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Ghaseti Begum


Ghaseti Begum alias Mihrunnisa was the eldest of the three daughters of Nawab alivardi khan. The nawab got them married to the three sons of his elder brother Haji Ahmed. Ghaseti was married to nawazish muhammad Shahmat Jang who was appointed naib nazim of Dhaka. The eldest daughter of Alivardi had used her position of influence to amass vast fortunes. Childless Nawazish and Ghaseti had adopted lkramuddaula, the younger brother of sirajuddaula. The prince died of smallpox and Nawazish survived him but a few days. Ghaseti inherited the wealth of her husband, which, along with her earlier accumulated fortune, she stored in the motijheel palace, which was heavily guarded by her trusted troops. rajballabh, who had considerable influence on Ghaseti Begum, efficiently managed the financial administration of Dhaka.

Meanwhile Nawab had nominated Sirajuddaula, the son of his youngest daughter, as the heir. Ghaseti conspired against the nomination and tried to place shawkat jang, the son of her second sister, on the throne instead. Siraj, however, ascended the masnad after his grandfather and almost immediately took steps against Ghaseti, whom he placed in confinement. Sirajuddaula also demanded a statement of the Dhaka treasury from Rajballabh who failed to send a correct statement. His son Krishnaballabh took shelter in the east india company's fort william in Calcutta. The nawab sent a letter to roger drake, the English governor of Calcutta, asking him to hand over Krishnaballabh to him.

mir jafar ali khan, the chief of Alivardi's army, also felt uneasy at the accession of Sirajuddaula. Ghaseti leagued herself secretly with Mir Jafar. She distributed money lavishly wherever she thought it would be effectual against Siraj. jagat sheth and umichand, the merchants, also joined hands with Ghaseti and Mir Jafar. The common aim of these conspirators was to remove Sirajuddaula. After the battle of palashi, Sirajuddaula was murdered and Mir Jafar made Nawab by the British. Mir Jafar first imprisoned Ghaseti along with amina begum, the mother of the fallen nawab, in Murshidabad. Thereafter they were shifted to Dhaka and interned in the jinjira palace. Miran, son of Mir Jafar, considered Ghaseti a dangerous enemy even in prison. Ghaseti and Amina Begum were ordered by Miran to be shifted to murshidabad. It is said that they were drowned in the Buriganga. [Shahriyar ZR Iqbal]