The Great Uprising and Civil Rebellion in Shahjahanpur

The Great Uprising and Civil Rebellion in Shahjahanpur

A Study of Anti-British Resistance in 1857

Dr. Syed Mohd Amir

Jamia’s Premchand Archives & Literary Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi – 110025

In the summer of 1857, British power in large parts of India was suddenly and violently subverted. The ‘insurrection’ was so severe that it shook the very foundation of the British Empire. The British lost power, and were ousted from their position of governance, at least for some time. This ‘uprising’ has perhaps commanded more attention than any single event in Indian history. The debate over the nature and causes of this uprising continues till date and remains one of the most sensitive & highly controversial issues of modern Indian history. Many historians have come out with different interpretations of the revolt. In almost all writings by Persian and Urdu scholars they termed it as ‘Ghadar’, meaning ‘the uprising’ against a foreign power i.e.; the British. This paper seeks to present a study of Anti- British Resistance in 1857 that took place in the district. It was an elemental, spontaneous & violent resistance aimed at overthrowing foreign rule. Shahjahanpur1 is situated southeast of Rohilkhand region. It is also known as the City of Martyrs (shaheedon ki nagri).2 It was made a district in 1813-14 by the East India Company. Before that it was a part of Bareilly district.3 According to tradition, its earlier name was Gangadurga.4 During the medieval period, it was included in Katehar which was the name of Rohilkhand during the Sultanate period. The city is bounded on the east by the district of Lakhimpur-kheri and Hardoi, on the west by the district of Farrukhabad, on the north by Bareilly and on the south by the district of Badaun and Pilibhit. Geographically, it is situated at 27.35 north latitudes and 79.37 east longitudes. The total area, according to the survey, made in 2008-2009, was about 4575 square kilometer. It lies between the two local rivers, Garrah and Khannaut, the tributaries of Ganga.5

Indian Soldiers Being Executed by British Canons

Indian Soldiers Being Executed by British Canons


Panic in Shahjahanpur:

The revolt of 1857 in Shahjahanpur began at the same time as in the other districts of Northern India. The news of Meerut-outbreak on 10 May, 1857 (Sunday), traveled rapidly and reached the sepoys in military cantonment on 15 May, 1857. The rebellion broke out in Shahjahanpur on 31 May, 1857 (another Sunday) exactly 21 days after the beginning of the revolt in Meerut.6 The District Magistrate M. D. Ricketts was on leave at that time and Bermali was the Acting Collector. The station was garrisoned by the 28th Native Infantry Regiment. The military officers had implicit confidence on the faithfulness of the sepoys. Although there were rumours spread all around that fats of cow and pigs were used in preparing the new cartridges, creating grounds for anxiety, the officers were trying to believe that the rumours were baseless because using these would hurt the religious values of both Hindu and Muslim soldiers.7 This would not be wrong to say that the British authorities already feared a revolt by the people of Shahjahanpur as Sir John Kaye and G. B. Melleson write in their mutiny narratives.8 The discontent over the tallow issue of the cartridges was rife among the soldiers. The presence of Maulvi Sarfaraz Ali of Gorakhpur in Shahjahanpur who was a scholarly alim orator, and a Sufi of the Chishtiyah Nizamiyah silsilah created suspicion. He delivered many lectures one after another in the city. As there were Muslims in the pultan (British Army) of Shahjahanpur cantonment, Sheikh Ghulam Imam Khan of Muhalla Hathithan, arranged one of his lectures in the cantonment also. Due to it, British authorities became suspicious of the Maulana. However, the author of Tarikh-iMuti writes that the Maulana never uttered a single word against the British in his lectures. However, he had great influence over the masses and the soldiers were impressed with his thoughtful lectures. Maulvi Sarfaraz Ali was afterwards appointed chief of the Ghazi at Delhi during the revolt. There was rumour that the Govt. Treasury was plundered on 25 May at the Chinaur fair, the second day of Idul-Fitr.10 The commanding officer increased the station guards and doubled the sentries. This order spread suspicion and excitement among the sepoys and led to further mutinous talk about the cartridges. Rickett returned from leave on 17 May and recommended the cancellation of the obnoxious order considering the sensitive nature of the situation. The regiment contained Sikhs and other sepoys who were considered to be thoroughly staunch supporters of the British Raj. Thus nothing important occurred till Sunday, 31 May, 1857.

