Though the Indian subcontinent came under the administration of the British crown from the company rule, the oppressive rule by them had continued and the freedom struggle against the British started speeding up across India. In April 1919 the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Ameristar, Punjab, that resulted in the killing or about 1000 people (Unofficially) gained worldwide attention. Mahatma Gandhi's salt long march to Dundy coast in Gujarat with his followers in March 1930 in protest against salt taxes, the parturition of Bengal in 1905 on communal line and a host of unpalatable incidents infuriated the natives against British government's misrule. As there was no semblance of freedom to the Indians which was their aspiration, anger was way high across the country, in particular, in Bengal. At variance with the national leaders, countless young freedom fighter in Bengal and elsewhere thought violence as a means to cow down the British. Since 1906 violence committed by revolutionaries in Bengal had gone up to 210. According to the police report roughly 1038 persons had some kind of link with the violence and outrages. Through sustained efforts, 84 people were convicted of specified crimes; out of then 30 were tried by the tribunals constituted under the defense Act of India.
|Judge Ralph Garlick (1876-1931), British India Amazon.in.|
|Alipore court, Calcutta sriaurobindoinstitute.org|
The British officers were rude and treated the freedom fighters shabbily. Consequently, the whole of Bengal was in a tumultuous state rife with violent protests and attacks against the British officers. During this testing time .Ralph Garlick took up the judgeship in Calcutta,. The crown made the same grave mistakes committed by the early administration under the East India company Frustrated Indians, unable to bear the persistent unjust rule and exploitation of their lands and people, besides racial discrimination, ran out of tolerance and in the later stage resorted to violence to make the English understand how Indians had been quite tolerant, longing for freedom and be free of shackles of oppression and foreign rule. In the wake of very stringent action by the police against the nationalists, frustration and resentment led to more frequent protests against the colonial rule. There sprang up some nationalist revolutionary groups in Bengal that launched murderous attacks on British officials who insulted and insinuated Indian natives.
|Alipore Kolkata (Calcutta), WB.mapsofindia.com|
Yet another reason was partition of Bengal on 16 October 1905 on communal line and it was effected by Viceroy Lord Curzon who said it was done for better administration. A large Muslim population was confined to eastern areas and West Bengal had Hindu population. The Hindus were outraged by the division that would make them a minority. Though Bengal was reunited in 1911 and the capital shifted to Delhi from Bengal, the embers of hatred and anger never died down among the Bengalis. Bengal terrorism is rooted in ant partition of united Bengal.
On 27th July 1931 in Alipore, a suburb of Calcutta Judge Ralph returned to his courtroom after lunch to resume his judicial work. All of a sudden, before one could wink ones eyes, a Bengali revolutionary and architect, Bimal Das Gupta whipped up a revolver and shot the judge from the other end in the court room. As the shot did not hit the honorable judge, Gupta quickly moved over to the witness-box and fired at the dazed judge. The death was instant as the bullet hit his head. this time.
Though in mid-July 1931, Ralph received a letter threatening his life, he was unmoved and kept on carrying his court work. Not to take any risk, the administration had put two police officers in the court room, besides had some sleuths stationed there to confront the trouble makers
The media reported that The police opened fire and killed the assassin Gupta on the spot. In the melee one policeman was injured. Bimal Das Gupta was a ‘wanted’ man following the murder of a somewhat unpleasant Mr James Peddie, district magistrate at Midapore, in April 1931. A letter found in Gupta’s pocket stated that the murder was intended as a reprisal for the sentencing to death by Mr Ralph Garlick of Dinesh Gupta who happened to be Bimal’s mentor. The letter simply read, “Thou shalt be destroyed. This is the reward for the injustice done to Dinesh Gupta” and was signed by Bimal.
This grizzly murder of a learned judge in Calcutta became a sensation scoop across India and also in England. The politicians in the House of Commons were highly critical of this murder and expressed condemnation in view of the violence that begun to show up its ugly heads in many places. Obviously, the administration in London was quite concerned about the safety of British higher-ups in India. Ralph Garlick's urn carrying his ash was sent to Stratford to be handed over to his family. His urn was placed in the grave of his parents.in the Cemetery on the Evesham Road. It was in 1934 a fitting memorial tablet was unveiled at King Edward VI School; it has recently been renovated.