Saturday, January 22, 2011


"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." William Shakespeare

Surya Sen and about 60 of his fellow revolutionaries liberated Chittagong on 18th April,1930. But the British retaliated with automatic Lewis Gun. The revolutionaries, misinformed about British reinforcement and armed only with old fashioned muzzle loader Musketry rifle decided to retreat. They went outside the town in nearby hilly regions.

While hiding in the Jalalabad Hills near Chittagong a great gun battle took place between the armed revolutionaries & British army. This was such a war that possibly the world had never seen before. Only a handful of men armed with Musketry rifles repulsed a major attack by British army armed with machine gun & .303 rifles.

This is the glorious story of those indomitable revolutionaries who dared to challenge their destiny.

22nd APRIL, 1930

Sun was setting. Members of Chittagong liberation army were taking rest sitting in small groups over the small Jalalabad Hill. All were tired,they hardly got any food to eat or water to drink in past three days.Yet their determination were rock solid. Everyone was thinking  when the town would be liberated again, capturing the jail, Imperial bank, District court.......everything. They were not ready to give in, everyone had taken vow to fight till death.

The revolutionaries were sitting in following groups:

  1. Suresh Deb, Binod Chowdhury, Jitendra Dasgupta & Sambhu Dostuidar sitting together.
  2. Krishna Chowdhury, Binod Bihari Dutta, Saroj Guha, Kali Dey, Madhusudan Dutta, Nani Deb & Malin Ghosh in another group.
  3. A little far away Khirod Banerjee, Himendu Dostidar, Kali Chakraborty, Ardhendhu Dostidar & Ranadhir Dasgupta.
  4. Slightly below them were Sahayram Das, Moti Kanungo, Bidhu Bhattacharjee, Narayan Sen & Pulin Bikash Ghosh.
  5. Little away of them were Mahendra Chowdhury, Nirmal Lala, Birendra Dey, Bijoy Sen & Nitaipada Ghosh.
  6. In another place were Ashwini Chowdhury, Bonbihari Dutta, Sosanka Dutta & Subodh Pal.
  7. In other group Fanindra Nandi, Haripada Mohajan, Bhabotosh Bhattacharjee, Sudhangsu Bose & Subodh Chowdhury.
  8. Brigadier Tripura Sen, Monoranjan Sen, Deboprsad Gupta, Hari Bol(Tegra), Rajat Sen & Swadesh Roy(not a member of the army but joined spontaneously in the battle) were also there.
  9. Above all there were Masterda Surya Sen, Ambika Chakraborty, Nirmal Sen & General Lokhnath Bol

They all were eager to know the current situation of Chittagong Town. To get that information some people like Fakir Sen, Diptimedha Chowdhury, Amarendra Nandi were sent to the town who hadn't returned yet.They were also unware about the current status of Ananta Singh & Ganesh Ghosh who took burnt Himangsu Sen for treatment.

At the hill there was a rail-line. Suddenly a train was seen coming through that line. It sopped beside the Jalalabad Hills. The eyes of Probhash Pal (assigned as guard) suddenly sparked was very unnatural to stop a train without a station. From the train numerous Infantrymen came out. The news spread among the revolutionaries.

Be ready, battle is imminent. The winner would soon be decided in the battle between the British imperialism & the spirit of indomitable revolutionaries.

Surya Sen decided to give the honour of being the "Sarbadhinayaka"  (Chief  to Staff) to Gen Lokhnath Bol. From now even Masterda had to carry on Gen Bol's orders in the battlefield.

                                     GENERAL LOKHNATH BOL

Gen Bol roared:
"Get ready. Everyone go to your own section & take lying position. Remember- winning is our destiny. We are revolutionaries. We never gave in to imperialist power & we will not today. By any means, we must win."

All took lying position with loades musketry rifles ready to carry out any order given by their general.

The British army were approaching towards the Hill. At that time they were in the middle of the paddy-field, without any cover. Gen Bol roared-'HAULT'.

Even before the army could understand anything Gen bol ordered "FIRE! VOLLEY FIRE"

All Musketry rifles roared at once. most of the infantrymen were hit, rest managed to run away.

