When Hisar raised banner of revolt and was ‘free’ for 83 days in 1857 : The Tribune India

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When Hisar raised banner of revolt and was ‘free’ for 83 days in 1857

When Hisar raised banner of revolt and was ‘free’ for 83 days in 1857

The grave of the then Hisar DC, John Wedderburn. Photo: Ashok Kundu



Tribune News Service

Deepender Deswal

Hisar, May 28

On May 29, 1857 (167 years ago), residents of Hisar district had sounded the bugle against British Raj, leading to one of the bloodiest revolts — now known as the First War of Independence. People had to face the consequences of the revolt as the British unleashed brutality on the revolutionaries once their forces took command of the situation nearly 83 days later.

Dr Mahender Singh, a historian and professor of history at DN College, Hisar, said the incident of May 29 was part of the countrywide revolt against the Raj. People of Hisar had made a strategy three-four days prior to the incident, which was executed meticulously.

Haryana Light Infantry and Dadri Cavalry stationed at Hisar — led by Shah Nur Khan and Rajeb Beg — raised the banner of revolt against the Raj at Hansi – 18 km from Hisar — at 11 am on May 29.

At about 1 pm the same day, they killed 42 Britishers, including Hisar Deputy Collector John Wedderburn, his family members and other officers. They took possession of the DC office and the army cantonment in the quila and opened the gate of the prison.

The revolutionaries unfurled the flag of independence at Nagori Gate at the entrance of the historical Hisar Fort in the town and looted Rs 1.70 lakh from the treasury. Hisar remained 'free' for 83 days, said Prof Singh. The revolutionaries, comprising soldiers and civilians, were armed with guns and indigenous weapons.

Historian MM Juneja wrote in his book that a large number of Jats, Ranghars, Rajputs, Bishnois and Bhattis also revolted against the British. But the Ranghars of the district, in particular, threw themselves heart and soul into the revolt. Muhammad Azim, jagirdar of Bhattu (now a town of Fatehabad district), a descendent of a royal family of Delhi, entered Hisar with the intention of heading the revolt. He used to live at Dogran Mohalla in Hisar during the revolution.

When the British reclaimed the district, 435 revolutionaries were killed near Nagori Gate on August 19 and 123 persons were crushed under a road roller. The attack concluded on September 30. By then, about 9,500 persons had laid down their lives.

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