Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Those who dared for armed movement against the mighty British empire for real freedom-most of their immortal actions took place without people's knowledge............ Nobody wrote that glorious history in stone slab or copper plate. Most of their acts were done without any witnesses or evidences. So finding their real history is really hard.
                                                ------ Hemchandra Ghosh  (B.V.)


The whole thing was meticulously planned. The mutineers who called themselves soldiers of "Chattagram Republican Army"divided themselves into many groups and attacked different places.

18th April, 1930

10 o'clock at night
  • Gen. Anant Singh and Gen.Ganesh Ghosh, two spearhead of youth mutiny, were slowly approaching towards the District Police Line Armuory.
  • Another group lead by Gen Lokhnath Bol and Nirmal Sen headed for Auxiliary Force Armory.
  •  Meanwhile Ambika Chakraborty and his group had already destroyed all telephone and telegraph connections.
  • Then the jail, Imperial bank, police station, district court, ---everything would be captured one by one.Ultimately, the chaittagong would be LIBERATED COMPLETELY from British rule.


Gen. Anant Singh and Gen.Ganesh Ghosh were followed by Bidhu Bhattacharya, Haripada Mahajan, Himansu Sen& Saroj Guha------all in military uniform, armed & determined to fulfill their mission. 

The guards, standing over the tower, astonished-------who were those people slowly approaching towards the gate? But even before they could question, they got the answer---------revolvers of the two generals roared and everyone shouted at once...INQUILAB ZINDABAD ! BANDE MATARAM ! from all sides.

It was a perfect plan,....... hearing the slogans and sound of revolvers from all sides , the guards panicked anticipating that thousands of attackers were coming from all sides though originally they were few in number, and so they quickly abandoned their post and fled away.

All other small detachments of the group of mutineers, along with their leader Masterda, then gathered in the captured police line. One group quickly took guard around the building and another group entered the building after breaking the lock.

Rifle! Rifle! Rifle! Not only one or two but hundreds of Police musketry rifles , revolvers and cartridges. Gen.Ganesh Ghosh shouted, "company fall in" ....... Everyone took attention stance. then all loaded their rifle and fired at once. The soil of chittagong trembled with that sound.

                                       Musketry Rifle

On the other side of the city Gen.Loknath Bol and Gen. Nirmal Sen were leading another group of youths to capture the Auxiliary Military Force armoury. It was a military armoury and so it had advanced weapons like .303 rifles and Automatic Lewis Gun

                                            .303 Rifle

                                    Automatic Lewis Gun

Gen. Bol was disguised in British military uniform. The armed guards there first salute him , considering him some high ranked officer, but guns of the revolutionaries roared immediately, along with there shouting...........INQUILAB ZINDABAD! BANDE MATARAM!

Taken completely by surprise , the pathan guards abandoned their posts immediately.

Sgt. Major Ferel, the incharge there , ran outside his house with a loaded revolver but his curiosity was satisfied forever by a bullet in his chest. In his dying moments he called his wife to make a phonecall to Police station.

But how could she ring a telephone ...........all telephone & telegraph lines in the city was dead by then due to sabotage by a group led by Ambika Chakroborty.

Transportation was also crippled----------thanks to sabotage by youths like Lalmohan Sen, Sukumar Bhowmik, Haran Chowdhury, Subodh Mitra,Upen Bhattachrya, Shankar, Sushil Dey, Bijoy Aich & others.

Total 6 people were killed in this Auxiliary armory raid, but all were from British side.

After Major Ferel was killed, the strong steel gates were broken by pulling them with a motor car. Within the armoury there were a lot of arms........like .303 rifle or the Lewis gun, but alas, no ammunition were there. The bullets were kept elsewhere.

Suddenly Mr. Bleckbarn, Mr. Collen & another white officer arrived at the scene and were heartily welcomed by bullets. Mr. Collen laid wounded.......the rest ran away.

Arms were taken as much as possible. Rest were destroyed and the armoury was set on fire.

