Halagali Bedaru

By in Uncategorized on June 14, 2016

The first uprising against the British was evidenced at Halagali (Mudhol taluk of Bagalkot district). The prince of Mudhol, Ghorpade had accepted British overlordship. But the Bedas (hunters), a marshal community, were seething with dissatisfaction under the new dispensation. The British proclaimed the Disarming Act of 1857 whereby men possessing fire arms had to register them and secure a license before November 10, 1857. Babaji Nimbalkar, a soldier thrown out of job from Satara Court, had advised these people not to loose their hereditary right to own arms.

One of the leaders of the Bedas, Jadgia was invited by the administrator at Mudhol and was persuaded to secure a license on November 11, though Jadgia had not asked for it. The administrator’s expectation that others would follow Jadgia was belied. So he sent his agents to Halagali on November 15, 20 and again on 21. But the entreaties of the agents did not succeed, and the agents sent on November 21 were attacked by Jadgia and Baalya, another leader and they were forced to return. Another agent sent on November 25 was not allowed to enter the village.

Meanwhile, the Bedas and other armed men from the neighbouring villages of Mantur, Boodni and Alagundi assembled at Halagali. The administrator reported the matter to Major Malcolm, the Commander at the nearby army headquarters, who sent Col. Seton Karr to Halagali on November 29.

The insurgents, numbering 500 did not allow the British to enter Halagali. There was a fight during the night. On November 30, Major Malcolm came with 29th Regiment from Bagalkot. They set fire to the village and many insurgents, including Babaji Nimbalkar died. The British, who had a bigger army and better arms arrested 290 insurgents; and of these 29 were tried and 11 were hanged at Mudhol on December 11, and six others, including Jadagia and Baalya were hanged at Halagali on December 14, 1857. No prince or jagirdar was involved in this uprising, but it was the common soldiers.

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