|Khooni Darwaza, Delhiwww.liveindia.com|
The gate made of quartzite stone 15.5 m (50.9 ft) high has staircases lead to different levels of the gate. This place is frequently referred to as Khooni Darwaza on account of its tragic association of so many historical and political murders that had changed the course of Indian history.
The reason why this historical gate is called the Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate) is its close links with the worst rebellion in the annals of British history against the oppressive and discriminatory British rule in India called ''Sepoy Mutiny'' of 1857 - one may presumably call the first major war of independence against the British. Here the three princes of the Mughal dynasty - Bahadur Shah Zafar's sons Mirza Mughal and Mirza Khizr Sultan and grandson Mirza Abu Bakht were, with out remorse, shot by a British Soldier, Captain William Hodson on September 22,1857. Hodson, having obtained the surrender of the Emperor, sought the unconditional surrender of the three princes of the royal family. Following the arrest of several members of the royal family, he proceeded to Humayun's Tomb with a platoon of 100 soldiers to confront and arrest them. He was stopped by thousands of supporters of the Mogul ruler. However, Hudson at last killed the three princes in the most humiliating way-stripped them naked. How did he kill them whether by using his service sword or his gun is still debatable and has been a bone of contention for some time. It is believed that he also slaughtered the family members both women and children. All the dead bodies were taken away and put up for public display in front of a Kotwal.
It is also believed some major murders took place near this Khooni Dharwaza. When Jehangir's succession to the throne was protested by one of the members of 'Naratna group,' Jahangir had two sons of Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana executed (early17th century) and left the body near the gate. Like wise the tyrannical Aurangazeb, son of Shah Jahan defeated his elder brother Dara Shikoh in the struggle for the throne and had his head displayed at the gate.
Yet another blood shed took place in the same place, according to historian, though questionable, it is believed, Nadir Shah of Persia (1739) during his raid on Delhi, worst massacre occurred near the gate. The gate was built on the outskirts of the city during the time of Sher Shah in the 1540s and had been known as the Khooni Darwaza during the Mogul days. It was used presumably both as an outpost and the place where heads of criminals were exhibited.
After independence at the time of partition of India and Pakistan, more bloodshed occurred near the gate when several refugees from the walled city of Shahjahanabad for safety going to the camp established in Purana Qila under the guidance of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Health minister were killed here.
Recently in December, 2002, when a medical student was raped near this place by three youths. The incident sparked much uproar and outrage all over India and became a serious subject matter of discussion in Indian parliament.
Not withstanding the Khooni Darwaza's notoriety because of its proximity with several murders of the past, the mystery of blood shed and gory incidents will continue into the future with no proper explanation in sight.
"Hindu online". Retrieved December 3, 2006.