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B M 3DE DSD 



2>tUIlI0N 
COMMJTTEE 



1918 






\ .7 J-^ 






RE PORT 



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One Shilirnti and 



SEDITION COMMITTEE, 1918 



PRESfDENT 

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice ROWLATT, Judge of the 

King's Bench Division of His Majesty's 

High Court of Justice 

MEMBERS 

The Hcn'ble Sir BASIL SCOTT, Kt., Chief' Justice 
of Bombay 

The Hon'ble Diwan Bahadur C. V. RUMARASWAMI 
SASTRl, Judge of the High Court of Madras 

The Hon'bleSir VERNEY LOVETT, K.C.S.I., Member 

of the Board of Revenue, United 'Provinces 

The Hon'bie Mr. P. C. MITTER, Additional Member 
of the Bengal Legislative Council 

SECRETARY 
Mr. J. D. V. HODGE, Indian Civil Service, Bengal 







i 




RF.PORl 




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CALCUTTA 

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1918 


INDIA 


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No. 2884. 

Government of India. 

HOME DEPARTMENT. 



Delhi, the 10th December 1917. 

(geeofttHott. 

The Governor-General in Council has, with the approval of the 
Secretary of State for India, decided to appoint a Committee — 

(1) to investigate and report on the nature and extent of the 

criminal conspiracies connected with the revolutionary 
movement in India, 

(2) to examine and consider the difficulties that have arisen 

in dealing with such conspiracies and to advise as to the 

legislation, if any, necessary to enable Government to deal 

effectively with them. 

The Government of India consider that for the proper examination 

of these questions a strong judicial element is essential in the Committee. 

They have succeeded in securing the services of Mr. Justice Rowlatt 

of the Kind's Bench Division of His Majesty's High Court of Justice 

as President. 

The following have agreed to serve as members : — 

The Hon'ble Sir Basil Scott, Kt., Chief Justice of Bombay ; 
The Hon'ble Diwan Bahadur C. V. Kumaraswami Sastri, Judge 

of the High Court of Madras ; 
The Hon'ble Sir Verney Lovett, K.C.S.I., Member of Board 

of Revenue in the United Provinces ; and 
The Hon'ble Mr. Provash Chandra Mitter, Vakil of the High 
Court, Calcutta. 
Mr. J. D. V. Hodge, I.C.S., Bengal, has been appointed Secretary 
to the Committee. 

The Committee will assemble in Calcutta early in January 1918. 

, It will sit in camera, but will be given full access to all documentary 

evidence in the possession of Government bearing on the existence and 

extent of revolutionary conspiracies in India and will supplement this 

with such other evidence as it may consider necessary. 



Ordered that the Resolution be published in the Gazette of India. 

S. R. HIGNELL, 
Offg, Secy, to the Oovt. of India, 

i 



From the Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. A. T. ROWLATT, 

President, Sedition Committee, 

To THE SECRETARY to the GOVERNMENT or INDIA, 

Home Department. 



Dated 4, Elysium Row, Calcutta, 
The 15th April 1918. 

Sir, 

I have the honour to refer to the order of the 10th December 1917 
by which it was announced that the Governor-General in Council had, 
with the approval of the Secretary of State for India, decided to appoint 
a Committee — 

(1) to investigate and report on the nature and extent of the 

criminal conspiracies connected with the revolutionary 
movement in India, 

(2) to examine and consider the difficulties that have arisen in 

dealing with such conspiracies and to advise as to the legis- 
lation, if any, necessary to enable Government to deal 
effectively with them. 

The order further stated that I was to act a^ President and that the 
following had agreed to serve as members : — 

The Hon'ble Sir Basil Scott, Kt., Chief Justice of Bombay ; 
The Hon'ble Diwan Bahadur C. V. Kumaraswami Sastri, Judge 

of the High Court of Madras ; 
The Hon'ble Sir Verney Lovett, K.C.S.I., Member of Board 

of Revenue in the United Provinces ; and 
The Hon'ble Mr. Provash Chandra Mitter, Vakil of the High 

Court, Calcutta. 

Mr. J. D. V. Hodge, I.C.S., Bengal, had been appointed Secretary to 
the Committee. 

The Committee was to assemble in Calcutta early in January 1918. 
It would sit in camera, but would be given full access to all documentary 
evidence in the possession of Government bearing on the existence and 
extent of revolutionary conspiracies in India and would supplement this 
with such other evidence as it might consider necessary. 

The Committee referred to assembled in Calcutta early in January 
and I have the honour to forward our report herewith. 

iii 



We had placed at our disposal by tlie Government of Bengal 
convenient accommodation at 4, Elysium Row, Calcutta, and we have 
had the services of a sufficient and competent clerical staff. With 
the exception of four sittings which we held at Lahore all our meetings 
have taken place in Calcutta, As directed by the order appointing 
us, we have on every occasion sat in camera. 

Statements have been placed before us with documentary evidence 
by the Governments of Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar and Orissa, 
the Central Provinces, the United Provinces, the Punjab, and Burma, 
as well as by the Government of India. In every case except that of 
Madras we were further attended by officers of the Government present- 
ing the statement, who gave evidence before us. In the two provinces 
in which we held sittings, namely, Bengal and the Punjab, we further 
invited and secured the attendance, as individuals or as deputed by 
Associations, of gentlemen who, we thought, might give us information 
from various non-official points of view. Our thanks are due to all who 
came before us, whether official or non-official. 

The documentary evidence considered by us has been extremely 
voluminous, particularly as regards Bengal. In the case of this province 
it has also been of a most complicated character. In view of this the 
Government of Bengal had before our arrival deputed Messrs. C. Tindall 
and J. C. Nixon of the Indian Civil Service to arrange the materials in 
a form in which they could be intelligibly presented to us. I am 
specially requested by the Committee to acknowledge the able and 
conscientious way in which these gentlemen performed a very arduous 
task. Without their labours our report must have been delayed for a 
period which it would be difficult to estimate. 

Owing to the materials for our consideration being so largely docu- 
mentary, we have had to devote much time to private study out of 
Committee, assembling' for the purpose of going over together ground 
thus individually explored. It is only by continuous effort on these 
lines that we have been able to present our report in reasonable time. 
We have held 46 sittings. 

In conclusion I have the pleasure, in association with the other 
members of the Committee, of expressing our thanks to our Secretary, 
Mr. J. D. V. Hodge of the Indian Civil Service, whose assistance has been 
in every respect invaluable. 

I have the honour to be, 
Sir, 
Your most obedient servant, 

S. A. T. ROWLATT. 



IV 



CONTENTS OP REPORT. 



PART I.— Historical 
INTRODUCTION. 

CHAPTER li 

Revoltjtionaby conspiracies in Bombay; 
Paba. Page. 

1. Fii'si indications of a revolutionary movement ... ... 1 

2. TheChapekars ... ... ... ... ... 2 

3. Events at Poona in 1897. Rand murder. The Kesari and the first 

prosecution of B. G. Tilak ... ... ... ... 2 

4. The Poona Press after 1897 ... ... ... ... 4 

V-S. Shyamaji Krishnavarma's doings in England ... ... 4 

6. Vinayak Savarkar ... ... ... ... ... 6 

7. The "India House" in London ... ... ... 6 

8. Prosecution of B. G. Tilak for articles relating to the MuzafEarpur 

murders ... ... ... ... ... 6 

9. The Kal on bomb-throwing ... ... ... ... 7 

10. Proceedings at the " India House " ... ... ... 8 

11. Murder of Sir W. Curzon Wyllie ... ... ... 8 

12. Ganesh Savarkar's conviction at Nasik ... ... ... 8 

13. The murder of Mr. Jackson ... ... ... ... 9 

14. The Nasik conspiracy ... ... ... ... 10 

15. The Gwalior conspiracies ... ... ... ... 11 

16. The Ahmedabad bomb ... ... ... ... 12 

17. The Satara conspiracy ... ... ... ... 12 

18. The Poona leaflets ... ... ... ... ... 12 

19. The position of the Chitpavan Brahmins ... ... ... 13 

20. Conclusions ... ... ... ... ... 13 

21. TUak's attitude in 1914 ... ... ... ... 14 



CHAPTER II. 
The beginnings of a revolutionaby movement in Bengal. 

22. First campaign of Barindra Kumar Ghosh ... ... 15 

23. The people among whom he worked ... ... ... 16 

24. Various influences ... ... ... ... 16 



CHAPTER II— contd. 

The BEGmiONGs of revolutionary movement in 
Bengal — contd. 

Paba. Page, 

25. The partition of Bengal ... ... ... :.. 18 

26. The subsequent agitation ... ... ... ... 19 

27-8. Second campaign of Barindra and his associates. Its motives and 

objectives ... ... ... ... ... 19 

29. Its methods of influencing public opinion ... ... ... 2] 

30. Mental training of revolutionary recruits ... ... ... 23 

31. Summary ... ... ... ... ... 25 



CHAPTER III. 

Revolutionary crime in Bengal. The nature of the 
evidence available. 

32. Foundations of our general conclusions ... ... ... 26 

33. Characteristics of crimes and criminals ... ... ... 26 

34. Judgments and documents ... ... ... ... 28 

35. Statements ... ... ... ... * ... 28 



CHAPTER IV. 
Revolutionary crime in Bengal. • 

1906-08. 

"36. Development of revolutionary crime during the yeara 1906-08 ... 31 

37. The Muzaffarpur murders ... ... ... ... 32 

38. The Alipore conspiracy case and connected murders ... ... 32 

39. More outrages and murders ... ... ... ... 33 

40. Announcement of constitutional reforms ... ... ... 35 

41. Tabular statement of revolutionary crime for the years 1906-08 ... 35 

1909. 

42. Preventive action ... ... ... ... ... 40 

43. Dacoities and murders of 1909 ... ... ... ... 40 

1910. 

44. The murder of Shams-ul-Alam ... ... ... ... 44 

45. The Howrah conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 44 

46. The Khulna gang ... ... .,, ... ... 44 

47. The Dacca conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 46 

48. Further outrages in Eastern Bengal ... ... \.. 46 

49. The Press Act of 1910 ... ... ... ... 48 



CHAPTER YV—contd. 
Revolutionary ceime in Bengal — contd. 

Paha. 1911. Page. 

50. Outrages of the year 1911 ... ... ... ... 46 

51. The Sonarang National School ... ... ... ... 61 

52. Murders ... ... ... ... ... ... 51 

53. The Seditious Meetings Act ... ... ... ... 62 

54. Reunion of the two Bengals ... ... ... ... 62 

1912, 

55. Revolutionary crime in Eastern Bengal during 1912 ... ... 52 

56. Bomb at Midnapur ... ... ... ... ... 55 

57. Tabular statement for 1912 ... ... ... ... 65 

1913. 

58. Murders of police officers - ... ... ... ... 58 

59. Bombs ... ... ... ... ... ... 58 

60. Dacoities and outrages ... ... ... ... 59 

61. The Barisal conspiracy and Raja Bazar bomb cases ... ... 62 

62. Outrages elsewhere ... * ... ... ••• ••• 62 

1914. 