Rebellion and Plunder:

The notion of ‘indiscriminate plunder’ usually ascribed to the sepoys also needs to be properly contextualized. Mukherjee says that:

The sepoys chose to destroy property as conscious agents and property owned, used or lived in by the British was always attacked first. The buildings identified with the British, their institutions, missions, churches and other symbols of power were invariably destroyed everywhere during the revolt.11

The famous Hindi film ‘Junoon’ directed by Shayam Benegal and produced by Shashi Kapoor was based on the revolt of 1857 in Shahjahanpur and its suburbs. It also gives a detailed description of the event.

In the morning of 31 May, a Sunday, the Europeans were assembled in the local St. Mary’s Church situated near the famous ‘Gandhi Faiz-i-Aam (P.G.) College, Shahjahanpur’ for their usual prayers.

That was the moment, when native infantry regiment turned violent and rebellion broke out in Shahjahanpur and a murderous attack was made by a number of rebel sepoys, under the leadership of Jawahar Rae at 7.30 a.m., who rushed into the building, armed with swords and clubs and thus the massacre began.12 It was so sudden that nobody could understand what exactly happened outside. The District Magistrate Marwant Ricketts was wounded and dashed out a few yards from the Church door. The other officers somehow managed to drive out their assailants and close the Church door placing the women and children for safety in the turret.

In the meantime, however, several people lost their lives. Assistant Magistrate A.C. Smith ran into the terrace for life but was killed. Commanding Officer Captain James was shot on the parade ground near the barracks while trying to reason with his men. Doctor Bowling (H. M. Howling) was addressing the sepoys who were listening till he called them, in course of his speech, ‘seditious’ and was shot dead.

Some villagers about a mile from the station murdered Reverand J. L. Malam, who was escaping from the Church. Lamaistre, a clerk in the collector’s office, was killed in the Church. Smith, another clerk, was cut down near the collector’s court. By that time, the rebellion was spread towards military cantonment and the mutineers started looting and burning the houses in the cantonment area. As the situation turned worst, Jenkins, the Joint Magistrate, strongly advised a retreat to Puwanyan, a safer place than Shahjahanpur. He directed the tehsildar (Revenue and administrative officer of a Tahsil), Mohd. Amjad Ali, the only prominent official who remained faithful, to make arrangements for reaching the Raja of Puwanyan. But the Raja refused to take any responsibility and asked them to go somewhere else.13 In the meanwhile, the rebel sepoys broke open the jail and released all the prisoners in which Mangal Khan and Ajju Khan played prominent role. They also looted the Government Treasury and Treasure House and proceeded to the city. They went towards Mohammadi. Thus before the evening of 31 May, 1857, Shahjahanpur became an independent city.14

Consolidation and Confrontation:

The sepoys appointed Nawab Qadir Ali Khan as the nazim (administrator) of the city who led the rebellion almost three weeks in absence of the real Nawab.15 Nawab Ghulam Qadir Khan, son of Haji Mian who was a descendant of Nawab Bahadur Khan, the founder of Shajahanpur, had gone to meet his pirzadgan (son of his spiritual guide) at Bansa at the time of rebellion. He got the news of this upheaval en route. He went to Bareilly and secured the patent of nizamat (Head of a Province or a small Administrative Division) from Khan Bahadur Khan of Bareilly, the Rohilla chief.16 The acting Nawab Qadir Ali Khan did not make nizamat a bone of contention. The massive fort of Nawab Bahadur Khan became the main centre of the revolt. Zahoor Ahmad Khan, Nizam Ali Khan, Hamid Hasan Khan and Khan Ali Khan were appointed the deputy nizams. Rauf Ahmad Mian and Abdur Rauf Khan were appointed officers of the rebel army. They started to recruit men for infantry regiment and nine squadron cavalry. Nawab Hashmat Ullah Khan who was a pensioner of the British army became officer of artillery and engaged himself to cast bronze cannons of 12 pounds to face the British forces.17 Nawab Ghulam Qadir Khan managed the administration of the city for about one year. He made Nizam Ali Khan Shahbaznagri the kotwal (A Police Officer who maintained peace & order in the city) of the city.

