whole story. Revenge was high on the mind of the Sikhs and Satguru Ram Singh Ji said “If you can hold your emotions for a year more, I will achieve, without the help of weapons, the object for which you are drawing out your swords.” The Sikhs said that had orders of the ninth guru. Guru Ram Singh then said that “I cannot however go against the orders of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji”.
The Sikhs could not control themselves and on 13th Jan 1872, about 150 Namdhari Sikhs under the leadership of Sant Hira Singh and Lehna Singh proceeded to Kotla to avenge the wrong done by a fanatic Muslim judge. On 15th January fighting took place between the Sikhs and Malerkotla officials and many lives were lost. The Namdhari Sikhs voluntarily surrendered themselves to the authorities.