Sunday, 29 July 2018

Patriot Gopinath Saha and his abortive attempt on Police officer Charles Tegart - British India

Despite the availability of several books on the violence, killing, mayhem and looting committed by the British in India,  the myth that  India got her freedom with least bloodshed is prevalent in a section of  Indian population. It is absolutely not true and the British rulers under 'the rip-off company' called East India co  and later under the direct Crown Administration  were ruthless, busy robbing the country till the left the Indian shores. Countless were the young Indians who wanted India to be a free  land and in the process lost their precious lives. Among them, Bengal accounts for a large number of young people who fought valiantly against the unjust British.  From 1906 until 1935, the Bengal police intelligence branch recorded a total of over 500 ‘revolutionary crimes’  related to freedom in the province.  The Anglo-Indian population in early 1900s  was living in perpetual fear on account of individual terrorist activities.  

The Bengal Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance of 1924, enacted into law as Bengal Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1925, in Bengal, British India. The law was implemented to cut down the rise in revolutionary terrorism by the Jugantar group against The Raj in Bengal after 1922.  The Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre perpetrated by Gen. Dyer put the entire Indian population in rage. 
The Nonviolent movement lost its sheen as the British did not respect Gandhiji's ethical and moral protests.  The Anushilan Samiti  took the reigns  and became reformed under the leadership of Surya Sen, Hem Chandra Kanungo and Bhupendranath Dutta. Having no course, they  re-engaged in in terrorist activities against the Raj.  This led to a string of violence through 1923 saw murders of police witnesses and informers, culminating in the attempt to assassinate Charles Tegart by Gopinath Saha. leading to the mistaken killing of another European.  Soon the ordinance was enacted extending the extraordinary powers of the Regulation III of 1818.  It removed rights of Habeas corpus, reintroduced measures of indefinite and arbitrary detentions, and trials by tribunal without jury and without right of appeal. The ordinance was enacted into law in 1925 (as mentioned before) and remained in force for 5 years. Almost One hundred and fifty people were detained under the law, including among the notable detainees Subhas Chandra Bose, later Congress leader. The act was re-enacted in 1930, and later formed a basis for the Burma Criminal Law Amendment in 1931.
The early  Indian History books either have given least exposure to certain revolutionaries of  late 19th century or early 20th century or simply over looked their patriotic zeal and sacrifices. Consequently, these courageous people died either unsung or in obscurity.
Gopinath Saha. Indian Philately
Gopinath Saha (1906-1924), a Bengali freedom fighter associated with  the Hindustan Republican Association,  on 12 January 1924, attempted to assassinate Charles Tegart,  then head of the Detective Department of Calcutta Police.  Gopinath Saha, was born in the village Baghanchra, Santipur, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal. When he grew up to be an adult, ignited by patriotism, he wanted to see India as a free land and joined the freedom movement in Bengal. He became an active member of the Hindustan Republican Association founded in Delhi by Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Bagat Singh, Chandrasekar Azad,  Sukhdev Thapar, et al. Disillusioned with Gandhiji's Satyagrapha and non-violence as a means to get freedom, these patriotic people decided that the British rulers, cunning as they were,  not inclined to make India  a free country and the only way to make them understand our yearning for freedom was through terrorist activities. These violent acts would get international attention and other countries would get an impression that there was something 'rotten in the British administration' in India.

Netaji S.C.Bose Dgreetings
Police officer Tegart was  closely tracking  freedom fighters in Bengal and keeping  a check on them so the revolutionaries could not carry on their ant-British activities without getting his attention. Charles Augustus Tegart, KCIE, KPM  (1881 - 6 April 1946), was a colonial police officer in India and 'mandatory Palestine'. He  was held in great esteem by the British for his  efficiency in dealing with criminals with brute and repressive  forces and  notoriety. His forte was using  various torture methods to extract information from the victims. He was often known to be "ruthless and uncompromising with detainees''. Consequently, he instilled fear among the Bengal freedom fighters. 

Sir Charles Augustus Tegart.
historyireland.com
 Above image: Portrait of  Irishman Charles Tegart which formerly hung in the office of the Director of the intelligence branch of the Bengal police. A notorious police officer, later he became the police Commissioner of Calcutta. He is said to be an expert on Irish and Bengal terrorism. ...............
Gopinath Saga underwent torture in Presidency jail, Calcutta  where many freedom fighters like Sri Arabindo underwent imprisonment.  Since Charles Tegart was a menace to the Indian freedom fighters, they decided to get rid of him for good. The task was given to Saha  to finish off Tegart at the right opportunity. Unfortunately,  Saha could make only an abortive attempt, having failed to kill  Police officer Tegart as planned before.  Instead, he accidentally  killed Ernest Day,  a white civilian who had gone there on official business. Saha never thought that an innocent man would get caught in the firing line. Saha was arrested and  tried for murder and other anti - British activities.  In March 1924, he was  hanged to death in the Presidency Jail where other leaders were also hanged to death.   Next month we will be celebrating India's 71 'Independence Day',  but for great martyrs like  Gopinath Saha, Bagat Singh, Chandrasekar Azad,  Sukhdev Thapar, Vanchinathan and others who gave their lives for Free India  we won't be enjoying our freedom to day. It is our fundamental duty to remember every patriotic Indian executed by the Colonial British government who added insult to injury by finally leaving the shores of India after prolonged freedom struggle and dividing into two different nations - India and Pakistan, the latter was created based on religion. 
http://navrangindia.blogspot.com/2018/07/sir-charles-tegart-notorious-colonial.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopinath_Saha