Heritage Times

Exploring lesser known History

The First War of Independence 1857

Indian Mutiny and Loot of Delhi:

There were no security and no law and order. Protector became the persecutor. Victorious East Indian Company Army’s goal was to rob as much as they can. They didn’t spare the non-combatant general population of Delhi. Victory seemed to intoxicate them and looting sprees commenced. The Muslim population of the walled city was the most who suffered. The company army started early in the morning for the search of hidden treasures, they evicted inhabitants and demolished their houses, walls and roofs in order to find out concealed possessions. Below is an account from the famous book:

Meanwhile the prize agents got to work. Mrs Mutter described her husband setting off after breakfast:
“with a troop of coolies, armed with picks, crowbars and measuring lines. A house said to contain treasure would be allotted for a day’s proceedings, and the business would commence by a careful survey of the premises….By careful measurement of the roofs above and the rooms below, any concealed space could be detected then the walls were broken through, and if there was a secret room or a built up niche or recess it would be discovered, and some large prizes rewarded their search. On one occasion… he came back with thirteen wagons loaded with spoil, and among other valuables, eighty thousand rupees- in English money eight thousand pounds. On another occasion silver vessels and gold ornaments, and … a bag of a thousand rupees.”

The last Mughal by William Dalrymple, page 413.

Below is a sketch shows East India Company Army, mostly British and Sikh are searching and looting treasures and valuables. Two dead mutineers, one looks like a Hindu (hair cut as scalp-locks) and another, a Muslim (with beard) as recorded by The Times correspondent.

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