Suddenly district Magistrate Mr. Wilkinson arrived & to his utter surprise was welcomed by gunfire. His driver was killed but he fled with hid life.

In the meantime, Naresh Roy, Tripura Sen, Debprasad Gupta, Amarendra Nandi, Biren Dey & some others went to attack the Europian club to take revenge of the Jalianwala Massacre., but the day was a Good Friday and so no Europian was there in the club. Thus this mission failed.

Ultimately all mutineers gathered in the Headquarter ........the captured police line. Masterda Surya Sen hoisted the INDIAN NATIONAL FLAG along with bugle sound. All mutineers fired thrice with their rifles towards the sky. At last an interim military Govt. was set up with Surya Sen as it's head. He was given a guard of honour.

Everyone were happy, their dream had come true.....now it was only a matter of time to capture the jail, the court and the Imperial Bank.

But, suddenly automatic machine gun firing were heard.British were firing with an Automatic Lewis gun from the jetty. All took lying positions and return fired with their musketry rifles. Soon all became quiet.

Then the generals had to take a tough decision ...............  sixty muzzle loader musketry rifle would not hold long against Automatic Lewis gun firing in a face to face battle, so they ordered to take as much weapon as possible & set the whole police line ablaze. 

Himansu Sen executed this job,but unfortunately some petrol spilled over his clothes & caught fire instantaneously. He was badly burnt.

In no time Ananta Singha & Ganesh Ghosh took him in a car and rushed to the other part of the city to seek medical attention for him in a safehouse. Ananda Gupta & Jiban Ghosal also went with them.

The rest of the mutineers waited their for two hours for them but none of them returned.

Masterda feared that they had been arrested and a possible reinforcement had been arrived. So he decided that going to the city was not safe and ordered to march towards the nearby Sulukbahar hill.

Chattagram was liberated , completely from British domination, though only for few hours, it was literally liberated.

Though capturing chittagong does not mean liberation of the whole country, it was of utmost importance, because it set an example in front of a dying country that British can be defeated & defeated by ARMED REVOLUTION.



Gowariker was fortunate to find Binod Bihari Chowdhury, the only living revolutionary of the armoury raid, who was 19 then and now is 100-years-old, to tell the tale of that momentous occasion.
When the filmmaker of 'khele hum je jaan se' Mr Asutosh Gowariker was doing research for his movie, his team went to Chittagong (now in Bangladesh) to meet Chowdhury for a first-hand account of a little-known chapter in India’s history.
MiD Day called Chowdhury, who spoke on the phone, recalling the moment when he was inducted in the raid plan by Surjya Sen or Masterda (he was fondly called, as he was a school teacher).
Chowdhury said over the phone from Bangladesh, “I was barely out of my teens then but at the same time I was hell bent on actively participating in the revolutionary movement.
One of my friends had asked me to wait at a cemetery. I was told that Masterda will come and meet me there. After waiting for almost two hours he arrived.”
One could detect a childlike enthusiasm in him as he continued, “Masterda was initially not ready to take me into the revolutionary movement.
You can do much for society so I wouldn’t advise you to join the movement, Masterda told me. But I was determined and I kept arguing with him.”
Finally Masterda had to give in to Chowdhury’s undaunted determination.
“He hugged me and asked me if I was angry with him. I told him that yes initially I was a bit disheartened because he was not ready to make me a part of this freedom struggle but now I am elated,” adds Chowdhury.
Chowdhury from that day onward became an integral part of the Indian Republican Army, Chittagong branch.
“Liberation was our aim,” says the centenarian in a voice that defies his age.
Chowdhury’s memoirs, called Ognijhora Dingulo (The Flaming Days), captures the true spirit of valour and the courage of the young revolutionaries.
Chapters like My favourite village and My growing-up days give us an insight into 1930s undivided Bengal. The British rulers at the time had declared a reward of 500 taka on Chowdhury’s head. He served a seven-year jail term first under the British rule and then the Pakistani government.
Despite taking part in the uprising as a teenager and spending seven years in jail, Chowdhury did his post-graduation in English literature and a Bachelors degree in Law.

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