The Revolt of 1857 was no sudden occurrence and was the culmination of a century-long resistance to British rule. The famous episode of greased cartridges provided the spark for the Indian sepoys. The Enfield rifle that the British wanted their soldiers to use, had cartridges which had to be bitten off before it was loaded into the rifle. The grease was in some instances composed of beef and pig fat. This enraged both the Hindu as well as the Muslim sepoys. They believed that the British were deliberately trying to destroy their religion. The time to rebel had come.
May 10, 1857 was a Sunday. The British officers at the Meerut cantonment in north India were preparing to attend church, while many other British soldiers were off duty. The Indian troops in the cantonment, already waiting for an opportunity to revolt against their foreign masters, seized the day. Almost 50 British soldiers, and other men, women and children were killed by the sepoys and the crowds who soon joined the Indian soldiers.
At Barrackpur, Mangal Pandey of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry went on a rampage wounding the British Officers. The mutiny was basically a “One Man Show”. Mangal Pandey was hanged on 8 April 1857, thus becoming one of the first martyrs of mother India’s liberation war that extended 90 years afterwards. One more officer Issurl Pandey was hanged on 11 April for not helping the British during the rampage. One Paltu Khan was promoted for his active duty towards stopping Mangal Pandey creates more havoc.