BANĀRASĪ DĀS, alias Banārasī Bābū, who professed to be a Kūkā Sikh, was originally a resident of Allāhābād. Widely travelled, he had been to England in 1885-86 where he had met the deposed Mahārājā Duleep Siṅgh. On his return from England he went to Nepal, the favoured resort of the Kūkās espousing Mahārājā Duleep Siṅgh's cause. Banārasī Dās preached insurrection against the British. He declared that Duleep Siṅgh had joined hands with the Russians and would invade India via Kashmīr. He wielded considerable influence among the Hindus who venerated him as a person of sanctity. In 1886, he came to the Punjab and was arrested and charged with sedition. He was released on 16 February 1887 as a result of the amnesty granted on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria. Thereafter he roamed about places such as Calcutta, Paṭnā and Muzaffarpur spreading sedition against the British and rousing pro-Duleep Siṅgh sentiments.
K. S. Thāpar