In the Raj Bhawan of Nainital is a wall with weapons decorated on it. These belong to the famous daredevil, swashbuckling dacoit known as Sultana Daku.
many children grow up on the story of Robin Hood I grew up on the story of Sultana Daku, a daredevil dacoit who made the lives of the rich in the Rohilkhand area of United Provinces very difficult.
we had an old orderly who had seen or heard of Sultana Daku when he was young and Sultana Daku was his hero. Ram Khilavan would tell us the stories Sultana Daku & the dacoit would come alive for us. I suppose these childhood memories made him my hero.
It was much later when I grew up that I came to know that Sultana Daku was actually dacoit who had terrorised the UP area with his dacoities.
He was a swashbuckling, daredevil dacoit who had the support of the locals and so impossible to capture.
Finally the British Govt called a very experienced officer Freddy Young from England to capture the local hero.
Young spent a long time studying the modus operandi of Sultana and realising how much the locals especially the marginalised and depressed classes whom Sultana helped, adored and protected him. Sultana also had help from within the police force who predicted the movement of the forces to him.
As a first step Young transferred Sultana’s ally Manohar Lal the police officer to a distant town. Then with help of village elders neutralized the locals helping him, winning over a Munshi who had Sulrana’s confidence.
Sultana had his hideout in a small forest known as Kajli near Najibabad ( near Bijnore UP). This jungle was very dense and full of wild animals but sultana Daku was aware of each and every inch of it it’s so he could hide there.. He was also a master of disguise and would keep changing his look and that again was the reason why he was not caught.
Freddy Young as per the information by Munshi surrounded the area near Najibabad and spread out his web to catch Sultana. The Munshi called Sultana Daku to a specific place where the police was already present as soon as Sultana came he was caught Samuel Pearce was the name of the English officer who caught him. Sultana’s his rifle was captured by Pearce and he was felled by a rifle Butt hit hard on his legs.
As the leader of this operation, Young was promoted and made into Inspector General police of Bhopal jails.
He brought Sultana Daku to Agra jail where there he was tried and 13 people along with Sultana Daku were given orders to be hanged. many of his gang were given life imprisonment and Kala Pani.
on 7 July 1924 Sultana Daku was hanged
The night before his hanging he told Pearce the story of his life which has been published by @penguinindia as The Confession of Sultana Daku.