On May 10, 1857, the first Indian War of Independence or Indian Uprising of 1857 began from Meerut to overthrow the rule of the British East India Company.
With an 81-year-old Mughal ruler of Delhi, Bahadur Shah Zafar, as their leader, the rebels fought together against the British forces during the uprising. Both Muslims and Hindus participated and fought side-by-side in the freedom war.
Unfortunately, the Indians were defeated and a massive number of Indian commanders, fighters, and civilians were put to death by the British. It was a bloodbath. There were also heavy casualties on the British side. The last Mughal ruler or the Badshah of Hindustan as proclaimed by the mutineers, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was captured by the British at Humayun’s tomb on 20 September 1857.
The very next day on 21st September, Major William Hodson shot the emperor’s sons, Mirza Mughal and Mirza Khizr, and grandson Mirza Abu Bakr in cold blood under his own authority, at what came to be called as the Khooni Darwaza or bloody gate, about 3km from the Red Fort (Lal Qila).
This event also put an end to the Mughal dynasty (1526-1857) in India and the last Timurid or Mughal Badshah was exiled to Rangoon, Burma. He died in 1862 in Burma and was buried there.
Rani Laxmi Bai and Begum Hazrat Mahal are two of the most celebrated women freedom fighters of this Indian Uprising.
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