63. Outrages in Eastern Bengal during 1914 ... ... ... 62 

64. Outrages near Calcutta ... ... ... ••• 64 

65. Theft of Mauser pistols from Rodda & Co, ... ... 66 

66. Murder and attempted murder of police officers in Calcutta ... 66 
^ 67. Events which preceded the passing of the Defence of India Act ... 67 

1915. 

fes. Robberies and murders in Calcutta during 1915 ... ... 67 

69. Taxi-cab dacoities and murders ... ... ... 70 

70. Jatin Mukharji ... ... ... ••• ••• 70 

71. Intensified crime in Calcutta ... ... ••• ••• 71 

72. Outside crimes committed by Calcutta revolutionaries ... 71 

73. Outrages in Eastern Bengal ... ... ... ... 73 

74. Notable naurders ... ... ... ••• ••• 77 

75. Arms found at Dacca ... ... ... ••• 78 

/76. Outrages in Northern Bengal ,.. ... ... ... 78 

1916. 

/ 77. Dacoities in and around Calcutta in 1916 ... ... ... 79 

78. Murders and attempted murders in Calcutta ... ... 81 

79. Vigorous action under the Defence of India Act ... ... 82 

80. Crime in Eastern Bengal ... ... ... ... 82 

81. Five other murders ... ... ... ... ... 86 

vii 



Chapter v^—concU. 

Revolutionary crime m Bengal — condi. 

Para. 1917. 

82. Revolutionary activities in 1917 ... '... 

83. The Armenian Street dacoity 
^84. Tabular statement for the year 

Summary. 

85. Revolutionary arms supply 

86. Chandernagore 

^ 87. Conclusions regarding the supply of arms ... 



Page. 
86 
87 
88 



91 
91 
92 



CHAPTER V. 

The organisation and inter-connection of revolutionary 
societies in Bengal. 

88. Vows imposed by the Dacca Anusilan Samiti ... ... 93 

89. Rules for members ... ... ... ... ... 95 

90. Russian revolutionary methods studied ... ... ... 96 

91. District organisation ... ... ... ... 97 

92. Amulya Sarkar's pamphlet ... ... ... ... 99 

93. Other documents ... ... ... ... ... 99 

94. Books ... ... ... ... ... ... 101 

95. Co-operation of groups ... ... ... ... 102 

96. Size of the organisations ... ... ... ... 105 

97. Ramifications ... ... ... ... ... 106 

98. Revolutionary leaflets ... ... ... ... 108 

99. Some facts about a leaflet ... ... ... ... 109 



CHAPTER VI. 

Revolutionary recruiting from Bengal schools and 
colleges. 

100. Accessibility of Bengal schools and colleges to revolutionary 

influences ... ... ... ... ... Ill 

101. Methods of attack — Newspapers and leaflets ... ... 112 

102. Organisation for recruiting from schools and colleges ... ... 113 

103. Illustrations of its worldng ... ... ... ... 113 

104. Results ... ... ... ... ... ... 116 

105. Latest efforts ... ... ... ... ... 117 

lO") Summrifv ... .., ... ... ... 118 

\iii 



CHAPITER VII. 

German tlots. 
Paba. 1*age 

[ibl. German interest in Indian revolution ... ... ... 119 

108. Plot of Hardayal and German agents ... ... ... 119 

109. German use of Indian Nationalists ... ... ... 119 

110. German schemes against India ... ... ... ... 120 

111. The German plot in Bengal ... ... ... ... 120 

112. Ships chartered by Germany ... ... ... ... 123 

113. Shanghai arrests ... ... ... ... ... 125 

1 114. German schemes ill-informed ... ... ... ... 125 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Revolutionary crime in Bihar and Obissa. 

115. The Province of Bihar and Orissa ... ... ... 126 

116. Early manifestations of the revolutionary movement ... ... 126 

117. The Nimez murders ... ... ... ... ... 127 

118. Other incidents ... ... ... ... ... 128 

119. Conclusions regarding Bihar and Orissa ... ... ... 130 

CHAPTER IX. 

Revolutionary efforts in the United Provinces. 

120. The United Provinces before the Benares donspiracy case ... 131 
'121. The Benares conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 132 

' 122. The case of Harnam Singh ... ... ... ... 135 

^ 123. Jiigantar leaflets ... ... ... ... ... 136 

124. Other incidents ... ... ... ... ... 136 

CHAPTER X. 

The connection between the Central Provinces and the 
revolutionary movement. 

126. Nagpur in 1907-08 ... ... ... ... ... 137 

126. Incidents of 1915 ... ... ... ... ... 139 

CHAPTER XI. 
.Revolutionary movements in the Punjab. 

127-8. The troubles of 1907 ... ... ... ... 141 

129. Events of 1909 ... ... ... ... ... 142 

130. The Delhi conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 143 

131. Muhammadan estrangement ... ... ... ... 146 



y^ 



CHAPTER Xl—contd. 

Revolutionary movements in the Punjab — contd. 

Paka. Page. 

'32. Hardayal and the OJiadr movement ... ... ... 145i 

133. The Budge-Budge riot ... ... ... ... 146 

134. Preventive measures ... ... ... ... ... 149 

135. Development of a dangerous situation ... ... ... 149 

136. Summary of existing conditions by the Punjab Government ... 150 

137. Further development of the situation ... ... ... 151 

138. The Lahore conspiracy ... ... ... ... 153 

139. Further representations made by the Punjab Government ... 154 

140. Passing of the Defence of India Act. Subsequent improvement of 

conditions ... ... ... ... ... 156 

141. A few remaining outrages ... ... ... ■ ... 156 

142. Order completely restored ... ... ... ... 157 

143-4. Lahore conspiracy trials ... ... ... ... 157 

145. Action taken under the Defence of India Regulations ... 160 

146. Conclusions ... ... ... ... ... 161 I 



CHAPTER XII. 
Revolutionary crime in Madras. 

147. Bepjn Chandra Pal's lecturing tour in 1907 ... ... 162 

148. Outburst of seditious activity ... ... ... ... 163 

149. The India and its staff q^ ... ... ... ... 164 

150. Incubation of murder ... ... ... ... 164 

151. Murder of Mr. Ashe ... ... ... ... ... 165* 

152. Connection with the Paris anarchists ... ... ... 165 

153. Conchisions ... ... ... ... ... 166 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Revolutionary conspiracy in Burma. 

154. Special features of Burma ..- ... ... ... 167 

155. Imported conspiracy ... ... ... ... 167 

156. The Jahan-i-Idam ... ... ... ... ... 169 

157. Pro-Turkish intrigues ... ... ... .., 169 

158. A secret society ... ... ... ... ... 170 

59. G hadr attempts to cause trouble ... .'.. ... 171 



I 158. I 
JLi59;J 



CHAPTER XIV. 

A MUHAMMADAN CURRENT. , 

' 160. Indian Muhammadans and the War ... ... ... 173 

161. The Hindustani fanatics ... ... ... ... 174 

z 



CHAPTER XlV—contd. 

A MUHAJVIMADAN CURRENT — COntd. 
PaEA. I'AGK 

162. The flight of the Lahore students ... ^ ... ••• 175 

163. Its significance ... ... ... ••• ••• 1^5 

164. The " Silk Letters " ... ... ... ... ••• 176 

165. Conclusion ... ... ... ... ••• 179 



CHAPTER XV. 

Summary of conclusions. 

166. The nature of all these conspiracies — Their failure ... ... 180 



PART n.— Difficulties and Suggestions. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

The difficulties that have arisen in dealing with the 
conspiracies, 

167. Question obscured by the use of extraordinary powers ... 181 

168. Statistics of outrages and convictions in Bengal ... ... 182 

169. Reasons for failure of ordinary machinery in Bengal ... ... 182 

170. Illustrations • ... ... ... ... ... 184 

171. Terrorism ... ... ... ... ... 188 

172. Length of trials ... ... ... ... ... 190 

173. Relations between convictions and persistence in crime ... 192 

174. Pernicious operations of the Revolutionary Press ... ... 193 



CHAPTER XVII. * 
The legislation required. 

175. Position when special legislation lapses incalculable ... ... 195 

176. Past proposals for preventive measures ... ... .^ 195 

177. Suggestions. Punitive measures. Points of general and special 

application ... ... ... ... ••• 197 

178. Emergency measures, punitive and preventive ... ... 199 

179. Emergency measures to come into force upon notification ... 200 

180. Emergency powers of different degrees ... ... ... 200 

181. Emergency provisions for trials ... ... ... 201 

182. Composition of Courts ... ... ... .•• 202 

183. Place of trial ... ... ... .•• — 203 

184. Testimony of accused ... ..i ... ••• 203 

zi 



CHAPTER XVtl—contd. 

The legislation requiked — contd. 
Paba. Page. 

185. Perpetuation of testimony in particular circumstances ... 204 

186. Other suggestions ... ... ... ... ... 204 

187. Emergency measures (preventive) ... ... ... 205 

188. Existing temporary powers ... ... ... ... 205 

189. Scope of our proposals ... ... ... ... 206 

190. Two grades of powers desirable ... ... ... 206 

191. Creation of an investigating authority ... ... ... 207 

192. Scope of investigation ... ... ... ... 207 

193. Composition of the authority ... ... ... ... 208 

194. Visiting committees ... ... ... ..; ... 208 

195. Administration of preventive measures ... ... ... 209 

196. Treatment of existing offenders ... .... ... 209 

197. Result of suggestions ... ... ... ... 210 

198. Ingress into India ... ... ... .".. ... 210 

199. Inter-provincial movements ... ... ... ... 211 

200. Competence of the legislature not considered ... ... 212 

ANNEXURE (1). 
Summaries of some Bengal judgments. 

1. Purpose of this annexure ... ... ... ... 213 

2. The Muzaffarpur murders ... ... ... ... 213 

3. The Alipore conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 213 

4. The Nangla conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 215 

5. The Dacca conspiracy case ... ... ... ... 216 

6. The Howrah gang case ... ... ... ... 219 

7. The Barisal conspiracy tease ... ... ... ... 220 

8. The Barisal conspiracy (supplementary) case ... ... 222 

9. The Raja Bazar bomb case ... ... ... ... 224 

ANNEXURE (2). 

Statistics as to age, caste, occupation or profession of persons convicted 
in Bengal of re'v olutionary crimes or killed in commission of such crimes 

during the years 1907-17 ... ... ... ... 226 



•xu 



PART I 
Historical 



INTRODUCTION. 



Republican or Parliamentary forms of government, as at present 
understood, were neither desired nor known in India till after the estab- 
lishment of British rule. In the Hindu State the form of government 
was an absolute monarchy, though the Monarch was by the Hindu 
SJiastras hedged round by elaborate rules for securing the welfare of his 
subjects and was assisted by a body of councillors, the chief of whom 
were Brahmins, members of the priestly class, which derived authority 
from a time when the priests were the sole repositories of knowledge and 
therefore the natural instruments of administration. 

When the East India Company first began to trade in India the 
greater part of the country was under Muhammadan dynasties and had 
been more or less under subjection to Muhammadans for some centuries ; 
even under them the chief ministers had, however, sometimes been 
Brahmins. In the middle of the 17th century the power of the Muham- 
madans was beginning to weaken. The Maratha leader Sivaji then 
roused and led the Marathas of Western India to cast off the Muham- 
madan yoke. A Hindu kingdom was founded by Sivaji 's grandson at 
Satara (in the Bombay Presidency), of which the chief ministers were 
Brahmins. 

