পাতা:বঙ্কিমচন্দ্রের উপন্যাস গ্রন্থাবলী (তৃতীয় ভাগ).djvu/৭৪

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APPENDIX II IIISTORY OF THE SANNYASI REBELLION. FROM THE ANNALS OF RURAL BENG AL. A set of lawless banditti, wrote the Council 1773, known under the name of Sannyasis or Fakeers, have long infested these countries and under pretence af religious pilgrimage, have been accustomed to traverse the chief part of Bengal, begging stealing and plundering wherever they go, and as it best suits their convenience to practice. In the years subsequent to the samine, their ranks were swollen by a crowd of starv.ing peasants, who had neither see nor inplements to recommence cultivation with, and the cold weather of 1772 brought them down upon the harvest fileds of Lower Bengal, burning, plumdering, ravaging in bodies of fi'ty to thousand men. The Collectors called on the military; but after a tempo:ary success,our sepoys were at length totally defeated and Captain Thomas (their leader) with almost the whole party were cut off. It was n \t till the close of the winter that the Council could report to the Court of Directors, that a battilion under an experienced commander had acted successfully against them, and a month later we find that even this tardy intimation had been premature. On the 31st March, 1774, Warren Hastings pliinly acknowledges that, the commander who had succeeded Captain Thomas unhappily underwent the same sate ; that four battalions of the army were then actively cngaged against the banditti, but that in spite of the inilitia levies callel form the landholders, thcir combined operations had been fruitless. The revenue could not be collected, the inhabitants made common cause with the marauders and the whole rural administration was unhinged. Such incursions were annual episodes in what some have been pleased to represont as the still life of Bengal :—Hunter's Annals of Rural Bengal—P 77. 2.