The news of the Shahjahanpur outbreak spread to its suburbs and Tilhar, Miranpur-Katra, Puwanyan, Shahabad and Jalalabad. revolted against the British Raj. After the downfall of Lucknow on 20 March, 1858, Shahjahanpur became the main centre of the revolt. The rebels did not lose their hearts and firmly decided on:

“ya jaan rasad bejanan, ya jaan zetan bar ayad” .

Begum Hazrat Mahal, Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah, General Bakht Khan, Nawab Tafazzul Husain, Shahzada Feroz Shah, Nawab Ismail, Dr. Wazir Khan, Maulvi Faiz Ahmad Bareilvi and Peshwa Nana Saheb. gathered in Shahjahanpur after the capture of Fatehgarh by the Britishers on 14 Jan, 1858.18 Nana Saheb reached Shahjahanpur on 11 March, 1858. He had 4,000 infantry and cavalry with him. He encamped for ten days near the church in Dunday Bagh, where the G. F. College is situated now. A government report also confirms that Nana Saheb was in Shahjahanpur with his companions on 15 March, 1858. He crossed the river Ramganga with his men and encamped in Azizganj on 19 March, 1858, for a while and then went to Bareilly on 24 March, 1858.19 The recapture of Fatehgarh and Lucknow enabled Sir Colin Campbell to direct his attention to Rohilkhand region.  The army of the Nawab fought the British forces at Bachpooriya on 28 April, 1858, and defeated them. However, the Nawab’s army incurred heavy losses. Nizam Ali Khan, commander of the army, along with some companions was killed. The British succeeded to enter the city on 30 April, 1858.20 But the rebels did not give up the hope and tried to form resistance. The poet Allama Iqbal captures the emotion:

“Momin hai to be tegh bhi larta hai sipahi”

(A true Muslim will fight; even he does not possess a sword).

A number of battles were fought between the British and the rebel forces in Shahjahanpur and its suburbs. These confrontations show the continuous resistance of the sepoys during the revolt of 1857.

1. Battle of Kankar, 6 April, 1857.

2. Battle of Bachpooriya, 28 April, 1858.

3. Battle of Sirsi, 22 May, 1858

4. Battle of Hathaura & Banni, 18 May and 24 May, 1858

5. Battle of Puwanyan, 8 October 1858.21


Resistance and Strategy:

Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah, a saintly man, took the command of the rebels into his hand and devised several strategies to defeat the British forces. Having known the situation, he decided to move to Mohammadi. But before leaving the city, he demolished all the Government offices and important places. A famous kothi (House of a royal family), built by Khan Bahadur Qasaim Hasan Khan in Mohalla Khalil Gharbi ,was put to fire by Ahmadullah Shah in the ghadar (Uprising) of 1857, due to which it is popularly known as the jali kothi, burnt house) so that the British could not take shelter anywhere in the city.22

Ahmadullah Shah was a farsighted man and knew Sir Collin Campbell would go back to Bareilly leaving only a few men behind to defend the city. Sir Collin Campbell proceeded towards Bareilly handing over the charge to Colonel Hale on 2 May, 1858. The next day, Ahmadullah Shah entered the city and suddenly attacked on the British camps on the other side of the River Khannuat. According to Shahjahanpur Gazetteer, he seized the city and Shahjahanpur fort for nine days from 3 May to 11 May, and collected money for the rebels.23 W. H. Russell, writes that a Maulvi (Ahmadullah Shah) near Shahjahanpur commanded 5,000 irregular cavalry, some infantry and nine guns on 17 May, 1858.24 G. B. Melleson, writes that the Maulvi acted like an European in the war.25

By 10 May, 1858, the condition of British forces became so precarious that it might have subdued if Sir Collin Campbell had not come to their rescue with reinforcement in Shahjahanpur. After taking over the control of Bareilly, Sir Collin Campbell reached Shahjahanpur with full enthusiasm on 18 of May, 1958.

Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah changed his base to Mohammadi, a few miles away from Shahjahanpur with his. It was at Muhammadi that Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah declared himself an independent ruler. The coronation is said to have taken place on 15 March, 1858 and he issued coins in his name. The khutba (A Sermon from the Pulpit) of his name was also read.26 These verses were written on his coin:

“Sikka zad bar haft kishwar khadim- i- Mehrab Shah Hami-i-din-i- Mohammad Ahmad Ullah badshah”

(The slave of Mehrab Shah struck his Coins in the seven countries;

Supporter of faith of Muhammad is King Ahmadullah)27

At Muhammadi, according to Fateh-i-Muhammad Taib, (Tawarikh-i-Ahmadi) he was received by rebel leaders like Azimullah Khan, Prince Feroz Shah, Nawab Bahadur  Khan of Bareilly and Ismail Khan. Besides these generals, some 16,000 people also said to have gathered there.28 The details of the military campaigns of Ahmadullah Shah in the Rohilkhand region can be found in Taib’s book. Ahmadullah again organized himself and established his formal government at Muhammadi. General Bakht Khan became his wazir (Prime Minister). Maulvi Sarfaraz Ali Jaunpuri became his qazi-ulquzzat (Chief Qazi) and Nana Rao Peshwa was made the diwan (Chief Revenue Officer). The other members of the council were Maulvi Liaqat Ali Ilahabadi, Dr.Wazir Khan Akbarabadi, Maulvi Faiz Ahmad Badauni and Shahzada Feroz Shah.29

Treachery and Consequences:

Sir Collin Campbell attacked Muhammadi on 24 May, 1858, with full contingent of the British forces and defeated Ahmadullah Shah. He left Muhammadi and proceeded towards Puwanyan which was situated just 25 miles away north-east of Shahjahanpur with a hope to get help from the Raja of Puwanyan. Raja Jagannath of Puwanyan betrayed Ahmadullah Shah who was first dislodged by the British and then was killed on 5 June, 1858. Raja Jagannath of Puwanyan was given a cash award of Rs. 50,000.30

Popular stories give an interesting account of the event. On 5 June, 1858, Ahmadullah Shah appeared in Puwanyan and went to the fort of the Raja alone, riding on an elephant. The Raja shut the door and hid with his servants. Ahmadullah Shah dealt a few blows on the gate with his elephant. The servants of the Raja started firing at them. One of the bullets hit Shah and he died instantly. The Raja’s brother Baldev Singh cut his head and went to Shahjahanpur. He placed it before the Collector G. P. Maney.31 The Collector was highly surprised and delighted on seeing the head of Ahmadullah Shah. The head (sar-i-mubarak) was hanged at the gate of the kotwali (Office of the Kotwal, A Police Officer in the city) in Shahjahanpur and the corpse (jasdi-khaki) was burnt. It is said that his head is buried in Muhalla Jahanabad inside the complex of Ahmadpur Masjid across the River Khannaut.32 Local people too say that he was actually killed by the brother of the Raja of Puwanyan.

There is a first-hand account of Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah’s death at Puwanyan by Maulana Fazl-i-Haq Khairabadi (d.1862), who was an eyewitness as well as a participant in the many military events at Lucknow, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur:

“With the innocent amil (Ahmadullah Shah) a most treacherous game was played by an infidel (kafir) rustic zamindar (Raja). He had promised that when both the armies came face to face (Shah’s army and the British forces) he would support Shah along with a contingent of four thousand (4000) brave soldiers. As a result, the guns and cannons fired from the front, while the soldiers were stabbed on their backs by the treacherous, hypocrite zamindar and his contingent. In fact, they were acting at the behest of the Christians. They had become friends with the devil.

Consequently, that god-worshipping amil attained martyrdom in the battlefield, and many of his supporters followed suit. After the martyrdom of these (brave men), the cowardly supporters fled from the battlefield only to be slaughtered by their Christian pursuers. Hence, all the inhabitants became obedient to Christian rule. Two faithful commanders gave a very tough battle in spite of the fact they did not possess sufficient weapons, still the enemy was killed in thousands…This was the last of the saddest incidents, and heralded the end of the war…”33

He has praised for his leadership qualities & the ability to withstand the onslaught of the company’s forces. He has spoken at length about the manner in which the rebels’ cause suffered as a result of his death.

