Owaisi Highlights Unsung Muslim Heroes of Freedom Movement Ahead of I-Day

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A day after AIMMIM held an academic conference on India Muslims’ rich contribution to the freedom struggle, the Hyderabad MP vows to share the stories of those fighters till Independence Day

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Maulvi Syed Aladuddin and Turrebaz Khan who were martyred in Hyderabad, Malegaon’s resistance movement and Amma Bi who stood ground against the British are some of the unsung heroes highlighted by AIMMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi in his series of tweets on the contribution of Muslims to the freedom struggle.

A day after AIMMIM held an academic conference on India Muslims’ rich contribution to the freedom struggle, the Hyderabad MP said he will be sharing the stories of those fighters till Independence Day.

On Sunday, he took to Twitter to share the stories of Maulvi Syed Aladuddin and Turrebez Khan who were martyred by the British government for leading an attack on the British Residency building.

 “On 17th July, 1857, 5,000-6,000 freedom fighters of Hyderabad made a daring attack on the British Residency building (now University Women’s College, Koti) to free the imprisoned mutineer Jamedar Cheeda Khan,” said Owaisi.

According to him, the attack was led by the firebrand Maulvi Syed Alauddin and Turrebaz Khan. More than 30 people died in the attack and many more were injured. Maulvi Alauddin has the distinction of being the first prisoner at the “Kala Paani” Cellular Jail in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Talking about the role of Maulvi Alauddin, Owaisi said Maulvi was Imam of the historic Makkah Masjid who gave fiery speeches there, preaching against British rule. Holding a banner, along with Turebaz Khan, the Maulvi marched to the residency. His right hand was paralysed owing to a gunshot injury he suffered during the Attack. He also suffered sword wounds on his shoulder and forehead.

Following his capture, Maulvi was sentenced to Kala Paani in 1858. During his imprisonment he lost his eyesight and suffered from other ailments. He spent 30 years in jail & eventually passed away in prison.

Pointing out the role of Turrebaz Khan, Owaisi said Khan’s nickname ‘Turum Khan’ in Dakhani Urdu to this day is synonymous with courage and valour. Waving a flag,  Khan, along with other rebels, rode to the British residency in Koti, via Begum Bazar, mobilising around 5000 men, to attack the British residency.

Following the attack, Khan was arrested, tried and sent to Kala Paani. However, he managed to escape. When he was eventually captured, he was caught & killed on January 24. His body was dragged all the way back to the city.

According to historic accounts, his naked body was hanged from a tree near the Residency building to serve as a deterrent. Today, there is a memorial near Koti Women’s College remembering the daring attack. There are roads near the college named after the brave men.

Another freedom fighter whose contribution was highlighted by Owaisi is Asiya Khatoon Mewati. Asiya Khatoon was known as Amma Bi.

“Tell the Maulana not to worry about his son. What is destined to happen by Allah’s will, will happen. But he must not break before the Raja and seek mercy,” these are the words of Amma Bi which she said when she faced the world alone, with her son being severely ill while her husband Maulana Mohammad Ibrahim Khan Alwari was imprisoned for his participation in the freedom movement. Alwari had participated in Salt Satyagrah with prominent freedom fighter and the father of the nation Mahatam Gandhi. He was also injured.

“Amma Bi exemplified the bravery of Indian Muslim women as she resisted British rule. Born in 1918, she was from the historic Firozpur (Mewat, Haryana).Her husband’s arrest did not deter her. She worked with his followers & companions and took the fight forward,” noted Owaisi about her.

According to him, despite other obligations, she played an important role in educating women. Even after Maulana Ibrahim’s death, she continued her efforts. She passed away on 18 December 1995 at Fajr time. “May we never forget her sacrifices,” he said.

On Tuesday, as part of his series on Muslim freedom fighters, Owaisi shared the story of Malegaon fort which witnessed two different instances of Indian Muslims’ resistance against British.

 “In 1818, during third Anglo-Maratha war, Muslim soldiers of Maratha army defiantly held the fort; even as Chatrapati & Peshwa surrendered,” he said.

30 soldiers died and many more were injured during the siege of the fort. It took the British 36 guns, 8,000 shells and 35,500 pounds of gunpowder to finally take over the fort. Almost 100 years later, in 1921, the bugle of revolution was again sounded in Malegaon, he added.

Talking further about Malegaon’s struggle, he said the people of Malegaon had responded to Khilafat and non-Cooperation movement of 1920 with enthusiasm. They’d boycotted British institutions, set up their own courts and picketed liquor shops. The British provoked violence in order to clamp down against revolutionary activities.

In a clash between the revolutionaries and the police, a native constable was killed. The revolutionaries took over control of the city, the British flag was downed from Malegaon fort & replaced with an Indian flag.

An Indian Government headed by Shah Suleman Miya was formed. The British responded with unprecedented violence against the people of Malegaon. People were indiscriminately taken into custody and were sent to Yerwada jail. Reportedly ₹1.2 million was forcibly collected as fine.

In 1922, Suleman Shah, Israil Allahrakha, Shaban Bhikari, Budhu Faridan and Abdul Gafoor were hanged while nine others were sentenced to life imprisonment, two each for 7 and 5 years. As many as 92 people were sentenced to three years’ jail. Abdullah Khalifa and Mohd Husain were tortured to death in jail.

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