It was not long before the Brahmin minister and his descendants 
became the rulers of the Deccan with the title of Peshwa. They had 
their court at Poona and the government became both in substance 
and appearance a Brahmin government. During a long minority of one 
of the Peshwas the de facto ruler of the Deccan was the minister Nana 
Fadnavis. He, as also his master the Peshwa, belonged to a particular 
caste of Brahmins known as ChitpavanS; whose country of origin was the 
Konkan or coastal strip lying between Bombay and Goa : for this reason 
they were also known as Konkanasths to distinguish them from the other 
important Brahmin caste of the Deccan known as thei Deshasths. Nana 
Fadnavis while in power took the opportunity to oust Deshasths from 
their administrative posts and replace them with Chitpavans. It was 
the Chitpavan government so established which was overthrown by the 
British late in the second decade of the 19th century. The Brahmins 
were employed by the British in the subordinate administration, but 
they had lost their commanding influence, and a certain discontent 
and longing for a return to power naturally remained. It is among 
these Brahmins of the Poona district that we first find indications of 
a revolutionary movement. 



XV 



CHAPTER I. 

Revolutionary Conspiracies in Bombay. 

Indications of a revolutionary movement were first observed in 
Western India in connection with the develop- 

SroIutijSary '"movemen? ^^^ «f *^« ^^^'^'^ f f ^^^^1 ff ^vals, namely, 
those m honour of the Hmdu god Ganpati 
and those in honour of the Maratha leader Sivaji, who united the people 
of the Deccan against their Muhammadan rulers. 

Public Ganpati festivals appear to have arisen out of an anti- 
Muhammadan movement started after riots which broke out in the 
city of Bombay in 1893 between Hindus and Muhammadans. Agitators 
who were interested in widening the breach between these two com- 
munities encouraged the holding of public celebrations in honour of 
Ganpati, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success, on a much 
larger scale than in previous years. The idea appears to have been to 
make the procession in which the god is carried to his final resting-place 
in the water as offensive as possible to Muhammadans by framing them 
upon the same lines as the processions at the Mohurrum festival, when 
taboots representing the tombs of the martyrs at Kerbela are immersed 
in the sea or river. 

At this time the Muhammadans enjoyed the privilege enforced by 
police regulations of stopping music in processions while passing mosques 
during the hours of prayer. 

The agitators on the approach of the Ganpati festival in September 
1894 inaugurated a Sarvajanik Ganpati or public Ganpati celebration 
providing for worship of Ganpati in places accessible to the public (it had 
till then been a domestic ceremony) and arranging that Ganpati images 
should have their melas or groups of attendants, the members of the mela 
being trained in the art of fencing witliieticks and other physical exercises. 
During the 10 days' celebration of the festival bands of young men 
paraded the streets of Poona singing verses calculated to intensify the 
feelings against Muhammadans and Government. At the same time 
leaflets were circulated by schoolboys and others broadcast through the 
city calling the Hindus to arms, urging the Marathas to rebel as Sivaji 
did, declaring that the dagger of subjection to foreign rule penetrated 
the bosom of all, and urging that a religious outbreak should be made 
the first step towards the overthrow of the alien power. Ganpati proces- 
sions were naturally followed by disturbances. On one occasion the 
police came in conflict with a mela estimated at from 50 to 70 men which 
deliberately provoked disorder by passing in procession a mosque in 
which a Muhammadan religious gathering was assembled. 

' I 

6 



'About the time of the Ganpati disturbances in Poona the attention 
of the public had been drawn to the fact that the tomb of the Maratha 
leader Sivaji was suffering from .neglect. Steps were taken in Poona 
to revive the memory of Sivaji by holding festivals in celebration of his 
birth and his coronation. The first coronation festival was in June 
1895. The festival became an annual observance at which stirring 
speeches were delivered recalling the prowess of the leader who revolted 
against the foreign domination of the Muhammadans. The application 
of the moral derived from Sivaji' s successful struggle against the Muham- 
madans to the present condition of India under British rule was a natural 
and easy step. 

2. At this time Damodar and Balkrishna Chapekar, Chitpavan 

Brahmins in Poona, formed a society for 

^^ ^' ' physical and military training which they called 

the " Society for the removal of obstacles to the Hindu Religion." The 

spirit by which they were actuated will appear from the following sloks 

or verses recited by the Chapekars at the Sivaji and Ganpati festivals : — 

*' Sivaji Sloks. 

Merely reciting Sivaji's story like a lord does not secure independence ; it is 
necessary to be prompt in engaging in desperate enterprises like Sivaji and Baji ; 
knowing, you good people should take up swords and shields at all events now ; 
we shall cut off countless heads of enemies. Listen. We shall risk our lives on 
the battlefield in a national war ; we shall shed upon the earth the life-blood of 
the enemies who destroy our religion ; we shall die after killing only, while you 
will hear the story like women. 

Ganpati Sloks. 

Alas, you are not ashamed to remain in servitude ; try therefore to commit 
suicide ; alas, like butchers, the wicked in their monstrous atrocity kill calves 
and kine ; free her (the cow) from her trouble ; die, but kill the English ; do not 
remain idle or thereby biu-den the earth ; this is called Hindustan, how is it that 
the English rule here ?*" 

3. In the year 1897, when the devastation caused by the plague led to 
Events at Poona in 1897 ^^® institution of house-to-house visitations 
The Rand Murder. The and the compulsory evacuation of plague- 
" Kesari_ " and the first infected houses in Poona, much alarm and 
prosecution OS B.G.Tilak. ..esentment was aroused. On the 4th of May 

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a Chitpavan Brahmin, pubHshed an article in his 
paper, the Kesari (the most influential Marathi paper in Western India), 
imputing not merely to subordinate officials but to the Government 
itself a deliberate direction to oppress the people. He described Mr. 
Rand, Plague Commissioner, as tyrannical and stated that the Govern- 
ment was practising oppression. It was useless to petition the Supreme 
Government, as from it the orders for oppression had emanated. 

On the 15th June 1897 the Kesari gave an account of the proceedings 
at the Sivaji coronation festival held on the 12th of June and also pub- 



• Autobiography of Damodar Chapekar. 



lished certain metrical paragraphs entitled " Sivaji's utterances." One 
of the speakers at the festival was reported to have said :* " Every Hindu, 
every Maratha, to whatever party he may belong, must rejoice at this 
Sivaji festival. We all are striving to gain our lost 'independence, and 
this terrible load is to be upHfted by us all in combination. It will never 
be proper ^o place obstacles in the way of any person, who, with a true 
mind, follows the path of uplifting this burden in the manner he deems fit. 
Our mutual dissensions impede our progress greatly. If anyone be 
crushing down the country from above, cut him off, but do not put impedi- 
ments in the way of others. . . . All occasions like the present 
festival which tend to unite the whole country must be welcome." 
Another speaker observed : " The people who took part in the French 
Revolution denied that they hd^d committed murder and asserted that 
they were only removing thorns from their paths. Why should not the 
same argument be applied to Maharashtra ?" The President at the 
festival meeting, Tilak himself, said : " Did Sivaji commit a sin in 
kilhng Afzal Khan (the Muhammadan General) or not ? The answer 
to that question can be found in the Mahabharat itself. Srimat Krishna's 
advice in the Gita is to kill even our own teachers and our kinsmen. 
No blfme attaches to any person if he is doing deeds without being 
actuated by a desire to reap the fruits of his deeds. Sri Sivaji did nothino' 
with a view to fill the void of his own stomach. With benevolent inten- 
tions he murdered Afzal Khan for the good of others. If thieves enter 
our house and we have not sufficient strength to drive them out, we should 
without hesitation shut them up and burn them alive. God has not 
conferred upon the foreigners the grant inscribed on a copper-plate of the 
Kingdom of Hindusthan. The Maharaja (Sivaji) strove to drive them 
away from the land of his birth. He did not thereby commit the sin 
of coveting what belonged to others. Do not circumscribe your vision 
like a frog in a well ; get out of the Penal Code and enter the extremely 
high atmosphere of the Srimat Bhagavad Gita and consider the actions 
of great men." 

The metrical paragraphs entitled " Utterances of Sivaji " were a 
lament upon the oppression which he found prevailing in his native land 
on awaking from the sleep of death. 

The 22nd of June was the occasion of the celebration of the 60th 
anniversary of the coronation of Queen Victoria and it was inarked on 
that night by the murder, by the brothers Chapekar, of two Government 
officers, Mr. Rand and Lieutenant Ayerst, while returning from a gathering 
in celebration of the coronation at Government House, Ganeshkhind, 
Poona. There appears to be no doubt that the intended victim was 
Mr. Rand, who had become unpopular owing to his being the ofiicer 
charged with the enforcement of measures for the eradication of plaone. 
The murder of Lieutenant Ayerst was apparently an accident. Damodar 
Chapekar was tried and convicted of the double murder on the 22nd 
June. In a long autobiographical essay ^vritten by him while in jail he 

* Translated from Marathi. 

3 

B 2 



stated that he and his brother were the persons who had disfigured the 
marble statue of Queen Victoria in Bombay by covering it with tar, " in 
order to rejoice their Aryan brethren, fill the English with sorrow, and 
put upon themselves the brand of treason." 

In February 1899 other members of the Chapekar Association made 
two unsuccessful attempts on the life of a Chief Constable in'Poona and 
afterwards murdered two brothers who had been rewarded by Govern- 
ment for information which led to the arrest and conviction of Damodar 
Chapekar. The result of these crimes was that four members of the 
Chapekar Association were hanged and one was sentenced to 10 years' 
rigorous imprisoimient. There can be no doubt that the Chapekar 
Association was a criminal conspiracy connected with the revolutionary 
movement in India. 

The publications of the Kesari of the 15th June 1897 led to the trial 
and conviction of the proprietor, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, for sedition. 
The position taken up by Tilak had been one of casuistical apology for 
political assassination. It will be seen that afterwards the same attitude 
was maintained by him at a time when younger men were openly dis- 
seminating incitements to political assassination. 

4. The conviction of Tilak did not put an end to the attacks of the 
The Poona Press after 1897. anti-British Press in Poona In 1898 a weekly 

paper m Marathi was pubushed m Poona by 
Shivram Mahadeo Paranjpe, also a Chitpavan Brahmin. On account 
of its seditious tone Paranjpe was warned in 1899, and in 1900, 
1904, 1905 and 1907 the question of prosecuting him for seditious writings 
was seriously considered. Finally in June 1908 he was prosecuted 
and sentenced to 19 months' imprisonment. The article which was 
the subject of the prosecution will be referred to later in connection 
with other prosecutions in that year. 

Another paper edited by Chitpavan Brahmins in Poona was the 
Vihari. Criminal proceedings were successfully taken against three 
successive editors for seditious articles appearing in 1906, 1907 and 
1908. 

- During the period from 1898 to 1906 the Kesari grew steadily in 
popularity and influence without exceeding the limits of reasonable 
criticism. By 1907 its circulation had risen to 20,000 copies a week. 
At that time a favourite topic in its columns was the alleged Russianisa- 
tion of the administration, which must lead to Russian methods of 
agitation by the people. 

'Shyamaji Krishnavarma's Political use continued to be made of the 
doings in England. Ganpati and Sivaji festivals. 

5. It is necessary now to refer to certain occurrences in England 
between the date of the Rand murder and the next outbreak of political 
crime in the Bombay Presidency. The Rand murder in 1897 had, we 
have seen, resulted in the conviction of the murderers and the issue of 
the Kesari of the 1 5th of June in that year had resulted in the convic- 

4 



tion of tlie proprietor, Tilak. In addition to this, two well-known 
citizens of Poona belonging to the Natu family had been deported under 
Kegulation XXV of 1827 for reasons of State in connection with the 
disorders in Poona of that year. 

