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Veer Narayan Singh

(1795 – 1857) – (Chhattisgarh)

Veer Narayan Singh (Aged 62), born in 1795, was a landlord from Sonakhan, Chhattisgarh, who played a leading role in the 1857 Indian War of Independence in Chhattisgarh. He is considered as “The 1st Chhattisgarhi freedom fighter” and was hanged at Jaistambh Chowk in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. In 1856, the British arrested him for looting a trader’s grain stocks and distributing it among the poor during a severe famine year.

With the help of soldiers from the British Army in Raipur, Veer Narayan Singh escaped from prison in 1857. He returned to Sonakhan and formed an army of 500 men. A powerful British army, led by Smith, was dispatched to crush the Sonakhan army. He was executed on December 10, 1857, at Jaistambh Chowk in Raipur.

Veer Narayan Singh’s martyrdom has been revived in the 1980s, and he has become a symbol of Chhattisgarhi pride. He was the first martyr from Chhattisgarh in the War of Independence, and the government of Chhattisgarh named a cricket stadium, Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium, and three schools and a monument after him.