Shiran Khalji

Shiran Khalji a lieutenant of bakhtiyar khalji, was the administrator of the principality of Lakhnauti during the period 602-603 AH/1206-1207 AD. He belonged to the Khalji tribe of Afghanistan and joined the army of Bakhtiyar, the fief holder of Bhagwat and Bhuili. Soon he proved his valour and sagacity and was promoted to the rank of a commander of the army. Bakhtiyar trusted him so much that on the eve of his Tibet expedition, he entrusted him with the command of Lucknowr.

When the news of the murder of Bakhtiyar Khalji and the usurpation of power by ali mardan khalji reached him, Shiran left his post at Lucknowr and marched to devkot. On his approach, Ali Mardan withdrew to Ghoraghat. At Devkot Shiran Khalji performed the funeral rites of his departed master and was unanimously elected the new chief by the Khalji nobles and commanders present there. Shiran then proceeded against Ali Mardan, captured him and kept him in confinement under the care of Baba Ispahani, the kotwal.

Shiran tried to consolidate his position and keep unity among the Khalji leaders. With this end in view he followed a policy of conciliation towards the partisans of Ali Mardan and confirmed all the nobles of Bakhtiyar in their former posts. He also continued Bakhtiyar's policy of enjoying independent status without assuming regal title with a view to disarming Delhi's hostility.

Though Shiran Khalji initiated a good government, his authority did not last long due to the enmity of Ali Mardan Khalji who, on making well his escape to Delhi, instigated Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak to interfere into the affairs of Bengal. On his instigation, Qutbuddin Aibak ordered Qaimaz Rumi, governor of Oudh to march upon Bengal and to settle the affairs of the Khaljis. On his approach, Shiran Khalji vacated Devkot and withdrew eastward. Qaimaz Rumi placed iwaz khalji who had earlier surrendered to Rumi in charge of Devkot and started back for Oudh. Taking advantages of the situation, Shiran Khalji came back to Devkot and attacked Iwaz Khalji.

Qaimaz Rumi retraced his steps and made a counter attack upon Shiran Khalji. In the encounter that followed Shiran was defeated, took shelter at Santosh (in Dinajpur district) and thence proceeded to Maseda (in Bogra district). After this nothing is known about him. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]