Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sher Ali Afridi



Sher Ali Afridi ,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.

The attacker Sher Ali had served British loyally and bravely in a cavalry regiment and served during the 1857 Rebellion in Rohilkhand and Oudh. He worked under Major Hugh James as a cavalry trooper in Peshawar and as a mounted orderly for Reynell Taylor, who awarded Sher Ali with a horse, pistol and certificate. Due to his good character, Sher Ali was popular among Europeans. In a family feud, he killed one of his relatives named Hydur at Peshawar in broad daylight. He was found guilty by Deputy Commissioner and sentenced to transportation for life to the Andaman Islands. Sher Ali addressing the court, narrated all his services to British strangely enough not to beg for his life but for a death sentence rather than transportation to Black Water. It was a dishonour for a Pushtun to be sentenced to life imprisonment.  Death penalty will be an honour. The British officer considering the loyal services of the accused was avoiding the capital punishment but the accused himself was demanding a death penalty.  When he was told that he would be sent to Black Water, he said, “You will hear of me again, and so will my people”. Surely, everybody all over India and abroad heard him when he killed the Viceroy.  ("Tribes and Turbulence" by Hamid Hussain, http://www.defencejournal.com/2003/june/tribesandturbulence.htm)

In "Sarguzasht e Mujahideen", Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mahar explains the incident as follow ;

"Sher Ali was a man who would come down to anything to fulfill his ambitions. On one occasion, he had broken his heavy chains and handcuffs that were meant to restrain him and injured a prison guard after snatching his rifle. After killing the viceroy, he was asked by the courts about who had hired him to do this job. He would simply reply that I killed him by the Order of Allah!"  (Khyber.org)

Sher Ali was again tried for murder and was given the death penalty. On the 11th of March 1873, he was hanged.


Sher Ali Afridi

Lord Mayo


Sher Ali Afridi