Bihar: Hanged in 1857, Waris Ali of Tirhut finally added to Dictionary of Martyrs
A fresh chapter has been added in the history of Tirhut in the state. Waris Ali, the 1857 war hero from Tirhut has officially been declared a martyr. His name has been included in the Dictionary of Martyrs, India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947), published by the ministry of culture in collaboration with the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR).
Waris Ali was a jamaadar at Baruraj police station (Muzaffarpur) and was arrested in June 1857 on charges of writing seditious letters to support the rebels who had attempted to break into Muzaffarpur’s Central Jail in 1857. He was tried and hanged on July 7, 1857.
But for decades his name remained obscured, confined only to the government records while the sacrifices he had made for the country remained unrecognised. In 2017 efforts were made to get Waris Ali and 27 other freedom fighters from Tirhut the status of martyrs.
With the publication of this new list of martyrs, Waris Ali has become the first martyr from Tirhut. Till date Khudiram Bose, the revolutionary who was hanged in 1908, was considered the first martyr from Tirhut. Khudiram was hanged for attempting to assassinate a British judge, Magistrate Douglas Kingsford, by throwing bomb on the carriage he was supposed to be travelling in Muzaffarpur. Two British women had died in that incident
“Finally after 162 years, the contributions and sacrifices made by Tirhut in the country’s freedom struggle have been recognised. The publication of the Dictionary of Martyrs has virtually changed the history of Tirhut,” Dr Ashok Anshuman, state coordinator of the Dictionary of Martyrs and a history teacher at the LS College, Muzaffarpur, said.
Besides, the 27 freedom fighters of Tirthut who were deported to Port Blair during freedom struggle, too have been given a status of war heroes, the state coordinator of the dictionary, said. “The ICHR has approved their names,” he said.
Ranjit Kumar, a local, said initiatives in this direction was taken by former Union minister, late Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Qaiser Imam from New India Foundation. “They wanted Waris Ali and 27 other freedom fighters from Tirhutto be recognised as martyrs and wrote to the Muzaffarpur administration to bring the matter to the notice of the general administration department, Bihar government,” he said. In 2017, the state government recommended the matter to Ministry of Home Affairs, he added.
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