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Telanga Kharia

(1806 – 1880) – (Jharkhand)

Telanga Kharia (Aged 74), a great Indian tribal freedom fighter, was born on February 9, 1806 in Murgu, Gumla, Jharkhand , India. He spearheaded a rebellion against the British Raj in the Chotanagpur Region during 1850-1860, after the British rule was established in the area.

He created Jury Panchayats in many villages, which served as self-governance bodies parallel to the British rule. He also established “Akhara,” where he provided arms training to his followers, who mainly used swords and bows with arrows. Telanga Kharia raised an army of approximately 900 to 1500 trained men and attacked Britishers, their middlemen, and every other establishment of the British Raj, including looting their banks and treasuries.

The rebellion led by Telanga Kharia against the British Raj in the Chotanagpur region was at its peak during 1850-1860. While conducting a meeting at one village Jury Panchayat, an agent of the Zamindar informed the Britishers about his presence, resulting in the British army surrounding the meeting place and arresting Telanga Kharia. He was then imprisoned for 18 years.

After completing his imprisonment in Calcutta jail, Telanga Kharia was released and started reviving the movement while making plans to strengthen the organization. However, on April 23, 1880, while offering his daily prayer at Sisai Akhara before starting the training session, one of the British agents named Bodhan Singh ambushed nearby and opened fire on him. His followers immediately carried his body and moved towards the forest so that the Britishers could not find it.