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Mangal Pandey

(1827 – 1857) – (Uttar Pradesh)

Mangal Pandey (Aged 30) was born on July 19, 1827, in Nagwa, Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, India. He joined the Bengal Army in 1849 and became a private soldier (sepoy) in the 5th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry in March 1857. On the afternoon of March 29, 1857, Lieutenant Baugh, Adjutant of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry stationed at Barrackpore, was informed that several men of his regiment were in an excited state.

It was reported to him that one of them, Mangal Pandey, was pacing in front of the regiment’s guard room by the parade ground, armed with a loaded musket, calling upon the men to rebel and threatening to shoot the first European that he set eyes on. Baugh immediately armed himself and galloped on his horse to the lines. Pandey took position behind the station gun, which was in front of the quarter-guard of the 34th, took aim at Baugh and fired.

He missed Baugh, but the bullet struck his horse in the flank, bringing both the horse and its rider down. Baugh quickly disentangled himself and, seizing one of his pistols, advanced towards Pandey and fired, missing his target. Before Baugh could draw his sword, Pandey attacked him with a talwar (a heavy Indian sword) and, closing with the adjutant, slashed Baugh on the shoulder and neck, bringing him to the ground. Another sepoy, Shaikh Paltu, intervened and tried to restrain Pandey even as he tried to reload his musket.

The General threatened to shoot the first man who disobeyed. The men of the quarter-guard fell in and followed Hearsey towards Pandey. Pandey then put the muzzle of the musket to his chest and discharged it by pressing the trigger with his foot. He collapsed bleeding, with his regimental jacket on fire, but not mortally wounded.

Within a week, Mangal Pandey was put on trial and sentenced to death by hanging. During the trial, he stated that he mutinied on his own free will and was not encouraged by any other sepoy. Jemadar Ishwari Prasad was also sentenced to death by hanging since he had ordered the other soldiers not to arrest Pandey. Pandey was executed on April 8, 1857, and Prasad on April 21, 1857.