Shortly after these events, one Shyamaji Krishna varma, a native 
of Kathiawar in Western India, went from Bombay to London for reasons, 
as he stated in a paper subsequently published by him, not unconnected 
with the arrests which were made in comiection with the Rand murder. 
Krishnavarma for some time hved in obscm'ity, but in January 1905 
he started in London the India Home Rule Society, appointed himself 
President, and issued the first number of the Indian Sociologist, a penny 
monthly, as the organ of his society. In that paper he describes the 
society as having the object of securing Home Rule for India and carrying 
on a genuine Indian propaganda in England by all practicable means. 
In December 1905 Krishnavarma announced that he proposed to establish 
six lectureships of Rs. 1,000 each for enabling authors, journaHsts and 
other qualified Indians to visit Europe, America and other parts of the , 
world beyond the limits of India so as to equip themselves efficiently 
for the work of spreading among the people of India a knowledge of free- 
dom and national unity. He also published a letter from S. R. Rana 
of Paris (another Indian), who offered three travelHng scholarships of 
Rs. 2,000 to be called after Rana Pertab Singh, Sivaji, and some dis- 
tinguished Muhammadan ruler. 

6. By means of these ofiers Krishnavarma collected in London some 
recruits, amongst whom was Vinayak Damodar 
Vinayak Savarkar. g^varkar, a Chitpavan Brahmm, then aged 
about 22, who had been educated at the Fergusson College, Poona, and 
obtained a B.A. degree from the Bombay University. He was a native 
of the Nasik district in the Bombay Presidency. Nasik is one of the 
holy cities of V/estern India and it became a centre of Brahmin dis- 
affection. Before leaving India Vmayak Savarkar had been drawn into 
a movement initiated early in 1905 by a person styling himself Mahatma 
Sri Agamya Guru Paramhansa, who toured in India delivering lectures 
and speaking fearlessly against Government, telling bis audiences not 
to fear Government. As part of the movement, a number of students 
early in 1906 started in Poona a society which elected Vinayak Savarkar 
as their leader and invited him to Poona to meet the Mahatma. Savarkar 
attended a meeting.on the 23rd February and suggested that a committed 
of nine should be appointed to carry out the objects of the movement. 
A committee was accordingly elected, of which most of the members 
had at one time or other belonged to the Fergusson College in Poona, 
where Vinayak had been educated. The Mahatma at this meeting 
advised the raising of funds by a contribution of one anna from every 
person for the purposes of the society and said he would, advise how it 
should be utilised when a sufficient amount had been collected. Vinayak 
Savarkar having left India in June 1906, the society appears to have 
come to an end, though certain of its members subsequently joined the 
Abhinav Bharat Society founded by Ganesh, Vinayak Savarkar's elder 

6 



brother, of whicli more will be heard later. At the time of his departure 
from India, Savarkar and his brother were the leaders of an association 
kno^vn as the Mitra Mela, started about 1899 in connection with the 
Ganpati celebrations, and Ganesh Savarkar supervised the teaching of 
drill, physical exercises and fencing to the members in Nasik. 

7. During the year 1906 and the following year, the India House in 

The India House In London: ^^'^^^\ ^^hich had been opsned by Krishna- 
varma became notorious as a centre of sedition, 
and in July 1907 a question was put in the House of Commons 
inquiring whether Government proposed to take any action against 
Krishnavarma. Soon after and probably in consequence of this 
inquiry he left for Paris and took up his residence there. In 
Paris he continued the campaign of sedition with a freer hand, but 
still had his paper, the Indian Sociologist, printed in England. The 
printer was prosecuted and convicted in July 1909. The printing was 
then taken up by another person who was prosecuted and convicted 
in September 1909 and sentenced to a year's imprisonment. After 
that the paper was printed in Paris. Krishnavarma continued to keep 
in touch with the India House and controlled the work done there through 
S. R. Pana of Paris, w^ho frequently visited London for the purpose. 
In December 1907 the following passage appeared in ihe'Indimi Sociolo- 
gist : — " It seems that any agitation in India must be carried on secretly 
and that the only methods which can bring the English Government 
to its senses are the Russian methods vigorously and incessantly applied 
until the English relax their tyranny and are driven out of the country ! 
No one can foresee what rule will be laid down or line of action defined 
for any particular course. That will probably depend on local conditions 
and circumstances, but it is likely that as a general principle the Russian 
method will begin with Indian officials rather than European." 

8. On the 30th of April 1908 there occurred in Bengal the shocking 

murder of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy by Khudiram 

fo? articles" relaUng"to the -^^^^' ^^^ threw a bomb into their carriage at 
Muzaffarpur murder. MuzafTarpur,* believing it to be that of Mr. 
Kingsford, an unpopular Magistrate. 

Among those who united to excuse the murderer and to praise the 
bomb as a weapon of offence against unpopular officials was Tilak. 
For two articles in the Kesari published in May and June 1908 in con- 
nection with the Muzafiarpur murders he was convicted and sentenced 
to six years' imprisonment. 

In another article published in the Kesari on the 22nd of June of 
the same year we find :f " From the murder of Mr. Rand on the night 
of the Jubilee in the year 1897 till the explosion of the bomb at Muzafiar- 
pur, no act worth naming and fixing closely the attention of the official 
class took place at the hands of the subjects. There is considerable 
difference between the murders of 1897 and the bomb outrage of Bengal. 

* See paragraph 37. 

t Translated from MaJftthi. 



Considering the matter from the point of view of daring and skilled 
execution, the Chapekar brothers take a higher rank than members 
of the bomb party in Bengal. Considering the ends and the means, 
the Bengalis must be given the gxeater commendation. Neither the 
Chapekars nor the Bengali bomb-throwers committed murders for 
retaliating the oppression practised upon themselves ; hatred between 
individuals or private quarrels or disputes were not the cause of these 
murders. These murders have assumed a different aspect from ordinary 
murders owing to the supposition on the part of the perpetrators that 
they were doing a sort of , beneficent act. Even though the causes 
inspiring the commission of these murders be out of the common, the 
causes of the Bengali bomb are particularly subtle. In the year 1897 
the Poona-ites were subjected to oppression at the time of the plague 
and the exasperation produced by that oppression had not exclusively 
a political aspect. That the very system of administration is bad, and 
that, unless the authorities are singled out and individually terrorised, 
they would not consent to change the system, this sort of important 
question was not before the eyes of the Chapekar brothers. Their aim 
was specially directed towards the oppression consequent upon the 
plague, that is to say, towards the particular act. The Bengali bombs 
had of course their eyes upon a more extensive plain brought into view 
by the partition of Bengal. Moreover, a pistol or a musket is an old 
weapon, while the bomb is the latest discovery of the Western scientist. 
. It was the Western science itself that created new guns, 
new muskets,, and new ammunition ; and it was the Westerner's science 
itself that created the bomb. . . . The military strength of no 
government is destroyed by bombs ; the bomb has not the power of 
crippling the power of an army, nor does the bomb possess the strength 
to change the current of military strength, but owing to the bomb the 
attention of Government is attracted towards the disorder which pre- 
vails owing to the pride of military strength." 

9. On the 8th of July 1908 Paranjpe was convicted in the Bombay 
High Court of seditious libel in his paper, the 

'*'''* "throwing '""""" ^^^^' ^^^ ^^^ article relating to the Muzaffarpur 
murders, couched in the same tone of apology 
for, if not approval of, the crime, which characterised the articles in 
the Kesari. The following is a passage from the article in the Kal :* 
" People are prepared to do an}t;hing for the sake of swarajya and they 
no longer sing the glories of British rule. They have no dread of British 
power. It is simply a question of sheer brute force. Bomb-throwing 
in India is different from bomb-throwing in Russia. Many of the 
Russians side with their Government against these bomb-throwers, but 
it is doubtful whether much sympathy will be found in India. If even 
in such circumstances Russia got the Duma, a fortiori India is bound 
to get sivarajya. It is quite unjustifiable to call the bomb-throwers 
in India anarchists. Setting aside the question whether bomb-throwing 



Translated from Marathi. 



is justifiable or not, Indians are not trying to promote disorder but to 
obtain su-arajya." 

10. In May 1908 the Indian Mutiny was celebrated at tlie India 

House ; invitation cards were issued and it was 
Procccdlngs^aUhe " India attended by nearly 100 Indian students, who 

had travelled from all parts of the United 
Kingdom to be present, and shortly afterwards India was visited with 
a leaflet entitled " Oh Martyrs," in celebration of the murders of the 
memorable year 1857, the first commemoration of the War of Indian 
Independence. The leaflet was printed in French type and was no 
doubt issued with the knowledge of Krishnavarma. Some of the copies 
sent to a college in Madras were wrapped in a part of the London Daily 
News, indicating that they had been distributed from London. Copies 
of this leaflet and of another entitled " Grave Warning " were presented 
gratis to visitors at India House, who were invited to take them and 
send them to their friends in India. In this year also the policy of 
assassinations was advocated at regular Sunday meetings at the India 
House. 

In June 1908 a Hindu studying at London University gave a lecture 
at India House on the making of bombs justifying their use and ex- 
plaining what ingredients were required. He said to his hearers : 
" When one of you is prepared to use a bomb at the risk of his life, let 
him come to me and I will give him full particulars." 

11. In 1909 Vinayak Savarkar rose to the position of acknowledged 

leader at the India House and it became the 
Murder ol^Slr^W. Curzon fashion to read at Sunday meetings passages 

from the book on the Indian Mutiay prepared 
by Savarkar, styled " The Indian War of Independence, 1857, by an 
Indian Nationalist." In this year members of the India House began 
to practise revolver-shooting at a range in London, and on the 1st July 
1909 one of the young men connected with the India House named 
Madan Lai Dhingra assassinated Colonel Sir William Curzon Wyllie, 
Political A.D.C. at the India Office, at a gathering at the Imperial 
Institute in London. 

12. About the same time Ganesh Savarkar, the elder brother of 

Vinayak, was convicted in Nasik upon a charge 
*"*"5ctiJn^af'rfastk^*"" °^ abetment of waging war against the King 
under section 121 of the Indian Penal Code. 
His offences consisted chiefly of a series of inflammatory verses pub- 
lished early in 1908 under the title of " Lqghu Abhinav Bharat Mela." 
In disposing of the case in the Bombay High Court, a Marathi-speaking 
Judge thus characterised the nature of the publication : " The writer's 
main object is to preach war against the present Government in the 
names of certain gods of the Hindus and certain warriors such as Sivaji. 
These names are a mere pretext for the text, which is, ' Take up the 
sword and destroy the Government because it is foreign and oppressive.' 
For the purpose of finding the motive and intention of the writer it is 



unnecessary to import into the interpretation of the poems sentiments 
or ideas borrowed from the Bhagavad Gita* The poems afford their 
own interpretation and no one who knows Marathi can or will imder- 
stand them as preaching anything but war against the British Govern- 
ment." 

Ganesh Savarkar was convicted and sentenced to transportation on 
the 9th June 1909 and a cable message was at once sent from Nasik 
to Vinayak, telling him of the sentence. At the usual Sunday meeting 
of the India House on the 20th June Vinayak Savarkar was especially 
violent and repeated his oath to wreak his" vengeance on the English. 
Whether the sequence between the conviction of Ganesh Savarkar and 
the murder of Colonel Sir William Curzon Wyllie was more than a 
mere sequence in point of time has not been established. A statement 
of Dhingra's reasons for committing this crime was found in his pocket 
when he was arrested. It was afterwards printed as a leaflet and posted 
by the India House group in large quantities to India. The first para- 
graph was as follows : " I attempted to shed English blood intentionally 
and of purpose as an humble protest against the inhuman transporta- 
tions and hangings of Indian youths." 

