By the end of September, 1772, the Marathas had reduced Zabita Khan to the same plight in which his father Najib-ud-daulah had twice been thrown at Delhi, — besieged there once by Raghunath Rao (1757), and the second time by the allied armies of the Jats, Marathas and Sikhs (1764). But they had in their camp Tukoji Holkar the adopted son, to take care of Malhar’s dharma-putras among whom the father of Zabita Khan was the most illustrious. The Ruhela chief made a successful appeal to Tukoji Holkar, who procured from the other Maratha leaders very favourable terms for his submission. They not only gave back all his territories, but also promised to force the hand of the Emperor to restore to him the conquests of the imperial commanders in the Ruhela country if Zabita Khan would join them in an attack upon Delhi

Having finished the affair of the Ruhelas, the Maratha leaders entered the Jat country immediately after the desertion of M. Madec with his corps. Maharaja Nawal Singh Of Bharatpur army was driven under the shelter of his forts. He held out not with any confidence in his ultimate success but only to secure better terms of submission. The Emperor did not raise a finger to help him except by writing a letter to the Marathas to desist from pillaging the Jat Kingdom ! Meanwhile, Mirza Najaf Khan redoubled his efforts in recruiting and equiping the imperial army, which made the Marathas more reasonable in their demands upon the Jats. Nawal Singh could wait, but the Marathas could not ; so they readily accepted whatever sum of money they could presently get from him, and started for Delhi to attend to the business of another client of theirs, Hisam-uddin Khan. They held out the same inducement to Nawal Singh for an offensive alliance against the Emperor as that offered to Zabita Khan, viz., restitution to him of all his territories seized by the imperial officers. Nawal Singh Of Bharatpur could not fail to see that the Emperor was more interested in crushing the Jat power than in freeing himself from the Maratha control.As he was equally interested in the destruction of the army of Najaf Khan, he threw in his lot with the Marathas. Towards the end of November 1772, the allied army of Marathas, Jats and Ruhelas, numbering more than one lakh of troops appeared before Delhi. Against this huge host, Mirza Najaf Khan could hardly bring into the field 38,000 horse and 8,000 infantry.

On the 28th of December (1772) a pitched battle was fought under the walls of Delhi for about 9 hours. The Marathas and their allies displayed determined valour and compelled Mirza Najaf Khan to take shelter behind the lines of M. Madec. While the battle was surging to and fro, the traitor Hisam-ud-din with two regiments of sepoys, 30 guns and His Majesty’s own risalah of Horse, stood idle near the haveli of Ghazi-ud-din, watching intently its varying fortunes. As soon as the Marathas threatened to move in his direction, the Khan fled more in joy than in fright into the city. His troops joined hands with the Marathas in plundering the camp of M. Madec.

The Maratha army with Zabita Khan and his Ruhela horse, the Jats and the artillery of Somru, surrounded the city like a complete circle. Hisam-ud-din cleverly represented to the imbecile monarch that Mirza Najaf Khan was the sole cause of all these troubles and quarrel with the Marathas. That faithful general as well as all his Irani and Turani .comrades-in-arms were dismissed from service and ordered to leave the city. The Hindustani party rejoiced over the fall of their rivals ; the Marathas got 9 lakhs from the royal treasury and 9 lakhs from the private purse of Hisamud-din, who further offered one lakh more separately to Tukoji Holkar, if the latter succeeded in removing the Mirza from Delhi. The Marathas took Najaf Khan with all his troops into their pay and marched away with him (March, 1773) to invade the territories of Nawab Shuja-ud-daulah and Hafiz Rahamat Khan . The Jats had the satisfaction of plundering the Mughal territories and regaining many of their lost possessions. Nawal Singh got a short respite to recoup his strength and had reason to feel as much satisfaction and relief as Hisam-ud-din himself at the temporary eclipse of Najaf Khan’s fortune.


  • History Of The Jats Vol-i (1925) by Qanungo, Kalika Ranjan
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