Battle of Saragarhi
13th September, 2021 Modern history
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- September 12 marks the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi.
What is the Battle of Saragarhi?
- The Battle of Saragarhi was a last-stand battle fought before the Tirah Campaign between the British Raj and Afghan tribesmen.
- On 12 September 1897, an estimated 12,000 – 24,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen were seen near Gogra, at Samana Suk, and around Saragarhi, cutting off Fort Gulistan from Fort Lockhart.
- The Afghans attacked the outpost of Saragarhi where thousands of them swarmed and surrounded the fort, preparing to assault it.
- Led by Havildar Ishar Singh, the 21 soldiers in the fort—all of whom were Sikhs—refused to surrender.
- The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent.
- The Indian Army's 4th battalion of the Sikh Regiment commemorates the battle every year on the 12th of September, as Saragarhi Day.
Why was Saragarhi important?
- Saragarhi was the communication tower between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan.
- The two forts in the rugged North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now in Pakistan were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but renamed by the British.
- Saragarhi helped to link up the two important forts which housed a large number of British troops in the rugged terrain of NWFP.
- Fort Lockhart was also home to families of British officers.