13. In February of that year Vinayak Savarkar, who had obtained 
from Paris a parcel of 20 Browning automatic 

"*'''* Ja"ckson°' '^''' pistols with ^ ammunition, sent them out to 

Bombay concealed in the false bottom of a 
box forming part of the luggage of one Chatrabhuj Amin, who had been 
employed as cook at the India House. Chatrabhuj arrived in Bombay 
on the 6th of March, about a week after the arrest of Ganesh Savarkar. 
Before his arrest on the 28th February Ganesh had informed a friend 
that the pistols were on their way. The house of Ganesh Savarkar 
at Nasik was searched on the 2nd March and among the documents 
found concealed in the eaves were 60 pages of closely typed matter in 
EngUsh, which proved to be a copy of the same Bomb Manual of which 
a cyclostyled copy was found in the Maniktala Garden in Calcutta, 
to which reference is made in the Bengal chapter of this report. 
Savarkar' s copy was more complete than the Maniktala Garden copy 
as it contained 45 sketches of bombs, mines and buildings to illustrate 
the text. 

The District Magistrate of Nasik whose duty, it had been to commit 
Ganesh for trial was Mr. Jackson, a very popular oflicer widely known 
for his sympathy and knowledge of Hindu custom and sentiment. His 
murder was, however, decided on by the associates of Ganesh Savarkar 
as a punishment for the fate which had befallen Ganesh. None of 
them were bold enough to do the deed themselves, so a young Brahmin 
from Aurangabad in the Deccan was brought down to Nasik for the 
purpose and on the 21st of December 1909 Mr. Jackson was shot dead 
at a farewell party given in his honour at the theatre with one of the 
Browning pistols which had been sent out by Vinayak. 



* Bhagavad Gita. See paragraph 24, 

9 



This crime was at once followed by a vigorous investigation and 
many arrests were made and searches instituted, with the result that a 
conspiracy was disclosed which had not come to light during the pro- 
ceedings against Ganesh Savarkar. For the murder of Mr. Jackson 
seven men, all Chitpavan Brahmins, were brought to justice and three 
of them were executeid. 

14. For what is known as the Nasik conspiracy 38 men, all but 

_. .. .. . one of whorA were Brahmins and most of whom 

The Nasik conspiracy. p,, ., , ^.i, .l • i 0^7 

were Chitpavans, were put on their trial ; 27 

of them were found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. 

The evidence in this trial showed that the Mitra' Mela at Nasik, 
which has already been referred to, had, before the departure of Vinayak 
Savarkar for England, developed into the Abhinav Bharat of Young 
India Society, a title probably suggested by the Young Italy of Mazzini. 
Its objects were undoubtedly revolutionary. 

All the witnesses who described the inner working of the Abhinav 
Bharat Society at Nasik spoke to the administration of oaths to its 
members, and certain documents found in possession of one of the 
accused indicated that the association aimed at some sort of organi- 
sation founded upon the model of revolutionary societies in Russia. 
In the search of the houe of Ganesh Savarkar after his arrest in 1909 
a much-scored copy of Frost's " Secret Societies of European Revolu- 
tion, 1776 to 1876," was found, in which is described the secret organi- 
sation of the Russian nihilists consisting of small circles or groups 
affiliated into sections, each member knowing only the members of the 
group to which he belonged. In accordance apparently with this scheme 
the Nasik conspiracy involved the existence of various small groups 
of young men working for the same object and drawing weapons 
from the same source without personal acquaintance with the members 
of other groups. While in England Vinayak Savarkar completed a 
Marathi version of the autobiography of Mazzini with an introduction 
summarising his political teaching. It was sent out by him to his 
brother Ganesh, who had it issued from a press in Poona, an edition 
of 2,000 copies being printed in April 1907. 

The introduction emphasised the importance of elevating politics 
to the rank of religion and argued that Ram Das, the saint of the 
Maharashtra in the time of Sivaji, possessed the same spiritual essence 
as Mazzini under a different name. It pointed out how Mazzini relied 
upon the youth of the country to obtain independence and then pro- 
ceeded to dilate upon his two-fold programme of instruction and war. 
The suggested methods of preparation for war were the purchase and 
storing of weapons in neighbouring countries to be used when oppor- 
tunity should occur ; the opening of many very small but secret factories 
at some distance from one another for the manufacture of weapons 
clandestinely in the country seeking independence ; and the purchase 
by secret societies of weapons from other countries to be secretly im* 
ported in merchant ships. 

10 



The evidence also disclosed tliat in August and September 1908 
Vinayak was occupied with other associates at the India House mani- 
folding a number of typed copies of a work dealing with the preparation 
of bombs and dangerous explosives suitable for anarchical outrages. 
Many of these were despatched, by post to various places in India. 
One of the manuals was found in the search of Ganesh Savarkar's 
house as already mentioned ; another was in the possession of Tikhe, 
whose residence was in the Hyderabad State, although he was a member 
of the Nasik society. Another copy was found upon the person of one 
Chanjeri Rao, who had received it from Vinayak in London and was 
arrested on arrival in Bombay in 1910. Chanjeri Rao had also in his 
possession several copies entrusted to him by Vinayak of a pamphlet 
styled " Bande Mataram " in praise of Dhingra, the assassin of Sir 
Curzon Wyllie. This pamphlet strongly advocated political assassina- 
tion in India. The following are some of the maxims contained in 
it : — " Terrorise the officials, English and Indian, and the collapse of 
the whole machinery of oppression is not very far. The persistent 
execution of the policy that has been so gloriously ' inaugurated by 
Khudiram Basu, Kanai Lai Datta and other martyrs will soon cripple 
the British Government in India. This campaign of separate assassi- 
nations is the best conceivable method of paralysing the bureaucracy 
and of arousing the people. The initial stage of the revolution is 
marked by the policy of separate assassinations." 

The evidence disclosed that the Abhinav Bharat Society m Nasik 
had members in various parts of Western India. Those convicted 
included residents of Bombay, Nasik, Poona, Pen, Aurangabad and 
Hyderabad. 

15. The investigations of the police also led to the discovery of 

.^ ^ .. . correspondence of Ganesh Savarkar and a man 

The Gwalior conspiracy. j t v • at i -^u • ^ .ut, 

named Joshi m Nasik with conspirators m the 

Gwalior State, of which the ruler is His Highness the Maharaja Scindhia, 
descended from one of the great Maratha chieftains. This discovery 
led to the prosecution by the Gwalior State, in a State Tribunal consti- 
tuted for the purpose, of 22 Brahmins, members of a revolutionary 
society styled the Nav Bharat Society, and of 19 other Brahmins as 
members of the Abhinav Bharat Society. In each case many of the 
accused were found guilty and sentenced to punishment. 

In section 4 of the rules of the Gwalior Nav Bharat Society the 
following passage occurs : — " There are two ways of carrying out the 
advice of obtaining liberty, education and agitation. Education in- 
cludes Swadeshi, boycott, national education, entire abstinence from 
liquor, religious festivities, lectures, libraries, etc., while agitation 
includes target-shooting, sword exercise, preparation of bombs, dyna- 
mite, procuring revolvers, learning and teaching the use of weapons 
and missiles. Should an occasion for a general rising in any province 
at a proper time arise, all should help that cause and 'attain liberty. 
We are fully confident that the Aryan land is quite able to recover 

li 



its independence. In order to face the yellow peril we' shall have to 
be doubly prepared because the red peril is just rising on our breast. 
Confidence itself is a means to shake ofi servitude ; we are fully con- 
vinced that if 30 crores of people are prepared to fight, none can thwart 
them in their desire. First, education will be given to prepare the 
mind, and then a rebellion raised ; the war of independence will be 
carried on by resorting to cunning and craft." 

16. In Ahmedabad, the chief city of Gujerath in the north of the 

Bombay Presidency, an event occurred in 
The Ahmedabad bomb. November 1909 which indicated that there 
were revolutionaries in that place also. During the visit of the Viceroy, 
Lord Minto, to Ahmedabad, when he and Lady Minto were driving 
in a carriage with outriders, something was thrown at the carriage 
from the crowd, and subsequently two cocoanut bombs were discovered 
on the road, one of which exploded and blew off the hand of the 
finder. 

17. During 1910 a conspiracy of the same type as the Nasik cons- 

piracy came to light in Satara district. Three 
The Satara conspiracy. grahmin youths, two belonging to Aundh and 
one to Kolapur, were charged with conspiracy to wage war. The 
evidence showed the establishment of a secret society at Satara in 1907 
for the purpose of effecting the liberty of the country. It was a branch 
of the Abhinav Bharat founded by Ganesh and Vinayak Savarkar. 
One of the accused was found to have been experimenting in the pre- 
paration of bombs and to be in possession of literature of a revolutionary 
character. All the accused were convicted and sentenced to imprison- 
ment. 

18. In September 1914, two persons, a Maratha and a Brahmin, 

in Poona were found in possession of a printing 
press with Marathi type with which a quantity 
of seditious pamphlets had been printed, including concise bomb for- 
mulae for the preparation of cocoanut bombs. 

For more than a year they had been posting and disseminating 
numbers of copies of these productions, many of them to addresses at 
the Fergusson, Science and Agricultural Colleges in Poona. They 
had printed four " Liberty " leaflets of the usual extravagant and 
inflammatory description. The fourth was about to be distributed, 
when the press was found by the police. One of the documents posted 
by the accused was dated the 1st January 1913, just after the bomb 
outrage in Delhi, when Lord Hardinge was wounded. In place of 
signature it bore the words " Bengal Revolutionaries " and it was styled 
"A call to Maharashtra brethren," asking why they were sitting quiet. 
Had they given up attempts for winning liberty as soon as a few patriot 
stars that shone in Maharashtra two years back had set ? The whole 
country was in hope that Maharashtra would be renowned for some 
special achievement ; was the hope to prove fruitless ? The whole 
country from the bridge of Rama to the Himalayas had become exas- 

12 



perated and the day (1st January 1913) was the auspicious time for 
the whole nation to become bound by unity. 

19. Before stating our conchisions a few words are necessary on the 

position of -the Chitpavan Brahmins in Western 
The position of Chitpavan j^^i^ ^^ ^he present time. Poona has re- 
mained their headquarters. They have con- 
tinuously shown high intellectual capacity. They have furnished the 
Bombay Presidency with its two best poUtical thinkers, Ranade and 
Gokhale, and the Poona Press with its most influential journahsts, 
Tilak and Paranjpe. They have provided Western India with manv 
most efficient teachers and officials. If a comparatively small body 
of impressionable young men of this community have imbibed revolu- 
tionary ideas and carried their ideas to the point of pohtical assassina- 
tion, it must not therefore be supposed that the community as a whole 
is disaffected. 

20. The foregoing account of revolutionary activity in Bombay 

ConclKions. ^^^^^ "^ ^^ *^^ following conclusions as to 

the nature and extent of the criminal cons- 
piracies connected with it. 

All the conspiracies were Brahmin and mostly Chitpavan. 

The Chapekars and their associates were ultra-orthodox ^nd, perhaps 
consequently, anti-Muhammadan and anti-British. They had no 
definite political aims, but were daring in the achievement of any outrage 
which they conceived could prove their hatred of the British or satisfy 
their desire to punish supposed oppression. 

Their principal crime, the Rand murder, was effected at a time 
when Tilak, the most prominent journahst in the Deccan, was pubhshing 
incitements to his countrymen to strike a blow for independence and 
disregard the hmitations of the Penal Code. 

The Savarkar conspiracy at Nasik and the other smaller plots which 
-were mere eddies spreading from the same centre were the result of 
somewhat similar causes. 

