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The twelve Bhuiyan

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.

It was some years, however, before the whole of Bengal was actually reduced to subjection. Several tracts continued to be under the rule of petty chiefs who refused to own allegiance to the Emperor and gave shelter and a hearty welcome to the numerous Afghans whom Daud’s death had thrown out of employment. Foremost among those chiefs were the twelve Bhuiyas of Bengal.  In this place it is only necessary to refer to those who ruled over portions of the Dacca district. These were (i) Fazl Ghazi of Bhawal, (ii) Chand Rai and Kedar Rai of Bikrampur and (iii) Isa Khan, Masnad-i-Ali, of Khizrpur. The first named traced his descent from one Pahnun Shah who lived about six hundred years ago.  His son, Karfarma Sahib, went to Delhi, and there received from  the Emperor the grant of pargana Bhawal in return for uniting the two roofs of a building, which all the court architects  had hitherto failed to accomplish. According to tradition the area ruled over by this family comprised the parganas of Chand Ghazi (now Chand Pratap), Tala Ghazi (now Talipabad) and Bara Ghazi (now Bhawal). They had not, however, the faculty of keeping what they had gained and some time in the eighteenth century these estates passed into the hands of their Bengali servants. The family still resides at Chaura near Kaliganj in a state of pitiable poverty. Chand Rai and Kedar Rai who built the RajSbari math are the only two Bhuiyas of Bikrampur whose  names have come down to us. Their capital at Sripur, not far from Rajabari, has long ago been washed away by the Padma river but it was of sufficient importance to be mentioned by more than one European traveller.


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