On 26 November 1871, Giani Rattan Singh and Sant Rattan Singh, two Namdhari Sikhs (Kookas), were hanged from one of the branches of a banyan tree in full public view, in Ludhiana outside the jail premises.
Suba Giani Rattan Singh of Mandi and Sant Rattan Singh of Naiwala had committed no crime but were considered associates of the Raikot martyrs, who had for forcibly closed down a number of slaughterhouses opened by the British in the state.
The governments determination to continue cow slaughter proved to be an effective instrument of their ‘divide and rule’ policy. The patience of Namdhari Sikhs was now running very low. Coupled with the events in Amritsar, Raikot and Ludhiana the horrific Malerkotla incident was soon to follow.