The Chittagong Armoury Raid ….. The real battle of Indian freedom.

The Chittagong Armoury Raid ….. The real battle of Indian freedom.

The Chittagong Armoury Raid ….. The real battle of Indian freedom.


Surya Sen

The backstage

Surya Sen alias Master da was the master mind of this raid. He was highly influenced by the revolutionary activities of Aurobindo Ghosh and Bagha Jatin. BarindraGhosh, the brother of Aurobindo and a Marathi hero Sukhram Ganesh Deuskar were also the figures who made an influential impact on Surjya Sen. On 30 April, 1908. Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki killed Mr. Kingsford by throwing bombs and this was another incident which led Surya to be involved on revolutionary network. Apart from the three revolutionary groups of Bengal as Anushilan Samiti, Jugantar and Sanjibani Sabha were also well spread at Chittagong. These were enough sources for Surjya to find out the desired path towards Indian freedom. The death of Deshabandu Chittaranjan Das and Bagha Jatin had also made him to be active in revolutionaries activities.

The members



Surya Sen was the main person of this raid or plan. His was followed by Nirmal Sen, Anant Singh, Ambika Chakraborty, Ganesh Ghosh, Loknath Bal, Tarakeshwar Dastidar and Lalmohan Sen. They gathered  more than 55 teenaged boys and created a group for this historical raid.

The Chittagong armoury raid consists five attacks in five different places on the same night of 18 April, 1930. These were police head quarter, police armoury, European club, telegraph and telephone office and railway track. According to the plan Nirmal Sen and Loknath Bal were appointed for police head quarter. Anant Singh and Ganesh Ghosh were appointed to police armoury. Telegraph and telephone office were to be destroyed by the leadership of Ambika Chakraborty. Naresh Ray was appointed for the attack of European club and lastly two group were divided to collapse the railway track between Dhoom and Langal Ghat.The Plan

The telegraph, telephone office and railway tracks were planned to destroy so that the Chittagong would be detached from the rest part of India and no reinforcement could easily reach. If the plan would be a huge success then according to Master da all the members have to gather at the police head quarter. The intention was by threatening the British polices and capturing this place, they could easily release the prisoners and stock ammunition and arms for future struggle.

In the field

Everything was running according to the plan. The telegraph and telephone office was destroyed by the revolutionaries at 9:55 PM and no one was killed, just all were broken by hammer. The railway track also destroyed by young revolutionaries. Unfortunately the European club attack became a worst failure to these fighters. The wished to confine all British there so that their co revolutionaries can fulfill the plans but as it was Good Friday, not a single British was found. The armoury as was attacked by Anant Singh and Ganesh Ghosh. They both and followers were able to enter to the main armory and took arms as much as they can but no bullets were there. So, it did not carry a good result. They gathered all the weapons and burnt them on fire and hosted Indian flag instead of British shouting “ vande mataram”. Later as par the order of Surya Sen, all revolutionaries took position to counter British police. There young revolutionaries Fakir Sen, Diptimedha Choudhury and Amarendra Nandi were sent to the town to get information about the current situation of Chittagong town and as same as Anant Singh and Ganesh Ghosh carried Himangshu Sen for a treatment who was severely burnt. Their return took almost two hours which made others to leave the place being worried. They went to the nearest Jalalabag hills. Later Anant Singh’s group followed them to Jalalabag. History says that these two hours was another cause they did not success on this raid.

european club

At Jalalabad


In the evening of 22 April, 1930, the British police arrived near Jalalabad. Surya Sen did not afraid off at all as the arms power of them was stronger than British. But he was wrong, they had newly reinforced Lewis Gun and dangerous Vicker Machine Gun.  At the first firing several policemen shot dead and revolutionaries jumped to hide behind bushes. Then British fired by the Lewis gun and it hit Tegra alias Harigopal Bal and died after few minutes (a teen ager and brother of Loknath Bal, the first martyr of Chittagong raid case). Next to him ten other teen agers died on spot as Mati Kanungo, Naresh Ray, Tripura Sen, Bidhu Bhushan Bhattacharjya, Sasanka Dutt, Nirmal Lala, Prabhash Bal, Jitendra Das Gupta, Madhushudhan Dutt and Pulin Bikash Ghosh. Ardhendu Dastidar died in hospital being wounded. It made all the team upset and compelled the team to left the hills. They all scattered in groups leaving wounded Ambika Chakraborty thinking dead. Later Ambika was able to escape.

