Merciless assassination of Mogul prince Dara Shukoh by his trecherous brother Aurangzeb - Mogul rule

Dara Shukoh, Mogul prince Chughtai's Art Blog - Chughtai Museum
Above image: Dara Shikoh (M 20 March 1615 – 30 August 1659}
Born at Taragarh Fort Ajmir (Rajasthan). Death: Assassinated in public at the age of 44 by his younger brother Mogul ruler Aurangzeb. Buried at Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi. Spouse:Nadira Banu Begum. Issues: Four daughters and three sons. Religion: Sufism. ....... ........................................     

Humayun's Tomb,Delhi, en.wikipedia. org.
Above image:  Humayun's Tomb, Delhi where the remains of Dara Shukoh were interred in an unidentified grave....................

Dara Shikoh, also known as Dara Shukoh (Shukoh means grandeur, glory or splendour) was the eldest son  of Prince Shahab ud-din Muhammad Khurram  ( 5thMogul Emperor Shah Jahan). When Shukoh was 12, his  father succeeded as emperor upon his grandfather, Emperor Jahangir;s death. Shah Jahan's  siblings included his elder sister Jahanara Begum and their younger siblings Shah Shuja, Roshanara Begum, Aurangzeb, Murad Bakhsh, and Gauhara Begum (?)   Shukoh  was the favorite heir-apparent of his father to the Mogul throne.  On 1 February 1633, Dara Shukoh married his first cousin, Nadira Banu and had a happy marriage and Nadira bore him 8 children of which 3 daughters and 2 sons survived  to adulthood

Unlike his youngest brother Aurangzeb, Shukoh was a man of different character and orientation. Being a a moderate Musalman  and god-fearing, never had he lost sight of a cordial relationship between Hindus and other faiths with Muslims.Hence, he promoted  peace and cordial relationship between the Muslims and other followers. Besides, evincing  deep interest in humanism and peace, he  was also a promoter of fine arts and music. So, he had a intellectual bent of mind, a good asset for a prospective ruler. 

It was a common and compulsory  practice among the Mogul ruler's sons to undergo military training in various fields to develop leadership quality, besides being trained as a valiant fighter. After considerable training, they had to command the military to showcase their ability in mock battles.  Dara Shukoh was appointed as a military commander at an early age, receiving an appointment as commander of 12,000-foot and 6,000 horse in October 1633. Having satisfied with his capability in in using various weapons, military leadership and strategy, on 10 September 1642, Shah Jahan made a formal confirmation of Dara Shukoh as his heir, granting him the title of Shahzada-e-Buland Iqbal ("Prince of High Fortune").

Towards the end of 1657, Dara Shukoh was appointed  as the Governor of the province of Bihar and promoted to command  60,000 infantry and 40,000 cavaliers. Already there had been a struggle among the sons of Shah Jahan over the successor to the throne and they were against Shukoh ascending the throne. They wanted to stop it at cost and were in disagreement with their father's full support for Shukoh.  Among the brothers, Aurangzeb was the most conceited, treacherous  and despicable character.  Emperor Shah Jehan's illness created a power-struggle among the four Mogul princes  on 6 September 1657 and it saddened the emperor.  Now Dara Shukoh and Aurangzeb were the contestants for the throne, though morally Dara had an edge over Aurangzeb. Shah Shuja, declaring himself Mogul Emperor in Bengal marched towards Agra from the east to seize the throne. The other prince, Murad Baksh put his full weight behind  Aurangzeb in his move to get the throne. However, Emperor Shah Jahan was relentless in his support for Shukoh.
Shah Jahan Receiving Dara Shuko/

In the sustained struggle Aurangzeb and Murad during the Battle of Samugarh, 13 km from Agra on 30 May 1658, defeated Dara Shukoh; later Aurangzeb took over Agra fort and deposed emperor Shah Jahan on 8 June 1658. After the defeat, Dara Shukoh was at  a loss and kept wandering from place to place for help. None wanted to interfere in the power struggle among the Mogul princes. Further, they did not want to antagonize Aurangzeb who became victorious.
In the  final battle of Deorai (near Ajmer) on 11 March 1659 Shukoh  was  defeated  for good and soon sought asylum under Malik Jiwan (Junaid Khan Barozai), an Afghan chieftain whom Shukoh helped in the past from his father's fury.  Unfortunately,  the ungrateful  Junaid betrayed Dara Shikoh and turned him and his second son Sipihr Shikoh) over to Aurangzeb's army on 10 June 1659.
Here Aurangzeb proved how heartless and inhuman he was
towards his own brother, own blood. Unscrupulous  and nauseating man as he was,  he insulted his brother, a Mogul prince by parading  him on a dirty elephant through the streets of the capital in chains. He had an assembly of nobles and clergy declare him a threat to the public peace and an apostate from Islam. Without mercy, Dara Shukoh, Aurangzeb's eldest brother (who was supposed to  be the Mogul emperor legally) was assassinated by  four of Aurangzeb's henchmen right in front of his terrified, son on the night of 30 August 1659 (9 September Gregorian).

After his death, the mortal  remains of Dara Shukoh were buried in an unidentified grave in Humayan's tomb in Delhi. Niccolao Manucci, the Venetian traveler who worked in the Mughal court, wrote details  about Dara Shukoh's death. ........'Aurangzeb ordered his men to bring his head for inspection to ensure that it was Dara indeed. ........He then further mutilated the head with his sword three times. After which, he the head to be put in a box and presented to his ailing father Shah Jahan, when he was sitting for his dinner in his prison. ..........When presented to Shah Jahan, not knowing what was in the box,  upon opening it, he became horrified and fell unconscious...''. Most heinous sin ever committed by a son to to his father.