Q: 49 (SCRA/2010)

Directions The next 2 items are based on the following passage. The Revolt of the Sepoys was accompanied by a rebellion of the civil population, particularly in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh, the two areas from which the Sepoys of the Bengal army were recruited. Except in Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, civil rebellion followed the Revolt of the Sepoys. The action of the Sepoys released the rural population from fear of the state and the control exercised by the administration. Their accumulated grievances found immediate expression and they rose en masse to give vent to their opposition to British Rule. Government buildings were destroyed, the treasury was plundered, the magazine was sacked, barracks and courthouses were burnt and prison gates were flung open.

Which of the following factors led the civil population to break into open rebellion?