As a primary exciting cause we must point to the virulent anti- 
British writings of the Chitpavan Press in Poona appeahng both to 
rehgious and racial sentiment. It would have been surprising if impres- 
sionable youths of that community had not under the influence of such 
teachings conceived designs for ending the ahen rule in India by violence. 
The leader of Poona Extremists was Tilak, but the younger men who 
imbibed the teaching of the Extremist Press were to" go further than 
Tilak. For them the Savarkar brothers provided suitable hterature 
which illuminated the road to pohtical assassination. For this class 
of crime, as we have seen, Tilak's paper was quick to furnish apology 
if not actual encouragement. 

The Savarkar conspiracy, in so far as it was not Chitpavan, was 
neghgible. Few names from any other community are to be found 
in the records of political crime in Western India. The conspiracy 

13 



and its offshoots were therefore within a fairly manageable compass 
and there are no indications of contact with any criminal conspiracy 
in Bengal or other parts of India. The only outside group of conspira- 
tors who were in any way responsible for the Nasik murder were the 
Indian plotters in Paris who furnisJied Savarkar with the pistols with 
which the murderers were armed. There is reason to believe that the 
Paris group also instigated the Tinnevelly murder, which will be dis- 
cussed in the chapter relating to Madras. 

21. Before closing this chapter attention must be drawn to 

T-i i,f *♦■« A • IMA ^ statement of his views by Tilak in August 
Tilak s attitude in 1914. ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^p.^^ ^^ ^-^ ^^^^ of imprison- 
ment in which he disclaimed hostility to His Majesty's Government 
and condemned the acts of violence which had been committed in 
different parts of India. 



14 



CHAPTER II. 

The Beginnings of a Revolutionary Movement in Bengal. 

. 22. In order to appreciate correctly the nature and extent of the 

movement which within the last ten years 

'"''"'* Sa?Gho'shf""'""^ 1^^^ produced a series of violent crimes in 

Bengal, we must understand the influences 

which gave birth to that movement and the circumstances in which 

it was launched. 

In the year 1902 Barindra Kumar Ghosh, a young Bengali Hindu, 
who had been born in England in 1880 but had been brought out to 
India as a child, arrived at Calcutta from Baroda, where he had been 
living with his brother, Arabinda Ghosh, then Vice-President of the 
Gaekwar's College. The brothers are the sons of the late Dr. K. D. 
Ghosh, a medical officer in the service of Government. Arabinda had 
been educated entirely in England, had taken a first class in the 
Cambridge University Classical Tripos ; and passing for the Indian Civil 
Service, had been rejected at the finai examination for inability to ride. 

Barindra's object in returning to Bengal was, as he subsequently 
stated, to organize a revolutionary movement with the object of over- 
turning the British Government in India by violent means. This object 
could only be attained g,fter elaborate effort, of which the first stage 
would be secret conspiracy. It is probable that he had been attracted 
by stories of the exploits of secret societies in Europe ;* and it is certain 
that with the idea of starting such organizations in Bengal he devoted 
himself to working among the Enghsh educated class to which he 
belonged, the bhadralok (respectable people). He found among these 
a few associations organized for the promotion of physical culture. 
He succeeded in adding others, and in spreading revolutionary ideas 
to some small extent ; but he was, on the whole, disappointed with the 
response to his efforts, and returned to Baroda in 1903, convinced that 
a purely political propaganda would not serve his purpose. 

23. The bhadralok of Bengal have been for centuries peaceful and 

unwarlike, but, through the influence of the 

"Te woS """"^ great central city of Calcutta, were early in 

appreciating the advantages of Western 

learning. They are mainly Hindus and their leading castes are 

Brahmins, Kayasthas and Vaidyas ; but with the spread of English 

education some other castes too have adopted bhadralok ideals and 

* " In every country there are plenty of secret places where arms can be manufac- 
tured . . The very large number of bombs which have been and are being manu- 
factured in Russia have all been manufactured in the secret factories of the revolution- 
ists."— " Jit^antor" of the 12th August 1907. 

15 



modes of life. Bhadraloh abound in villages as well as in towns, and 
are thus more interwoven with the landed classes than are the English- 
Hterate Indians of other provinces. Wherever they live or settle, they 
earnestly desire and often provide English education for their sons. The 
consequence is that a number of Anglo-vernacular schools, largely 
maintained by private enterprise, have sprung up throughout the towns 
and villages of Bengal. No other province of India possesses a net- 
work of rural schools in which English is taught. These schools are due 
to the enterprise of the bhadralok and to the fact that, as British rule 
gradually spread from Bengal over Northern India, the scope of employ- 
ment for English-educated Bengalis spread with it. Originally they 
predominated in all offices and higher grade schools throughout Upper 
India. They were also, with the Parsees, the first Indians to send 
their sons to England for education, to qualify for the Bar or to compete 
for the higher grades of the Civil and Medical services. When, however, 
similar classes in other provinces also acquired a working knowledge 
of Enghsh, the field for Bengali enterprise gradually shrank. In their 
own province bhadralok still almost monopolise the clerical and subordi- 
nate administrative services of Government. They are prominent 
in medicine, in teaching, and at the Bar. But, in spite of these advan- 
tages, they have felt the shrinkage of foreign employment : and as 
the education which they receive is generally literary and ill-adapted 
to incline the youthful mind to industrial, commercial or agricultural 
pursuits, they have not succeeded in finding fresh outlets for their ener- 
gies. Their hold on land too has weakened owing to increasing pressure of 
population and excessive sub-infeudation. Altogether their economic 
prospects have narrowed, and the increasing jiumbers who draw fixed 
incomes have felt the pinch of rising prices. On the other hand, the 
memories and associations of their earlier prosperity, combined with 
growing contact with Western ideas and standards of comfort, have 
raised their expectations of the pecuniary remuneration which should 
reward a laborious and, to their minds a costly, education. Thus as 
bhadralok learned in English have become more and more numerous, 
a growing number have become less and less inclined to accept the 
conditions of life in which they found themselves on reaching manhood. 
Bhadralok have always been prominent among the supporters of Indian 
political movements ; and their leaders have watched with careful 
attention events in the world outside India. The large majority of 
the people of Bengal are not bhadralok but cultivators, and in the eastern 
districts mainly Muhammadans ; but the cultivators of the province 
are absorbed in their own pursuits, in litigation, and in religious and 
caste observances. It was not to them but to his own class that Barindra 
appealed. When he renewed his efforts in 1904, the thoughts of many 
members of this class had been stirred by various powerful influences. 

24. In 1886 had died the Bengali ascetic Rama Krishna. He was 

undoubtedly a remarkable and purely religious 

Various influences. ^^^_ jj^ strongly defended Hinduism but 

taught that all religions were true, that all deities were manifestations 



of the impersonal Supreme, and that Brahmin disdain of low castes 
was wrong. To him the goddess Kali was the goddess of divine strength, 
although another of her attributes is destruction. She was his mother 
and the mother of the universe. If he worshipped through idols, it 
was because he believed that these idols were filled with the presence 
of the Divinity. He taught social service as the service of humanity. 
He died in 1886 ; and after his death his doctrines were preached by 
^some of his disciples, the chief of whom was Narendra Nath Datta, 
a young hhadralok B.A., subsequently famous as Swami Vivekananda. 
Narendra Nath Datta became an ascetic and attended the Parliament 
of Religions in Chicago as the representative of Hinduism. There 
he made a great impression and founded Vedanta societies for spreading 
the teaching of the Hindu scriptures (Vedas). He returned to India 
in 1897 with a small band of followers, and was acclaimed by many 
educated Hindus as a saviour and prophet of their faith. He organized 
centres of philanthropic and religious effort under the supervision of 
a Rama Krishna Mission, and carrying much further the teachings 
of his master, preached that Vedantism was the future religion of the 
world, and that, although India was now subject to a foreign Power, 
she must still be careful to preserve the faith of mankind. She must 
seek freedom by . the aid of the Mother of strength {SaJcti *). 
Vivekananda died in 1902 ; but his writings and teachings survived 
him, have been popularised by the Rama Krishna Mission and have 
deeply impressed many educated Hindus. From much evidence before 
us it is apparent that this influence was perverted by Barindra and his 
followers in order to create an atmosphere suitable for the execution 
of their projects. So indeed was the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita 
or Lord's song of the Mahahharat epic recited by Sri Krishna, the incarna- 
tion of the Preserver of the World, before the great long-ago battle of 
Kurukshetra. 

But neither the religious teaching of Vivekananda nor the exhorta- 
tions of Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita would have afforded so moving 
a text to preach from had not the whole world, and especially the Asiatic 
world, been electrified and amazed by the victories of Japan over Russia 
at a time when within this country circumstances occasioned by certain 
Government measures specially favoured the development of Barindra's 
plans. 

■ Early in the century Lord Curzon, then Viceroy, had introduced a 
Universities Bill which provoked much controversy and was interpreted 
by politicians as designed to limit the numbers of Indians educated in 
English, and thus to retard national advance. In Bengal, where, as we 
have seen, English education had been largely adopted, opposition was 



* " Oh India, wouldst thou, with these provisions only, scale the highest pinnacle 
of civilisation and greatness ? Wouldst thou attain, by means of thy disgraceful coward- 
ice, that freedom deserved only by the brave and heroic . . . Oh Thou Mother 
of strength, take away my weakness, take away my unmanliness, and make me a man !" 
— ViveJcananda' s Works : Part IV — Mayavatm: Memorial Edition : pp. 970-71. 

17 



\ 



intensely bitter ; and while the dispute was in progress, the Government 
projected a partition of the province. It was the agitation that attended 
and followed on the latter measure that brought previous discontent to a 
climax and afforded a much-desired opportunity to Barindra and his 
friends. 

25. The provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, with their seventy- 

The partition of Bengal. ^^f ^ ^^"^^f ' «^ P.^^P^^ ?^^ their great capital 
city, were then a smgle charge under a Lieute- 
nant-Governor. Lord Curzon and his advisers felt that times had altered 
since this charge was constituted. Population had greatly increased ; 
business and trade had extended ; administration had become more 
complex ; the educated classes had grown in numbers and had taken to 
politics. On the other hand, the Government had weakened. The 
province was undermanned ; the British and Indfein staff was over- 
worked ; administrative departments were starved ; and communica- 
tions were neglected. Especially were those defects prominent in the 
eastern districts, the physical features of which are peculiar. They have 
thus been described by the Bengal District Administration Committee of 
1913-14 : " Communications are more precarious, more scanty and more 
inefficient than those of any part of India known to us. Traversed by 
mighty rivers and tributary streams, visited by abimdant rains, these 
eastern districts are mainly a water-country, which yields rich harvests 
of rice and jute to a teeming population, partly concentrated in a few 
towns, but mainly scattered over a number of villages. The villages, 
often close to marshes or winding along the banks of some tortuous 
stream, generally consist of scattered homesteads, built on whatever 
rising ground may be available. Often the houses are hidden in thickets 
of bamboos, fruit trees and undergrowth. In the rains vast tracts of 
the country are completely submerged ; the houses, each on its own plot 
of naturally or artificially raised land, stand up like islands in the flood ; 
and only a few of the more important roads are out of water. Boats are 
the ordinary means of transit, and markets spring up on the banks of 
.waterways." 

