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Jasarat Khan


Jasarat Khan Naib Nazim of Dhaka for two terms, from 1755 to 1762/63 and from 1765 to 1778. alivardi khan appointed him after the death of nawazish muhammad khan in December 1755. Jasarat Khan originally came from Koum in Persia and claimed his descent from Hazrat Ali (R). He was the spiritual head of the Shias of Dhaka. He was in charge of the divisions of jahangirnagar (Dhaka), Islamabad (Chittagong), Raushanabad (Comilla) and Jalalabad (Sylhet). He was the naib nazim of Dhaka at a critical time when a serious political change was taking place in Bengal after Palashi.

During the hostilities between sirajuddaula and the english in 1756-57 the nawab ordered Jasarat Khan to imprison the English of the Dhaka factory, take possession of their properties and send the plunder to Raja Mohanlal. Jasarat Khan, perplexed as he was, considered the nawab's orders cruel and decided to help the English.

Mr Becher, the company's Dhaka agent, contacted Jasarat Khan and gave an assurance to him that he and his men would not commit any act of hostility against the nawab. The English were permitted to return to their homes with full security. Jasarat Khan at the same time wrote to the nawab that the English in Dhaka were peaceful persons and did not possess much wealth; so to kill them would be an act of cruelty and their wealth would not help the nawab much. Siraj naturally was enraged at his conduct and only the discomfiture at Palashi might have saved Jasarat from the possible vengeance of the nawab.

Jasarat Khan continued to hold the post of naib nazim up to 1762-63. After that he remained away at Mongyr being attached to mir qasim. When the hostilities between Mir Qasim and the English started in 1763, the former deposed Jasarat Khan on grounds of leniency shown to the English during the time of Sirajuddaula as well as during his time. During his second Nawabship, mir jafar ali khan appointed Muhammad reza khan naib nazim of Dhaka. After serving for two years, Muhammad Reza Khan came to Murshidabad in 1765 to take over as naib nazim of Bengal. Nawab nazmuddaula appointed Jasarat Khan naib nazim of Dhaka in 1765 on the recommendation of the English for his past services to them. During this time Richard Becher was the company's Agent in Dhaka. One Mr Day became the first magistrate cum collector of Dhaka and a court of judicature was established here with Mr Duncanson as its first Judge.

Jasarat Khan relinquished his office in favour of his grandson Hashmat Jang in 1778. His pension was fixed at 5000/-. Jasarat Khan died in 1789. [KM Karim]