There was a group of six teenaged revolutionaries still roaming at Jalalabag hills. On 6 May, Deb Prasad Gupta, Manoranjan Sen, Rajat Sen, Swadesh Ray, Phanindra Nath Nandi and Subodh Choudhury came out from hills to attack on European quarters but unfortunately, the plan was backfired and four of them died on spot. Police arrested Subodh and Phanindra ( in some sources it is found that they four committed suicide by firing at themselves rather than killed by British’s bullet).


The two females

There were two females associated with this raid as Kalpana Dutt and Preetilata Waddedar. They were always with this team but just before the master plan they were obligated to leave Chittagong for Calcutta by the orders of their parents. Before leave, Kalpana as was expert in bomb making, made bombs for her team and as well donated her jewelleries for financial assist of the team. Preetilata also did the same and donated as much as she could. After Jalalabag case, they joined the team again in September, 1931, Surya Sen decided to entrust them with a plan to attack the European Club at Pahartali. Unfortunately Kalpana was arrested just before a week of this action. Later Preetilata led this mission with some teenagers and it was succeeded but as she was covered by police. She took Potassium Cyanide and killed herself instead of surrender. Kalpana was released but again she was trapped by British polices while she was sheltering with Surya Sen. It was a big betrayal of an Indian Netra Sen . Here Kalpana shot dead 7 British soldiers at the age of 16. It was happened on 16 February, 1933. Surya Sen was arrested


The trail

No one of this raid was able to be escaped for a long time. Everyone was arrested. The total member of this raid is still not found authentic. In various sources it was like 62, 64, 65, 66 and 68.

Here I am adding the list according to trail. (Need help from readers to make it same percent authenticated as the books provide variation in data)

They who got the martyrdom: – 1. Surya Sen. 2. Tarkeswar Dastidar. 3. Nirmal Sen. 4. Preetilata Waddedar. 5. Tegra alias Hariprasad Bal. 6. Mati Kanungo. 7. Naresh Ray. 8. Tripura Sen. 9. Bidhu Bhushan Bhattacharjee. 10. Prabhash Bal. 11. Sashanka Dutt. 12. Nirmal Lala. 13. Jitendra Das Gupta. 14. Madhu Shudhan Dutt. 15. Pulin Bikash Ghosh. 16. Ardhendu Dastidar. 17. Rajat Sen. 18. Deba Prasad Gupta 19. Manoranjan Sen. 20. Swadesh Ray and 21 Jibon Ghosal.

They who got life time imprisonment: – 1. Ganesh Ghosh. 2. Loknath Bal. 3. Anand Gupta. 4. Ranadhir Das Gupta 5. Ambika Chakraborty. 6. Kalpana Dutt.  7. Ananta Singh. 8. Haripad Bhattacharjee. 9. Fakir Sen. 10. Binod Bihari Choudhury. 11. Subodh Roy. 12. Himangshu Bhowmick. 13. Lal Mohan Sen. 14. Kali Kinkar Dey. 15. Phanindra Nath Nandi. 16. Sahay Ram Das. 17. Subodh Choudhury. 18. Sudhir Ranjan Choudhury. 19. Kalipad Bhattacharjee. 20. Sukhendu Dastdar. 21. Saroj Kanti Guha.

The who were acquitted or less punished :- 1. Swadesh Ray. 2. Bibhu Bhusan Sen. 3. Binod Bihari Dutt. 4. Ban Bihari Das. 5. Sita ram Biswas. 6. Haripad Mahajan. 7. Sambhu Dastidar. 8. Nani Deb. 9. Malin Ghosh. 10. Khirod Bannerjee. 11. Himendu Dastidar. 12. Subodh Paul. 13. Bhabatosh Bhatta. 14. Sudhansgsu Bose. 15. Narayan Sen. 16. Mahendra Choudhury. 17. Birendra Dey. 18. Bijoy Kumar Sen. 19. Nitipad Ghosh. 20. Ashwini Choudhuri. 21. Sukumar Bhowmick. 22. Haren Choudhury. 23. Subodh Mitra. 24. Upen Bhattacharjee. 25. Amarendra Nandi. 26. Krishna Choudhury. 27. Diptimedha Choudhury. 29. Sitaram Biswas.


References ….

  1. History Of Modern India – S. N. Sen, New Age International, 2006.
  2. Assam in Indian Independence – Arun Bhattacharjee, Mittal Publications, 1993
  3. Do and Die : the Chittagong uprising, 1930-34, Manini Chetterjee, Penguin Books, 1999
  4. Challenge, a saga of Indian’s struggle for freedom – Nisith Ranjan Ray, People’s publishing house, 1984.

And some websites and blogs for sure.

Special thanks too Bhaskardeep Majumdar.

Source shibham.blogspot.in

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