A project for dividing the provinces into two charges was vehemently 
discussed during the last two years of Lord Curzon's Viceroyalty. The 
Government of India held that some such arrangement was imperative, 
• but the Calcutta political leaders were strongly opposed to any division 
of Bengal proper. When the Government pressed this division in the 
cause of administrative efficiency and convenience, Hindu politicians 
and newspapers preached far and wide that Bengali interests would 
seriously suffer and Bengali nationality would be divided. Lord Curzon 
visited the eastern districts. After much considera^j^n^e decided that 
there was no substance in this objection, and that The contemplated 
division must be made. The partition was announced in July 1905 and 
was carried out in the following October, when the two new provinces of 
Western Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and Eastern Bengal and Assam started 
on their short-lived career. n 

18 



26. The politicians, however, decided not to abandon hope. Through 
the volume and intensity of a general and 
The subsequent agitation, thoroughly organized movement, it might still 
be possible to procure a reversal of the obnoxious measure. An agitation 
of unparalleled bitterness was started in both provinces and especially 
in the eastern. It was proclaimed through newspapers, pamphlets and 
orators that Bengal was a motherland once rich and famous now dis- 
membered : she had been torn in two despite the protests of her children. 
These must make their voices heard by the British public through a 
boycott of British goods. They must earnestly set to work to manufac- 
ture their own goods. The more violent spirits went further. They 
contrasted Bengali acceptance of this insult with the brilliant valour 
shown by Japan agamst one of the proudest of European nations. 
Had Bengalis no religion, no patriotism ? Let them remember their 
Mother Kali, the goddess of strength ! Let them improve their own 
strength ! Let them also think of the great deeds of the Maratha 
hero Sivaji ! Let them retaliate on the foreign Government in the most 
effective way possible by boycotting foreign goods ! Let them make 
their own goods ! 

The cult of Sivaji was imported from Bombay but took little root, 
although B. G. Tilak * himself visited Calcutta and said at a Sivaji 
festival that the great Maratha would yet come and lead Indians to glory 
and prosperity. f A song, however, which was extracted from a popular 
Bengali novel, has since become famous as " Bande Mataram " (Hail to 
thee. Oh Mother 1" or as now generally translated, " Hail Motherland !"). 
The novel had been written many years previously, and the song hitherto 
had excited no particular emotion, but now gradually it was raised to 
the rank of a national anthem. The boycott was preached in towns and 
villages. It was to be carried out by persuasion through the agency of 
schoolboys and students enlisted for the purpose. For the production 
of indigenous goods, sivadeshi (indigenous) enterprises were hastily started 
and attracted sympathy from some persons unconnected with politics. 

The agitation was Hindu and drew its strength from the hhadraloJc. 
It was keenly resented by the Muhammadans, who form the majority of 
the inhabitants of Eastern Bengal ; and thus throughout the year 
1906-07, Hindu and Muhammadan relations became exceedingly strained 
in that province. The boycott and the consequent picketing of shops by 
students and schoolboys led inevitably to frequent disturbances. In 
both Bengals it was frequently asserted and sometimes believed that 
Government was setting the Muhammadans against the Hindus. Edu- 
cated Hindu feeling reached a remarkable intensity of bitterness. 
^ 27. The partition agitation was beginning when Barindra returned to 
Calcutta in 1904 to reopen his campaign. He 

Second campaign of Barin- ^.^s young himself and he addressed his appeal 
ora ano nis associateSi its ' -i. • , • i ^ ^ , t 

motives and objectives. niamly to uncritical and emotional youths 

already stirred to unwonted depths and enlisted 

* See paragraphs 3, 8, 21. 

t See the Bengalee newspaper of 8th June 1906. 

19 

c 2 



in a popular political cause. It is important to hear from himself 
an account of his motives and methods. He said before a Magistrate 
on the 22nd of May 1908 that at Baroda he devoted himself " to 
the study of history and political literature." " After being there a 
year," he continued, " I came back to Bengal with the idea of 
preaching the cause of independence as a political missionary. I moved 
from district to district, and started gymnasiums. There young men 
were brought together to learn physical exercises and study politics. I 
went on preaching the cause of independence for nearly two years. By 
that time I had been through almost all the districts of Bengal. I got 
tired of it, and went back to Baroda and studied for a year. I then 
returned to Bengal, convinced that a purely political propaganda would 
not do for the country, and that people must be trained up spiritually to 
face dangers. I had an idea of starting a religious institution. By that 
time the sivadeshi and boycott agitation had begun. I thought of 
taking men under my own instruction to teach them, and so I began to 
collect this band which have been arrested. With my friend Abinash 
Bhattacharji and Bhupendra Nath Datta I started the Jugantar news- 
paper. We managed it for nearly one and a half years and then gave 
it over to the present managers. After I gave it up I took again to the 
recruiting. I collected together 14 or 15 young men from about the 
beginning of 1907 till now (1908). I educated the boys in religious 
books and politics. We are always thinking of a far-off revolution and 
wish to be ready for it, so we were collecting weapons in small quantities. 
Altogether I have collected 11 revolvers, 4 rifles and 1 gun. Among 
other young men who came to be admitted to our circle was Ullaskar 
Datta. He said that, as he wanted to come among us and be useful,, 
he had learnt the preparation of explosives. He had a small laboratory 
in his house without his father's knowledge and he experimented there. 
I never saw it. He told me of it. With his help we began preparing 
explosives in small quantities in the garden-house at 32, Muraripukur 
Road. In the meantime another friend of ours. Hem Chandra Das, 
after, I think, selling part of his property, went to Paris to learn mecha- 
nics, and, if possible, explosives. When he came back he joined Ullaskar 
Datta in preparing explosives and bombs. We never believed that 
pohtical murder will bring independence. We do it because we believe 
the people want it." Previously, when asked what certain people were 
doing in his house when he was arrested, Barindra had said : " They are 
being instructed by me and Upendra Nath in religious and political 
books." 

The ideas which prompted the early revolutionary efforts were f urtl^er 
explained by some of his associates. In the statement of Upendra Nath 
Banarji we read : " As I thought that some people of India would not be 
made to do any work except through religion, I wanted the help of some 
sadhus (rehgious ascetics). Faihng sadhus I fell back upon schoolboys 
and collected them to give them religious, moral and pohtical education. 
Since then I havebeen mainly engaged in* teaching boys about the state 
of our country and the need of independence, and that the only way left 

20 



us is to fight for independence and to start secret societies in different 
parts of the country to propagate ideas and collect arms and rise in 
rebelHon when the time shall be ripe. I knew that Barindra, Ullaskar 
■and Hem were engaged in manufacturing bombs with a view to do away 
with the lives of those Government officials who by repressive measures 
hampered our work, viz., the Lieutenant-Governor and Mr. Kingsford." 
Hrishikesh Kanjilal said on the 11th of May 1908 : " I am a teacher by 
occupation. ... At Chandernagore Upen showed me a few copies 
of the Jugantar and I studied^them. I decided that we must secure the 
political independence of our country, and I asked Upen to enquire in 
the Jugantar office whether there was really such organization to free 
•our country from the foreign yoke, in Calcutta. Next day I went to 
Chatra and I resolved to get a post in the Education Department so that 
I might preach to young boys the idea that it was by hypocrisy and 
everlasting duphcity the Enghsh had conquered our country, and I got 
a post in the Bhadreswar High English School." Another associate said : 
" When the Government at the time of partition refused to listen to our 
petition we tried to have swaraj (self-government). My heart was 
touched by reading the Jugantar newspaper." 

It is important to note that the confessions from which the above 
statements have been extracted were held by the Chief Justice of Bengal 
to be free from " the slightest apprehension of sinister influence or pres- 
sure." We may therefore safely conclude that the object of Barindra 
and his associates was to persuade the English-educated youths of Bengal 
that the British Government was founded on fraud and oppression, thai; 
religion and history dictated its removal. Ultimately the British must 
be expelled from the country. In the naeantime by religious, athletic, 
educational discipline, a fanatical organization must be created which 
vrould develop its inspiration by murders of officials, and, as we shall see" 
later, would finance and arm itself largely by the plunder of peaceable 
Indian folk justified by the most cynical reasoning. 

28. It was obvious that, in a country w^heie men, as a rule, incline to 
the cajli«gs of their fathers, it would be difficult to pervert the sons of 
lawyers, clerks, schoolmasters and tradesmen into gangs of murderers. 
It was equally clear that such perversion would not be effected merely by 
calhng assassinations " violent enterprises " or by asserting that a peace- 
able and law-abiding people, who had only a few years before entirely 
declined to respond to revolutionary appeals, had begTin to thirst for the 
blood of officials. Persevering, sustained and extraordinary methods 
were requisite if the desired objective was ever to be reached. We will 
now see that such methods were employed. 

29. The associates formed a body called the Auusilan Samiti (society 

for the promotion of culture and training) 
Its methods of influencing f>, t Z\ ■ *.- • — i • 

public opinion. ^^-^^ °^ these societies was soon m ^working 

order at Calcutta, the capital of Western, and 

another at Dacca, the capital of Eastern Bengal. They extended their 

ramifications in all directions. At one time the Dacca society had 500 

21 



branches in towns and villages. Beside these societies other less formal 
groups collected ; but all were inspired by the same seditious principles, 
and united in creating an atmosphere which would swell their ranks and 
facihtate their operations. The atmosphere was to be created by " build- 
ing up " pubhc opinion by means of newspapers, songs and literature, 
preaching, secret meetings and associations. " Unrest " must be created. 
Welcome therefore unrest, " whose historical name is revolt !"* There 
was unfortunately already more than enough unrest in both Bengals, 
but something far more violent and durable was desired by Barindra 
and his friends. Arabinda Ghosh had joined him from Baroda ; and 
the brothers with their immediate followers started various newspapers 
the most popular of Avhich, pubhshed in fluent vernacular Bengali, was 
the Jugantar (New Era). This journal began to pour forth racial hatred 
in March 1906, attained a circulation of 7,000 in 1907, and rapidly 
reached a still wider range before it ceased to appear in 1908 in conse- 
quence of the newly passed Newspapers (Incitement to Offences) Act. 
Its character and teaching entirely justify the comments of the Chief 
Justice, Sir Lawrence Jenkins, quoting and adopting the following words 
of the Sessions Judge of Alipore. " They exhibit a burning hatred of 
the British race, they breathe revolution in every hne, they point out 
how revolution is to be effected. No calumny and no artifice is left out 
which is likely to instil the people of the country with the same idea or 
to catch the impressionable mind of youth." We will here give two 
passages, both pubhshed when the paper was in its mid-career, which 
announced to thousands of people how the revolutionaries proposed to 
accomplish their object. One appeared in the issue of August the 12th, 
1907. After dilating on the ease with which arms could be collected 
and bombs manufactured, provided that secrecy were maintained, the 
article proceeded : " There is another very good means of acquiring 
strength of arms. Many people have observed in the Russian revolution 
that there are many partizans of the revolutionaries among the Czar's 
troops. These troops will join the revolutionists with various arms. 
This method succeeded well during the French Revolution. The revolu- 
tionists have additional advantages where the ruhng power is a foreign 
power, because the latter has to recruit most of its troops from among 
the subject people. Much work can be done by the revolutionists very 
cautiously spreading the gospel of independence among these native 
troops. When the time arrives for a practical colhsion with the ruling 
power, the revolutionists not only get these troops among their ranks, 
but also the arms with which the ruhng power supphed them. Besides, 
all the enthusiasm and courage of the ruling power can be destroyed by 
exciting a serious alarm in its mind." The other appeared on the 26th 
of the same month. It purports to be a letter from a mad yogi (devotee) : 
" Dear Editor, — I hear that copies of your paper are being sold by 
thousands in the bazar. If at least fifteen thousand copies are distri- 



* See article headed " Welcome Unrest" in the Jugantar issue of April the 11th, 
1907, quoted in the High Court judgment, Alipore conspiracy case. 