Abrar Husain Farooqi has produced a large number of documents on the assassination of Shah by the Raja of Pawanyan. From the reports of British officers, one gains an impression of the sense of relief they felt after receiving the news of Shah’s death. The Raja received a cash reward of Rs. 50,000. This incidental success of the Raja washed away the blot of not providing shelter to Shah.34

The rawsa (Rich and important persons of a locality) of Tilhar too had joined this fasad(Rebellion). Ghulam Muhammad Khan and Kifayatullah Khan, rawsa-i-Tilhar, ousted the tehsildar of Tilhar and occupied its police station and destructed the office (Govt. Office in the region) on 31 May, 1857. Its been said that after this action Khan Bahadur Khan appointed Ghulam Muhammad Khan as the nazim and his brother Kifayatullah Khan as the tehsildar. The former tehsildar, who was hiding in the house of a Pathan, was arrested. Six month later, both brothers got Tilhar on ijara (Farming out of Zamindari) from Khan Bahadur Khan and became the rightful nazim and Ghulam Muhammad Khan became the commander of the army. When the ghadar  ended, they absconded but were arrested and sent to the Andaman Islands and their entire property along with the fort was confiscated. 35

Similarly, in Katra, Faiz Muhammad Khan and Ghulam Khan began to raise a regiment and in Jalalabad, Ahmad Yar Khan, the tehsildar, released the prisoners as the ghadar started. In one month he was made the nazim. He carried out the administration very vigorously and summoning an army from Bareilly under the command of Ismail Khan, subdued the Rajputs of Khandar. He also participated in the battle of Bachpooriya. When the British forces occupied Jalalabad, he was dismissed from his post, arrested and hanged.36

Other places that played a prominent role during the revolt of 1857 in Shahjahanpur district were Dilaberganj, Rusratpur, Zainuddin Nagar, Nabipur, Sarausa, Mashripur, Azizganj, Rausar, Alalpur, Seramau, Daniapur, Shahbazpura, Bijlipura, Nabada, Indrapur, Khiria, Makranpur and Chaudria.37

Sir Thomas Seton completely defeated the rebels at Mauza’ Barnai, a few miles away from Shahjahanpur, and the rebels did not indulge in any further confrontation. By October 1858, complete normalcy and peace was established in the area. After the ghadar, those who survived and fell into the hands of the British, were meted out exemplary punishments. Nawab Ghulam Qadir Khan died in the Bhutwal area. Nawab Qadir Ali Khan, Abdur Rauf Khan and Qazi Sarfaraz Ali Jaunpuri were imprisoned for life and sent to Andaman Islands. The guilt of Sarfaraz Ali was excused for a service some years later and he went to his native place. Nawab Qadir Ali Khan got release from imprisonment after 27 years.38

The main companions of Maulvi Ahmadullah Khan were Shah Amir Ahmad, Shah Afaq, Qutub Shaheed, Rustam Ali, Ismail Khan, Ghulam Muhammad Khan, Kifayatullah Tilhari, Furqza Ali, Muhammad Shah Khan Shaheed, Sa’dulah Khan Shaheed, Noor Ahmad and Ahmad Yar Khan. Most of them were either sent to Andaman Islands (Saza-e-Habs-e-Dawam-ba-Ubur-Dariya-e-Shor) or were hanged. Maulana Fazl-i-Haq Khairabadi, Maulana Inayat Ahmad Kakorvi, Maulvi Liaqat Ali Illahabadi, Maulvi Karimullah, Sayyid Akbar Zamaun Akbarabadi, Munshi Ismail Khan Munir Shikohabadi, Mairza Vilayat Husain, resident of Babda, were sent to Andaman Islands.39 The graves of these brave martyrs are still lamenting in grief:

“Bar Mazar-i-maan Ghariban nain Charaghe nain Gule Nain Pare perwaz Sozad nain Sadae Bulbule”.

