BANARASI DAS. alias Banarasi Babu, who professed to be a Kuka Sikh, was originally a resident of Allahabad. Widely travelled, he had been to England in 1885-86 where he had met the deposed Maharaja Duleep Singh. On his return from England he went to Nepal, the favoured resort of the Kukas espousing Maharaja Duleep Singh`s cause. Banarasi Das preached insurrection against the British. He declared that Duleep Singh had joined hands with the Russians and would invade India via Kashmir. 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, Patna and Muzaffarpur spreading sedition against the British and rousing pro Duleep Singh sentiments.
1. Ganda Singh, ed., History of the Freedom Movement in the Panjab. (Maharaja Duleep Singh Correspondence), vol. III. Patiala, 1972