Why did the introduction of the ‘Enfield Rifle’ aggrieve the Indian sepahis (sepoys)?

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The British rule completed one hundred years in 1857. During these hundred years different sections of people were badly affected by the policies of the British government. Economic, social, political and other factors combined together to strike a blow to the British rule.

When the atmosphere was surcharged with an anti-British feeling amongst the Indians the episode of greased cartridges provided the spark which turned it into a conflagration.

The new ‘Enfield Rifle’ introduced by the British in the army needed a special type of cartridge which had a greased paper cover.

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This paper had to be bitten off before the cartridge was loaded into the rifle. The grease used in the paper was made of beef and pig fat.

This enraged both the Hindu and the Muslim sepoys. Both the religious communities felt that their religions were at stake. This worked as a spark in the magazine room and the Mutiny began.

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