After re-capturing Shahjahanpur the British government confiscated the entire area (ilaqa) of the Nawab along with the fort and the mausoleum of Nawab Bahadur Khan and Nawab Aziz Khan. The hereditary title of Nawab was withdrawn. The British dismantled the fort from its very foundation, turned it into a plain and the property and its assets were given to the loyalists of the government. The neighborhoods also bore the brunt of British wrath. Half of the property of Ahmadullah Khan and Hamid Ali Khan too were confiscated.40 In the end, one can only say that:

“Duniya mein bala se agar aaram na paya Hum ne yahi paya ke bura nam na paya”

(“It does not matter if we enjoyed no comforts in this world,

We have at least earned this distinction that we have been given no bad name”).

Such were the horrific few examples of the revengeful actions of the British, taken after the revolt of 1857 was crushed and it ended in the loss of many lives and properties as it reflected from the sources penned down and recorded by the contemporary intelligentsia. Those survived the mayhem were left to tell the tale of horror combined with the portrayal of death and destruction through poetics, history and other forms of literary works.

Why Maulana Sadruddin Azurda should not go out stray when Maulana Sehbai is executed without committing any crime:

“Naujawanon Ko Huein Phaansian Be Jurm-Wa-Qusur, Maardi Goliyaan Paya Jise Kuch Zor Awar”

{Young people were hanged without having committed any crime

Whosoever was found guilty was gunned down}.


source : Bilingual journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, Vol. 2, Issue 1 & 2, (Joint Issue) 15 Jan-15 July, 2011


1. The city of Shahjahanpur was founded by one Diler Khan on behalf of his brother, Sarabadal Khan, in 1647 who received the title of ‘Umadat-Ul-mulk’ Nawab Bahadur Khah Chaghta, from the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. He held the Governorship of Bundelkhand and Multan. His jagir (Property) extended from Kannauj to Kalpi. At the time of his death, he was employed at 5000 foot soldiers and 5000 sawar (mounted soldiers). He was born in Qandhar where he died, and was buried at Shahjahanpur by his son Nawab Aziz 6 | P a g e ISSN 2249-9180 (Online) ISSN 0975-1254 (Print) RNI No.: DELBIL/2010/31292 Bilingual journal of Humanities & Social Sciences Half Yearly Vol. 2, Issue 1 & 2, (Joint Issue) 15 Jan-15 July, 2011 The Great Uprising and Civil Rebellion in Shahjahanpur: (A Study of AntiBritish Resistance in 1857) Dr. Syed Mohd Amir Jamia’s Premchand Archives & Literary Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi – 110025 Khan Bahadur. The site of Shahjahanpur was formerly called Nonherkhera and its neighborhood was inhabited by the Gujars who had a fort at the junction of Garrah and Khannaut, (rivers) built by Maghi and Bhola, two Gujar leaders. See, Muhammad Kazim, Alamgir-nama, edited by Khadim Hussain and Abdul Hai, 1868, Calcutta, 1, p.169 and Elliot, Memoirs on the history folklore distribution of races of northern provinces of India, 1867, London, p.315.

2. Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Thakur Raushan Singh, and Prem Kishan Khanna sacrificed their lives and showed exemplary courage and bravery during the freedom struggle. at Shahjahanpur. Chaturvedi, Banarsidas, Yadgar-i-Ashfaq, (Urdu), Agra Akhbar Press, Agra, 1968, p. 32-33.

3. H. R. Nevill, Shahjahanpur Gazetteer, Allahabad, 1910, p.140.

4. Sabihuddin Mian Khalil, Tarikh-i-Shahjahanpur, Part 1, 1932, Mujtabai Press, Lucknow, p.18.

5. Shahjahanpur district Administrative Report, Information Office, Shahjahanpur, 2008-09. pp. 207-13.

6. Syed Mohammad Mian, Ulema-i-Hind Ka Shandar Maazi, 1975, M. Brothers, Kitabistan, Qasimjan Street, New Delhi, pp. 406-407.