British army leaders Captain TaitColonel Dallas Smith, DIG Farmer,.......all were anxious. They then decided to charge the revolutionaries with bayonets. But the result was same as before. The infantrymen managed to run away with their lives in front of Musketry rifle fire.

British officers changed their tactics. Suddenly, Vicker machine gun fire started from a hill south-east of Jalalabad. Gen Bol Immediately ordered the members on that side of the hill, to aim and return 10 rounds of rapid fire.

                                 VICKER MACHINE GUN
Then another Machine gun fire commenced from the north-east side. In the meantime darkness of evening was slowly falling over the place but machine gun showed no sign of taking rest. Everything around was covered by dust. Trees & shrubs were falling by the machine gun fire. But no side was ready to withdraw.

Suddenly a new kind of problem started. Due to rapid firing the rifle barrels were getting over heated. They could not even hold it with handkerchiefs & couldn't load it properly. To solve this problem Masterda himself & his friend Nirmal Sen crawled aroud to all & cleaned their barrels with lubricating oil. 

Machine gun fire was continuous. Nobody could lift their head. But, the fearless brother of Gen Bol, Tegra was not among them. He intermittently raised his head to aim & fire towars the machine gun position. Suddenly, machinegun bullets pierced his body. Before embracing his death the 14yr old fighter told his brother, "Sonabhai(Gen Bol) I am going, but you don't stop. Carry on"

Do you know what Gen Bol told his dying brother in return, " Who is Sonabhai? In a battlefield all are soldiers, there is no Sonabhai. Our only duty is to do or die."

                                TEGRA & MOTI KANUNGO

Another new Vicker Machine gun fire started from the south-east hill. Now  Brigadier Tripura Sen was hit. Then the youngest soldier Nirmal Lala & then Bidhu Bhattacharjee.


Bidhu Bhattacharjee was a very humorous person. Even in his dying moments he laughed & said to his friend Naresh Roy,"Now you come, I will recieve you."

Naresh Roy couldn't tolerate the loss of his friend for long, he soon followed Bidhu & embraced his death.

Then Binod Bihari Dutta fell but didn't stop. Fighting is a duty of fighters. Even after being severely wounded he continued firing.

Ardhundu Dostidar was recovering from his wounds(injured during blast while bomb making) at the time of Chittagong Revolution. But it could not stop him from joining the battle. He was then hit by a bullet.

Then Madhusudan Dutta & Sashanka Dutta were hit. 


Ambika Chakraborty was also hit. 

Finally Moti Kanungo, Pulin Bikash Ghosh, Jitendra Dasgupta & Probhas Bol embraced death.


Things were becoming difficult for the revolutionaries. Rifle chambers were getting jam. There were not enough lubricating oil. They started using blood of their comrades as lubricating oil to clear the muzzle & chamber. 

Now Gen Bol shouted like a wounded tiger-"Fire until the enemy machine guns were completely silenced."

All started to fire with double enthusiasm. 

At day's end the British Machine guns had to ultimately lose against the might of old Musketry rifles in the hand of those indomitable youths.

Darkness fell. British couldn't dare to stay there. They were afraid of surprise attacks by the revolutionaries under cover of darkness. So they fled away without any hesitation.

At night after the enemies fled, the revolutionaries came down from the hill. They were winners in the battle. But their hearts were heavy, their eyes were wet. They lost some of their best fighters & friends in the battle. None of them would come back again. 

Gen Bol shouted,"Comrades in close column of groups, in single rank, fall in". They showed Guard of honour to their dead comrades. The whole Jalalabad Hill shooked when they shouted together, " INQUILAB  ZINDABAD! BANDE MATARAM!"

Then they were divided in small groups & left the hill for other hiding places.

Revolutionaries took Ambika Chakraborty as dead & left him but he was only injured. Later he managed to escape.

Total 12 revolutionaries died in the battle. 11 of them died in the spot & Ardhendu Dostidar died in the hospital.

Police & military returned to Jalalabad in next morning with much larger force & arms. They discovered the body of revolutionaries & wasting no time burnt them with petrol.

After Sepoy Mutiny this was possibly the most glorious event when a handful of men with old fashioned Musketry rifles defeated a much larger & well armed British army in an open battle.