Telangana History Attack on British Residency

1857 Revolt – Telangana History – History of Hyderabad State – Attack on British Residency

Ans:  Due to oppressive policies of East India Company unrest rose among the Indians. Annexation of native kingdoms by Dalhousie in the name of ‘Doctrine of Lapse’, rules in the general enlistment act, according to which British authorities forced Indian sepoys to fight wars outside India and forced Indians to eat non-vegetarian food and allowing the missionaries into the military barracks hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and Muslim, Indian employees were looked down, not given proper promotions, rumors of mixing bone powder in duff, Britishers’ social reformation attempts were misunderstood by the so called upper castes, farmers getting effected by the commercialization of agriculture, Indian handicrafts getting worse by the economic policies of Britishers, rumors of sealing the cartridges with pig and cow fat and many reasons prompted Indians revolt against the British in 1857 C.E.

Uprising in Buldana – Reason for revolt in Hyderabad State

The contingent forces of Hyderabad State in Buldana also rose in revolt. As a result of this, many of the soldiers were arrested. About ten of them under the captainship of Chidda Khan escaped to Hyderabad, hoping that the government of Nizam would provide them asylum.

Course of revolt in Hyderabad

The Hyderabad government announced a price of three thousand rupees on Chidda Khan’s head. So, as soon as Chiddah Khan reached Hyderabad, the Dewan Salar Jung got him arrested and handed him over to Residency for prosecution. But the Dewan’s action created unrest among the people. On 17th July, 1857 the people assembled at Mecca Masjid and resolved to send a deputation of four Maulvis to the Nizam to urge him to release Chidda Khan and his followers. They had also resolved to raid the residency premises in case the Nizam did not accede to their request.
The Dewan got news about the proposed meeting at the Masjid. He sent a troop of Arab soldiers to the Masjid. On seeing them the Muslim devotees fled. Later he sent word to the Residency that there was no cause for alarm. But a few hours later he received news that a mob of about 300 Rohillas under the joint captainship of Turrebaj Khan and Maulvi Allauddin was marching towards the Residency. (mobilising around 5000 Rohillas, Arabs, students and other mutineers)The Dewan was alarmed and again sent word to the Residency about this. He cautioned that the Residency had to defend itself till he (the dewan) would rush the Nizam’s soldiers. The Rohillas marched towards the Residency through Sultan Bazar that connects Hyderabad to Secunderabad on the western side of the city. Meanwhile Abbas Saheb and Jayagopaladas who helped the Rohillas occupied the devidies on way. The Rohillas demanded the release of Chidda Khan and his associates.

Colonel. Davidson took upon himself the defense of the Residency. It was already dark by then. He was reluctant to engage the Rohillas in firing. He just moved the Arab soldiers around the mansions where the Rohillas were lurking. •Meanwhile the Rohillas demolished the wall that separated them from the Residency and marched forth demanding the release of Chidda Khan.This provoked the Residency into firing in the direction of the Rohillas. The firing continued till early morning 4’o clock. The Rohillas, unable to bear the incessant firing from the Residency fled from the mansions they occupied. The Arab soldiers stationed there to guard them, helped them flee. They carried the injured with them but left four dead bodies. Turrebaj Khan who led the attack was arrested at Mogulguda, but was injured in the scuffle. He was tried’and exiled. But on 18th January, 1859 he escaped. The government announced a reward of Rs.5000 on his head. On a fateful day, with the help of one Kurbani Khan, he was caught at the village Tuphran. This time he was killed in the firing by the British police. His body was taken to Hyderabad and dangled with shackles at a public square in the city for some days apparently to teach a lesson to the revolutionaries. Maulvi Allauddin who was in the forefront of the attack, fled to Bangaluru. But he was arrested at Mangalampalli and tried in Hyderabad. He was exiled for life to Andamans, where he died in 1884.

Further attempts by the leaders after 1857 Revolt in Hyderabad

The attack on British Residency was the only major attack during the first war of Indian independence. Though the government suppressed the attack with an iron hand, all was not well with the people as well as the state. The members of revolution glowed for another decade. The emissaries of the 1857 heroes, Tantia Thope, Nana Saheb, Rao Saheb Peshwa etc., paid secret visits to Hyderabad state to urge the people to revolt against the British rule.
The rebellion by Raja Venkatappa Naik in Sholapur, the conspiracy by the Rohillas at Nirmal, the tribals (Bhills) at Ajantha, the revolt by Ramji Gond in Adilabad, the uprising at Kolas by Rangarao Patwari and the grand conspiracy on the name of Rao Saheb Peshwa were the members that kept the revolution going on, though, in a mild way. As a result of this, the native state of Hyderabad faced critical times.

Meanwhile, The Nizam reaped benefits of this bloodbath

The Nizam Afzal-ud-Daula and his minister Mir Turab Ali Khan reaped laurels from East India Company for their “unflinching support during the troubled times and for letting down the rebels… The British Government will not forget that it has owed to his highness the Nizam and his most able minister…” (as Davidson wrote).

The Governor of Bombay wrote to the Governor General: “If not for Nizam’s strong support, the British would have lost the South”. Later in a letter, Captain Abbot described the gory details: “of 94 soldiers many were killed. One was hanged. Four shot dead. One was put before cannon and fired, his head flew 20 yards and his hands fell 8 yards apart.”

Talukdar Mirza Qurban Ali Baig received Rupees 5,000 as a reward and his salary was raised by Rupees 200. And according to some historical accounts, Qurban Ali was also promoted as Sadar Talukdar.

The title of ‘Star of India’ was conferred upon the Nizam. Raichur and Osmanabad which the British took away in 1853, were given back to him. Dues of about Rupees 50-55 lakh was waived. He was also allowed to issue coins with his image instead of the Mughals.

Mir Turab Ali Khan was bestowed with the title, ‘Salar Jung’.

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