Dhan Singh Gurjar
KotwalDhanSinghGurjarMeerut.jpg
Statue of Dhan Singh Gurjar in Meerut
Born
Died4 July 1857(1857-07-04) (aged 36–37)[citation needed]
MovementIndian independence movement

Dhan Singh Gurjar, also known as Dhunna Singh, was the Indian kotwal (police chief) of Meerut, who participated in the 1857 rebellion and led initial actions against the British East India Company in Meerut.[1][2]

Early life

Dhan Singh was born in the Panchli or Panchali village in Meerut district.[3] Singh was a Gurjar, many of whom joined the rebellion against British rule in 1857.[4][5]

Role in the 1857 rebellion

A glimpse of the military rebellion of 1857
A glimpse of the military rebellion of 1857

On 10 May 1857, a rebellion against the East India Company rule broke out in Meerut during the 1857 uprising. As the kotwal of the city, Dhan Singh's job was to protect the city. However, many of his officers deserted his force on that day, either to join the rebellion or to escape the rebels' fury. The city saw large-scale rioting, plunder and murder. When two of his chowkidars (guards) apprehended two Gurjar men for stealing horses, he asked them not to make arrests, fearing reprisals from the rebels. Around midnight, he was called to the house of a Bengali man, which was being plundered by a huge group of armed Gurjars. Dhan Singh's chowkidars arrested two of the plunderers, but Singh restrained them from using force against the Gurjars. He then released the two men with the loot, after the group agreed to go away.[5]

Dhan Singh and several other policemen later deserted the police force (kotwali).[5] He is believed to have led thousands of villagers from all across the Meerut district to the city's jail. According to the official records, the rebels released 839 prisoners from the jail. These prisoners were among the rebels who participated in the siege of Delhi.[6]

Commemoration

References

  1. ^ Crispin Bates (26 March 2013). Mutiny at the Margins: New Perspectives on the Indian Uprising of 1857: Volume I: Anticipations and Experiences in the Locality. SAGE Publications. pp. 236–. ISBN 978-81-321-1336-2.
  2. ^ Uday Rana (9 May 2015). "Farmers, cops and sadhus who aided sepoys in 1857". The Times of India.
  3. ^ Henderson, Carol E. (2013). "Spatial Memorialising of War in 1857: Memories, Traces and Silences in Ethnography". In Bates, Crispin (ed.). Mutiny at the Margins: New Perspectives on the Indian Uprising of 1857. Vol. I. SAGE Publications India. p. 236. ISBN 9788132113362.
  4. ^ Agha Humayun Amin (January 2000). "The Delhi Campaign". Defence Journal. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Kim A. Wagner (2010). The great fear of 1857: rumours, conspiracies and the making of the Indian Mutiny. Peter Lang. pp. 162–165. ISBN 9781906165277.
  6. ^ Uday Rana (9 May 2015). "Farmers, cops and sadhus who aided sepoys in 1857". The Times of India.
  7. ^ "Police Museum Delhi". 3 July 2018.
  8. ^ "UP Police will read history of Shaheed Dhan Singh Kotwal". Hindustan team, Meerut.
  9. ^ "Meerut University". Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Meerut". Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Kotwal Dhan Singh Gurjar Marg". Retrieved 1 August 2021.