7. Ibid, pp. 406-407. See also I. H. Ansari and H. A. Qureshi, 1857 Urdu Sources, (Translations), New Royal Book Company, Lucknow, 2008, p. 95.

8. John. W. Kaye and G. B. Melleson, History of the Indian Mutiny, Vol. 3, 1988, Sunita Publications, New Delhi, p.578.

9. Fisher, Government Gazetteer, Vol. ix, 1883, Moradabad and Shahjahanpur Govt. press, Allahabad, pp. 151-209; Sabihuddin Mian Khalil, Tarikh-i-Shahjahanpur, Part 1, 1932, Mujtabai Press, Lucknow 1932, pp.137-38.

10. H. R. Nevill, Shahjahanpur Gazetteer, Allahabad, 1910, p.141. According to tradition on the second day of the two Eids (Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha) every year, the Pathans of Shahjahanpur used to go for visiting the graves of the Afghans who lost their lives in fighting against the Rajputs. This gave rise two Melas known as Chinaur Ka Mela in the city, (They are organized on the occasions of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha).

11. R. Mukherjee, ‘The Sepoy Mutinies Revisited’ in Kaushik Roy (ed.) War and Society in Colonial India, 2006,Oxford University Press, New Delhi, p. 115.

12. Kanhaiya Lal (ed.), Tarikh-i-Baghawat-i-Hind (Maharba-i-Azeem), 1857, Nawal Kishor Publications, Lucknow, 1916, pp. 283-284.

13. Ibid., p. 284; E. A. H. Blaunt, Christian Tombs and Monuments in the United Provinces, Allahabad, 1911, pp. 104-105; V. D. Savarkar, The Indian War of Independence, 1857, 1947, Phoenix Publishing House, Bombay, p. 173.

14. Mutiny Narratives, Shahjahanpur District, 1898, North-Western Provinces, Govt. Press, Agra, pp. 1-3.

15. I. H. Ansari and H. A. Qureshi, 1857 Urdu Sources, (Translations), New Royal Book Company, Lucknow, 2008, p. 90.

16. Ibid., p. 90.

17. Latif Qureshi, ‘Jang-i-Azadi 1857 Mien Shahjahanpur Ka Hissa’, Iwan-i- Urdu, May 2008, New Delhi, pp. 15-16.

18. N. C. Mehrotra and Maneesha Tandon,, Swatantrata Aandolan Mein Janpad Shahjahanpur Ka Yogdan, 1995, Pt. Ram Prasad Bismil Trust, Shahjahanpur, p. 52.

19. S. A. A. Rizvi and M. L. Bhargava, Freedom Struggle in Uttar Pradesh, (FSUP), Vol. 2, 1959, Publication Bureau, Lucknow, p. 325.

20. Syed Mohammad Mian, Ulema-i-Hind Ka Shandar Maazi, 1975, M. Brothers, Kitabistan,Qasimjan Street, New Delhi, pp. 408.

21. Mehrotra and Tandon, Swatantrata Aandolan Mein Janpad Shahjahanpur Ka Yogdan, 1995, Pt. Ram Prasad Bismil Trust, Shahjahanpur, 1995, p. 52.

22. Husain, Iqbal, ‘The 1857 rebellion in Shahjahanpur’, Aligarh Collection of Articles, 1988, IHC, Dharwar, p. 27; Syed Mohammad Mian, Ulema-i-Hind Ka Shandar Maazi, 1975, M. Brothers, Kitabistan,Qasimjan Street, New Delhi 1975, pp. 50 and 137.

23. H.R.Nevill, Shahjahanpur Gazetteer, Allahabad, 1910, p. 148.

24. W. H. Russell, My Indian Mutiny Diary, edited with an introduction by Michael Edwards, 1957, Cassell, London, p. 152.

25. G. B. Melleson, The Indian Mutiny of 1857, 1988, Sunita Publications, New Delhi, p. 405.

26. He deserved the title of shah (king). He, in fact, called himself the King of Awadh. See. Khadang-i-Ghadar , (Adabi Academy, Sarfaraz Press, Lucknow, 1868, pp.108-11. He became a king there and coined sicca (Currency), in his name, See Qaisar-ut-Tawarikh translated by Dr. H.A.Qureshi, New Royal Book Company, Lucknow, 2008, p. 170.

