Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Maharaja Maharaj Sai of Sambalpur died in 1827 . Surendra Sai of the Zamindar (headman of a cluster of few villages ) family belongs to the branch of the Sambalpur Royal/ruling family claimed the throne . As he was denied he revolted . He along with his uncle and brother were got arrested in 1840 and were sent to Hazaribagh jail . Uncle died there . During the sepoy mutiny the mutineers broke the gate of the jail on 1857 july 31st and Surendra , his brother Udanta became free . 17 years of imprisonment could not changed him . As soon as he reached Sambalpur he was joined by several Zamindars and Gountias (headman of village) along with their men . On October 7th of 1857 1400 men under the leadership of Surendra Sai marched into Sambalpur and captured the old palace . Deputy Commissioner R.T.Liegh could not do any thing with few soldiers . He wrote to Cuttack , Raipur and Nagpur for help . As soldiers from many sides rushed Surendra fled away on 31st night of October. Surendra built several hill forts with stone and mud at the top of the hills . He started  attack and go away tactic . When the Company soldiers tried to attack the hill forts the mutineers first rolled big round stones from the top . After few moments of cross firing they were making escape through the cave ways they built and then they were reaching at an another fort through deep forest route . Thus the mutineers established control over the 3 roads connecting Sambalpur with Ranchi , Raipur and Cuttack . More and more soldiers brought in with commanders like Ensighn Napin , E.G.Wood, Shakespear ,Henry Mack Nippon, Dayar , Windham Nokker ,Velance  and several others . Many mutineers including Chabila Sai , a brother of Surendra Died in the war . Many including Ujjwal Sai , another brother of Surendra was caught and were hanged . But it could not de-moralised the mutineers . Captain Arthur Perry Woodbridge and others died in the war . Dr. Thomas Moore was killed while he was coming to Sambalpur . Forster of famous Sekhawati Brigade was called . He tried his best with terror but Surendra could not be caught . Hastings Broughton Impey , the grandson of Sie Elijah Impey joined as Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur in 1861. He reviewed the whole situation and by apprising the high authority got sanction for peace accord . In a phase manner he pardoned , discussed and could brought peace . When things became alright unfortunately Impey and his wife fell ill and died . The next Deputy Commissioner A.B Cumberledge  was a  different man . He had lost his sister in Jhansi  massacare . He wanted punishment not award for the mutineers . He arranged fake letters, fake witness and with  fake arguments he got arrested all the principal mutineers in a single night drive . The court awarded life imprisonment . But the High Court took note of falsehood and released all .But Surendra and other 6 were detained under section 3 of 1818 detention act and were sent to Asirgarh fort jail . Surendra died there on 28th February of 1884 . He remained in jail for a total period of 37 years , died in jail with blind condition . The saga of Sambalpur Mutiny is a story of supreme heroism and sacrifice . So many have given their life for the mother land . Few families along with Father , Son , Grandson have ruined their life by giving away their luxurious life . They roamed around the forest , stayed in the hills . They did this because they had taken Surendra as the symbol of their hope for driving out the outsiders from their homeland .

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