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Babu Amar Singh

(★ – 1859) – (Bihar)

Babu Amar Singh, the brother of Babu Kunwar Singh, the zamindar of Jagdishpur, was a revolutionary in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Though a fond huntsman, he joined the rebellion on the insistence of his brother and the commander-in-chief, Hare Krishna Singh. Initially, he assisted in his brother’s campaign, including the infamous Siege of Arrah.

After the death of Babu Kunwar Singh on 26 April 1858, Babu Amar Singh became the chief of the army and continued the struggle, running a parallel government in the district of Shahabad for a considerable time. Four days after his brother’s death, he led an attack on British tax collectors in Arrah and defeated them, assisted by his commander-in-chief, Hare Krishna Singh.

According to a captured soldier who served Amar Singh in 1858, his force consisted of around 400 cavalrymen and six guns obtained from a mechanic in Calcutta who served him directly. The force also had cannon balls manufactured in Jagdishpur with lead obtained from raids on British boats. Amar Singh was planning to join his force with fellow rebel leader Nana Sahib.

On 6 June 1858, Amar Singh and his force arrived in the village of Gahmar in Ghazipur near the border with Bihar to support the Sakarwar Rajput rebels under the leadership of Meghar Singh. The rebels requested his help, and Amar Singh accepted their request. Among the motivations for this alliance were the marital ties shared between the Sakarwars and the Ujjainiyas. Meghar Singh personally presented Amar Singh with a nazrana or gift worth Rs 20,000, and they exchanged supplies. Amar Singh left Gahmar on 10 June.

After subsequent guerilla skirmishes with the British, Amar Singh fled with other rebel leaders to the Nepal Terai in October 1859. He presumably went into hiding after this and disappeared before being captured later that same year and dying in prison. He passed away in 1859. Amar Singh was also a deeply religious person and had the Mahabharata recited to him every night.