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Adminiatration of Sher Shah

Naib-Nazim of Dhaka

The position of Naib-Nazim (Deputy Governor) was created to administer Dhaka Niabat since 1717. They were appointed by the Governors until Sirajuddaula, the last independent Governor of Bengal, lost control to the British in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Here is a partial list of Naib-Nazims of Dhaka:

Khan Muhammad Ali Khan (1717),

Itisam Khan (1723 – 1726),

A son of Itisam Khan (1726 – 1727),

Mirza Lutfullah Tabrizi (a grandson-in-law of Murshid Quli Khan) (1728 – 1734),

Sarfaraz Khan 1734-1739,

Galib Ali Khan (1734-1738),

Murad Ali Khan (1738-1739),

Abdul Fattah Khan (1739-1740),

Nowazish Mohammad Khan (1740-1754),

Hossain Quli Khan (1740-1754),

Murad Dowlat (1754-1755),

Jasarat Khan (1755-1762 and again 1765-1778),

Mohammed Ali (1762-1762),

Mohammed Reza Khan (1763-1765),

Ghaziuddin Haider (1834 – 1843).

The office of Naib Nazim of Dhaka was officially abolished in 1843.

Before proceeding to describe Dacca under the Mughals it will be convenient to record here a few of the facts relating to the period intervening between the defeat of Mahmud Shah and the final annexation of Bengal by Akbar in 1576.

Sher Shah appointed one Khizr Khan Bairak to be governor of Bengal but he married a daughter of Mahmud Shah and declared himself independent. For this he was imprisonedby Sher Shah who took the opportunity of dividing Bengal into provinces, making Kazi Fazilat the Amir or Superintendent. Sonargaon was probably one of those provinces and the governor in the year 1542 seems to have been Saiyid Ahmad Rumi. Sher Shah’s short but able administration extended as far as the Dacca district. The trunk road made by him from Sonargaon to Upper India is famous. Rest-houses were maintained at every stage and every few miles there was a well.

Islam Shah, son of Sher Shah, garrisoned the whole country with troops from the borders of Sonargaon, but he reversed his father’s policy and once more appointed one governor for Bengal. Muhammad Khan Sur was selected for the post, and he on Islam Shah’s death declared himself independent, as did his two sons after him. Neither these kings nor any of the rulers who followed ever apparently held the whole of Bengal, nor was their right recognised by contemporaries, and consequently, as Stewart says, they cannot be considered absolute sovereigns.

After the final extinction of the Sur dynasty the Afghans in, Bengal were dispersed, some, it is said, became faqirs and some attached themselves to Sulaiman Karani who had meanwhile been   amassing much influence and power. He brought nearly the whole of Bengal under his sway, including the district of Dacca, as appears from the inscription on a mosque in Rikabi Bazar (about three miles from Munshiganj) which was built by one Malik Abdulla Miyan during the reign of Hazrat Ala (His  Majesty) Miyan Sulaiman, in the year 1575 A.D.

Sulaiman was succeeded first by his son Bayazld and then by his second son, Daud. The wars between these rulers and the generals of Akbar have no concern with the district. But there was fighting in Ghoraghat, in which Kala Pahar and other Afghans were concerned, and this may have had an effect in and around Dacca. Daud was finally killed in 1576, when Bengal was annexed to the Mughal Empire.


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