27. S. Z. H. Jafri, ‘Indigenous Discourse and Modern Historiography of 1857: The Case of Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah’ in Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), Rethinking 1857, 2007, Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, pp. 250-252. See also, Fateh-i-Muhammad Taib, Tawarikh-i-Ahmadi, Section 30, 2024-65 (these are couplets), 1925, Tegh Bahadur Press, Lucknow, for details on coins and the despatch of farman (A Royal Edict) to various rulers. See also S. M. Haq, The Great Revolution of 1857, 1968, Pakistan Historical Society, Karachi, p. 544.

28. For Shah’s activities in the Rohilkhand region, See Taib, Fateh-i-Muhammad, Tawarikh-i-Ahmadi ,1863, Section 29, 1941-2023 (couplets) and also Section 31, 2066-145(couplets). Company officers were also equally concerned about his movements and they too kept themselves informed about everything the Shah was doing. Jafri, S. Z. H. ‘Indigenous Discourse and Modern Historiography of 1857: The Case of Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah’ in Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), Rethinking 1857, 2007, Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, pp. 250-252.2007, pp. 251-259.

30. Sabihuddin Mian Khalil, Tarikh-i-Shahjahanpur, Part 1, 1932, Mujtabai Press, Lucknow, p.139.

31. S. A. A. Rizvi and M. L. Bhargava, Freedom Struggle in Uttar Pradesh, (FSUP), Vol. 5, 1959, Publication Bureau, Lucknow, p. 338.

32. Mohammad Ayub Quadri, Jang-i-Azadi 1857: Waqiat aur Shakhsiyat, 1976, Pak Academy, Karachi, p. 303; Mufti Intizamullah Shahabi, East India Company Aur Baghi Ulema, 1968, Farooqi Press, Kitabghar, Delhi, p. 49; P. N. Chopra, Who is who of India Martyrs, Vol. III, 1973, Ministry of Education & Youth Services, New Delhi 1969 , p. 4; P.N. Chopra, and S. N. Sen. have written the date of this tragic event, 5 June, 1858. Dr. Hasan Musanna, ‘Danka Shah Maulvi Ahmadullah’ in Dr. Kaukab Qadr (ed.), Nekat Aur Jehat 1857, Educational Publication House, Delhi, 2008 p. 192.

33. Fazle Haq Khairabadi’s Al-Thaurat-al-Hindiya (written in Arabic), edited with comprehensive notes and a useful introduction by Abdul Shahid Khan Sharwani which was published as Baghi Hindustan (Bijnore, 1947). The Urdu translation of the text has also been provided. See especially page numbers 409-13. (It is translated by S. M. Haq in English)

34. See, A. H. Farooqi, Masir-i-Dilawari, 1863, Gopamau Press, Hardoi, pp. 192-243 for the photographic reproduction of various applications, reports and orders along with their transcripts.

35. I. H. Ansari and H. A. Qureshi, 1857 Urdu Sources, (Translations), New Royal Book Company, Lucknow, 2008, p. 92.; H.R.Nevill, Shahjahanpur Gazetteer, Allahabad, 1910, p. 145.

36. I. H. Ansari and H. A. Qureshi, 1857 Urdu Sources, (Translations), New Royal Book Company, Lucknow, 2008, p. 92-93.H.R. Nevill, Shahjahanpur Gazetteer, Allahabad, 1910, pp. 145-46.

37. S. A. A. Rizvi and M. L. Bhargava, Freedom Struggle in Uttar Pradesh, (FSUP), Vol. 5, 1959, Publication Bureau, Lucknow, p. 297.

38. I. H. Ansari and H. A. Qureshi, 1857 Urdu Sources, (Translations), New Royal Company, Lucknow,2008, pp. 158-59.

39. Ibid., p.159. S. A. A. Rizvi and M. L. Bhargava, (FSUP), Vol. 5, 1959,p. 297.

40. I. H. Ansari and H. A. Qureshi, 1857 Urdu Sources, (Translations), New Royal Company, Lucknow,2008, p. 89.

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