Updated October 21, 2022
Dhan Singh Gurjar, also known as Dhunna Singh was Indian revolutionary and freedom fighter. He is one of the most underrated and unsung freedom fighters, who freed more than 800 prisoners from British jail while killing the Britishers.
Gurjar will always be remembered for triggering the initial actions against the British East India Company in that city, resulted in this historical uprising, which ultimately disrupted British rule and changed the path of India’s liberation movement.
He was one of the main faces of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Now, read this blog attentively to know more highlights of Dhan Singh Gurjar’ Life.
Who was Dhan Singh Gurjar?
Gurjar was born in 1820 into the powerful landowning community of the Gurjars. He was born in Panchali village of Meerut, which is remembered as being the epicentre of the First War of Independence in 1857.
A revolt against East India Company rule began in Meerut on May 10, 1857, as part of the 1857 uprising. Because the sepoys of the East India Company neglected the order to use the cartridges given to them on May 9.
It was rumoured that those cartridges were greased with lard made of animal fat, which was against their religious beliefs. In retaliation, the British authorities took away their uniforms and imprisoned them.
The 10th of May saw a crowd of villagers from all across the district at the Meerut Police Station to protest and demand the release of the sepoys as the news of this tragedy spread like wildfire.
Dhan Singh was the Kotwal of the city and his job was to protect it. To join the insurrection or escape the wrath of the rebels, many of his soldiers, betrayed his force that day.
Large-scale rioting, looting, and murder occurred throughout the city. He asked his two chowkidars (guards), who had captured two men for stealing horses, not to make any arrests out of fear for the rebels’ retaliation.
Dhan Singh also joined the uprising and take the initiative after many of his officers quit their jobs and joined the demonstrators.
More than 800 prisoners were liberated under his direction, and they teamed up with other rebels to fight in what is now known as the “Siege of Delhi”, one of the most important battles in the First War of Independence.
How did Dhan Singh Gurjar Die?
During the revolt of 1857, everything related to the British was looted and destroyed by the revolutionaries throughout the city.
To protest against the injustices and unfair control of the British rule, there was looting, theft, and murder.
After this disastrous event, a committee was set up to investigate the case of revolt in the city of Meerut.
Based on the statements of eyewitness, the committee submitted a report that identified Dhan Singh Gurjar as the primary offender.
To take revenge, British army raided Gurjar’s village and killed 400 people. For rebelling against the British, Dhan Singh received a death sentence and was hung on July 4, 1857.
Dhan Singh Gurjar is remembered by the countrymen through various initiatives across India.
In 2018, on the grounds of the Sadar police station in Meerut, the statue of Kotwal Dhan Singh Gurjar was unveiled by the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police
In addition, he declared that a documentary would be created to “give his inspiring story of valour and martyrdom to the public” and a chapter of Dhan Singh Kotwal would be included in police training.
The campus community centre of Meerut University, is named after him as “Dhan Singh Kotwal Community Centre”. The Dhan Singh Gurjar Mahavidyalaya in Loni, Ghaziabad is named after him.
He has also been honoured by having a university at Loni (Ghaziabad) and an arterial route running through the centre of Delhi named after him.