Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sher Ali Afridi


Sher Ali Afridi (Kuki Khel) , a prisoner at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was the murderer of Lord Mayo, Viceroy of India on 8 February 1872 — the Viceroy of India was literally one of the most powerful figures in the British Empire after Queen Victoria and the Prime Minister but British downplayed the incident. Sher Ali was again tried for murder and was given the death penalty. On the 11th of March 1873, he was hanged.

Excerpt from "The History and Romance of Crime: Oriental Prisons From the Earliest Times to the Present Day" by Arthur George Frederick Griffiths ;
"The assassin, Sher Ali, was a very brave man belonging to one of the Afridi tribes, who had done excellent service to more than one commissioner at Peshawar and distinguished himself as a soldier. He was completely trusted by Colonel Reynolds Taylor, one of the best of our Indian officers, when at Peshawar, and was often in attendance on his family; in fact, he was the confidential servant of the house. This man, however, belonged to a society in which tribal feuds were a hereditary custom. Some such feud existed in his family and he was called upon to take his part in exacting a bloody vengeance for a quarrel. Had he committed the murder on his own side of the frontier, no notice could have been taken of it; and it would have been esteemed a legitimate deed sanctioned by the religious feelings and customs of the tribe; but his offence was committed within British territory and must be tried by British laws. He was convicted and sentenced to transportation to the Andamans instead of death, which he would greatly have preferred. Continually brooding under a sense of wrong, he took the first opportunity that offered for murderous retaliation and found the death he desired, on the gallows."

During interrogation the day after the assassination, he was described as being a Mohammedan Pathan of the Kooka-Kheyl tribe, about. 25 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches in height, who had served Colonel Pollock since 1867. At Port Blair, he had worked as a barber since May 1871. [H.James, "The Assassination of Lord Mayo: The'First'Jihad?"]



Sher Ali Afridi
 


Sher Ali Afridi

Sher Ali Afridi

Lord Mayo
Assassination of Lord Mayo," from 'Cassel's Illustrated History of India', 1880