Peer Ali Khan was one of the unsung heroes of Indian freedom movement. He opposed the British rules in initial periods of the movement. He was the part of the 1857 conflict. He was given capital punishment for showing his rebelliousacts against the British raj. Peer Ali inspired millions to follow his pathby his courageous act. He was a brave freedom fighter. But he just faded away from people’s mind. In fact, maximum people don’t know his name. Even there is no information availableabout him in the history books. However, he fought for his motherland and hanged.
Peer Ali Khan was born in Muhammadpur in Azamgarh District of Uttar Pradesh. In his childhood, at the age of seven, he fled away from home. Later, he reached at Patna and met with zamindar Nawab Mir Abdullah under a banyan tree. The zamindar gave him shelter and raised him with his own son Lutf Ali Khan. He gave him a chance to educate. Peer Ali learned Urdu, Arabic and Persian. But from the childhood he had the passion to fight against the British and throw them out of the India. Zamindar Mir Abdullah was on good relationship with the British. But actually he had evil feelings for British and slowly he forwarded his feelings to Peer Ali.
When he finished his education, he opened a book shop in Patna with the help of zamindar. He used to sell hand written books and literature. His book shop was popular for the handwritten books. He started feeling unpleasant about the British rules and he couldn’t tolerate their torture. He was attracted towards the freedom movement. Soon his book shop became meeting point of Freedom fighters and centre of planning against British. In fact, the book shop was the medium to keep contact with other fighters and Indian soldiers who were in British army. He came closer to the Indian soldiers in Danapur Cantonment. He made friends in the soldiers group and he was gathering support against the British rules. He was arranged regular campaign against the British rulers with his followers, companions and co-workers. They were spreading the hatred among the local people too. He got involved in the Great Indian Revolt of 1857. These incidents took place in Patna before Gaya, Shahabad and Danapur. In fact, these developments happened before the Sepoy revolution of Meerut. He continued to encourage many young people and led many freedom fighters before his arrest. In those days, he was planning for a revolution with the help of Danapur Indian soldiers. But in the meantime, two secret letters from the Danapur Cantonment was gone into the hands of British police. One letter was on Peer Ali’s name and another was on the name of Waris Ali.
After that letter incidents, his friend and the officer of the British police Waris Ali was arrested. Then Peer Ali was decided to attack on the British rulers immediately. He was confident and determined about the consequences of the attack. But he was trying hard to accumulate all his resources for a successful attack. He elevated a blue and white coloured flag and collected his companions. He distributed fifty guns among his group members. He was collected these guns with the help of his co-worker Maulvi Mehdi. On 20 June, 1857, when the British rulers came to know the fact about those guns, they arrested the Maulvi and hanged him without any hearing. Peer Ali became furious with what happened with the Maulvi.
On 3rd July, he again raised the flag of revolution. He and his group of two hundred supporters planned to attack on the state administrative headquarter Gulzar Bagh. The flag was in the hand of Ghulam Abbas. Nandu Khar got the charge to watch on the insiders. Peer Ali took the charge of the leader and he was shouting with slogans against the British. When they were moving towards headquarter, Dr. Lloyal was moving with his Indian group of soldiers. Dr. Lloyal ordered his men to open fire. On that firing Dr. Lloyal was killed. This news was spread like the fire. The Commissioner of Patna W Taylor ordered his soldiers to open fire on the crowd. Many supporters died on the spot. Many were critically wounded. British army organised terror movement in the Patna. Every house of the Muslims was searched and without any evidence many people were arrested. Many of them were hanged brutally on trees without hearing. Many innocents were lost their life on that day.
Later, the book shop of Peer Ali was raided by the British soldiers. They searched the entire shop and seized many documents. On 4th July he was arrested with his 33 followers. Most of them were hanged in the next day without any hearing. But Peer Ali was saved for some other purpose. He was brutally tortured and cross-examined for three days for the information of his companions, Lutf Ali and other followers. He was brave and tolerated all tortures but he did not disclose any information. Even W Taylor offered him if he disclose information about his followers then he will forgive him. But Peer Ali never kneels down. Peer Ali said, ”There are some occasions on which it is good to give up life and that if I sacrificed; thousands others, every day, will fill their place“. On 7 July on the same year he was hanged by the cruel British ruler with the murder charges of Dr. Llyoal. Later British rulers ordered to kill all his followers and co-workers. But his mission was not finished. He successfully passed his mission to the millions of followers who fought for their motherland.
Peer Ali Khan was not the one, there were many freedom fighters who gave their life for the freedom movement and brutally tortured. They left their home, their regular life, their family friends love for the country. Their sacrifices are truly inspiring. There are many unsung heroes whom we don’t know and they should be remembered.