22 



buted in the country, nearly sixty thousand people read them. I cannot 
withhold the temptation of telhng a certain thing to these sixty thousand 
people and am therefore taking up my pen untimely ... I am mad 
and crack-brained and a sensation-monger. The cup of my dehght 
becomes full when I see unrest descending in all directions : hke deaf 
dumbness I cannot rest any longer. News of loot is reaching me from 
all quarters, and I am dreaming as if the future guerilla bands were 
looting money and as if the future war had commenced in the shape of 
petty dacoities (gang robberies). ... Plunder, I worship you 
to-day, be our helpmate. You so long hid yourself hke a canker in a 
flower and ate away the country's substance. Come and do again here 
and there resuscitate the old martial spirit behind the pubhc eye. . . 
You made me promise that day that by your grace, the Indians when 
they remembered and worshipped you would get both the money to arm 
themselves and the mihfcary training. That is why I worship you 
to-day." 

The Jugantar was by no means the only newspaper organ of the 
associates. There were others, such as the Sandhya, which proclaimed 
abroad : " We want complete independence. The country cannot 
prosper so long as the veriest shred of the Feringhi's supremacy over it 
is left. Swadeshi, boycott, all are meaningless to us, if they are not the 
means of retrieving our whole and complete independence. . . . 
Rights granted by the Feringhis as favour, we shall spit at and reject, 
and we shall work out our own salvation," 

The virulent hatred expressed by such publications was further 
disseminated by thousands of leaflets which have continued to issue inter- 
mittently up to the present time. 

30. For their own initiates the conspirators devised a remarkable 

series of text-books. The Bhagavad Gita, the 

Mental training of revo- ^ritinffs of Vivekananda, the lives of Mazzini 

lutionary recruits. , _,° .. , ,. , <• , i j • 

and Ganbaidr, -were part of the course ; and m 

the words * of Mr. Justice Mukharji : " such principles as the religious 
principle of absolute surrender to the Divine Will were employed by 
designing and unscrupulous men as potent means to influence and un- 
balance weak-minded persons and thus ultimately bend them to become 
instruments in the commission of nefarious crimes from which they 
might otherwise recoil with horror." Three books, however, of a mis- 
chievous or specially inflammatory kind have particularly attracted 
our attention. 

The Bhawani Mandir (temple of Bhawani, one of the manifestations 
of the goddess Kali) exalts Bhawani as the manifestation of SaJcti. 

* The whole passage runs thus : " At the same time we cannot overlook the lament- 
able fact that the revolutionary literature brought to light in this instance and in other 
cases previously reported does suggest that such principles as the religious principle of 
absolute surrender to the Divine Will, a doctrine common to many religions, are employed 
by designing and unscrupulous men to influence and unbalance weak-minded persons 
and thus ultimately bend them to become instruments in the commission of nefarious 
crimes from which they might otherwise recoil with horror." — Calcutta Weekly Notes, 
Vol. XXIX, p. 69S Kiirg-Emperor vs. Amrita Lai Hazra. 

23 



Indians must acquire mental, physical, moral and spiritual strength. 
They must copy the methods of Japan. They must draw strength 
from religion. How this is to be done is described in moving and 
powerful terms. The book i^ a remarkable instance of perversion of 
religious ideals to political purposes. 

The Bartaman Rananiti (the modern art of war) preaches that war 
is inevitable when oppression cannot otherwise be stopped. Karma or 
action is the way to wealth and salvation ; and it is to establish this 
Karmu that the Hindus have set up the worship of Sakti. Action is 
wanted. . . . The strength of youths of a country must be applied 
to irregular warfare, then they will gradually become fearless and expert 
in sword play. They must face dangers and acquire heroic qualities. 

Next we come to the book Mukti Kon Pathe (What is the path of 
salvation ?), which is of peculiar importance as it shows how the con- 
spirators devised and justified the system of raising funds by committijig 
dacoities (gang robberies) on their own countrymen. The whole book, 
which is a reprint of selected articles from the Jugantar, indicates in 
frank terms the main features of the campaign which was actually 
carried out. At an early stage the book denounces the " smallness and 
lowness " of the ideals of the National Congress. It indicates the correct 
attitude for recruits to follow in regard to current agitations. " The 
bands may always join such agitations and undertakings regarding 
different contemporary events which the present leaders of the country 
always wish us to join. But it should always be a first consideration 
that in the matter of those undertakings alone which extend over the 
whole country and which raise a desire for liberty, the bands are to 
join whole-heartedly and to try to be in the foremost ranks. 
In the present circumstances of our country there is no lack of under- 
takings and agitations regarding it ; and by the grace of God, the Bengalis 
are everywhere being initiated by these efforts into a love of the country 
and a determination to obtain liberty. Therefore let these be by no 
means disregarded. But if these agitations be joined in without the 
ideal of freedom being cherished in the heart, real strength and training 
will never be acquired from them. Therefore as the members of the 
band will, on the one hand, stake their lives on increasing the scope of 
the bands, so on the other they should remain persevering and active 
in keeping the country excited by these undertakings and agitations." 

The book further points out that not much muscle was required to 
shoot Europeans, that arms could be procured by grim determination 
and that weapons could be prepared silently in some secret place. Indians 
could be sent to foreign countries to learn the art of making weapons. 
The assistance of Indian soldiers must be obtained. They must be 
made to understand the misery and wretchedness of the country. The 
heroism of Sivaji must be remembered. As long as revolutionary work 
remained in its infancy, expenses could be met by subscriptions. But 
as^work advanced, money must be exacted from society by the applica- 
tion of force. If the revolution is being brought about for the welfare 

24 



,of society, then it is perfectly just to collect money from society for the 
purpose. It is admitted that theft and dacoity are crimes because they 
violate the principle of the good of society. But the political dacoit 
is aiming at the good of society, "so no sin but rather virtue attaches 
to the destruction of this small good for the sake of some higher good. 
Therefore if revolutionaries extort money from the miserly or luxurious 
member of society by the application of force, their conduct is perfectly 
just." 

MuUi Kon Pathe further exhorts its readers to obtain the " help 
of the native soldiers. . . . Although these soldiers for the sake 
of their stomach accept service in the Government of the ruling power, 
still they are nothing but men made of flesh and blood. They too know 
(how) to think ; when therefore the revolutionaries explain to them 
the woes and miseries of the country, they, in proper time, swell the 
ranks of the revolutionaries with arms and weapons given them by the 
ruling power. . . . Because it is possible to persuade the soldiers 
in this way, the modern English Raj of India does not allow the cunning 
Bengalis to enter into the ranks of the army. . . Aid in the shape 
of arms may be secretly obtained by securing the help of the foreign 
ruling powers." 

31. We have now described the origin and causes of the revolutionary 

movement in Bengal. We have shown that 

Summary. ^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ Barindra Kumar Ghosh 

-were unsuccessful, but that they were subsequently renewed with marked 
determination in more favourable circumstances. We have said enough 
to make it apparent that the intentions of the revolutionaries were 
eventually to subvert by violent means British rule in India, and mean- 
while to assassinate Government officials, to obtain such help as might 
he obtainable from the Indian army, and to finance their enterprises by 
plundering their fellow-countrymen. We have described the propaganda 
and indicated the methods and the organisation, by which they prepared 
to carry these intentions into effect. In the following pages, after 
giving some account of the materials which have been available to us, 
we shall trace a gradual development of a series of wilfully calculated 
crimes, of bomb outrages, of dacoities committed against helpless people 
in far-away villages, of secret murders, of assassinations of Indian police 
officers whose only fault was their courageous and undeviating loyalty. 
Lastly we shall examine in more detail the organization and methods 
by which these outrages were promoted and offer grounds for concluding 
that they were all the outcome of a widespread but essenbially single 
movement of perverted religion and equally perverted patriotism. 



25 



CHAPTER III. 

Bengal Revolutionary Crime. The nature of the Evidence. 



32. It is C9iivenient before pursuing the narrative further to describe 

the evidence upon which we have worked, not 
FoundatwnsoUur general ^^^^ ^^ classifying crime as due to revolutionary 

agitation, but also in reaching the general' 
conclusions to be set forth later as to the nature and extent of the con- 
spiracy behind this crime. 

We have tried to bear in mind that our duty has been not to try a 
large number of particular issues relating to individual incidents or 
cases, but to realise and, if we can, present in a clear light to others the 
broad features of the situation. While therefore we have had necessarily 
to consider evidence with regard to many individual incidents and, in 
each case, see what it comes to, the only importance of such enquiries 
for our purpose lies in the general conclusions which, taken in the aggre- 
gate, they suggest. 

33. In the first place as regards the political character of the outrages 

we have described, there are of course certain 
Characteristic of^wimes ^^^^^^^ ^^ outrage which by their very nature 

proclaim themselves as revolutionary. Murder 
by bomb is practically certain to be of this character. So too are murders 
or attempted murders of magistrates, police officers or informers, actual 
or suspected, connected with the detection or prosecution of persons 
accused of revolutionary crime. But even in the case of mere robbery 
or murder in the course of robbery there are certain features, the persistent 
recurrence of which at once distinguishes these crimes from those com- 
mitted by ordinary criminals and connects them with each other. It is 
not to be understood that all the features are present in each case or 
even that any one feature is present in all. But these characteristics 
run through the outrages as a Avhole, some in one group, others in another 
overlapping group, and so on. 

The persons committing these outrages were usually young men of 
the bhadralok class. They are often reported as speaking in English or 
in the vernacular as spoken by person of bhadralok position in life. Some- 
times they wear khaki " shirts " or khaki haversacks, or both, and 
wear masks either red or white of a similar pattern. The ages, caste 
and occupation of those convicted or killed in the commission of revolu- 
tionary crime are shown in tabular form in annexure {2}: 

The circumstance that robberies and murders are being committed 
by young men of respectable extraction, students at schools and colleges, 

26 



is indeed an amazing phenomenon the occurrence of which in most 
countries would be hardly credible. We do not, however, treat an 
outrage as necessarily revolutionary merely because it is committed by 
bhddralok. That is only one element. Conversely, however, it some- 
times happens that a revolutionary arrested in another connection men- 
tions an outrage as conmaitted at such and such a time and place when no 
such crime is known to the Criminal Investigation Department as im- 
putable to the revolutionary organisation, yet on reference to the local 
poHce it is found that the crime was conmiitted, but that, no circumstances 
being noted at the time to indicate its bhadralok character, it has not been 
reported as such. 

Further, in many cases implements have been left behind by the 
dacoits and specimens have been inspected by us. In a large number 
of cases flogging-hammers were used and in four cases they were of 
identical pattern. Cold chisels have been used which at first had handles 
of split bamboo, later of stout wire and ultimately of twisted iron rod. 
Similarly, the means employed to give light were up to 1912 bottle- 
torches {viz., a rag soaked in kerosene and held by being thrust into 
the neck of a bottle), while in 1914-15 these gave place to acetylene 
lamps or specially prepared tin lamps with wicks. All the implements 
and apparatus found at the scenes of outrage have been preserved arvd 
have been inspected by us. The persistence of certain types of article 
is remarkable and convincing. 

Again, there is a strong family likeness in the methods employed. 
In many cases the telegraph wires have been cut, often at a distance 
of some miles from the actual outrage, or the dacoits have been divided 
into parties, some as guards, some to break open safes, some to terrorise- 
the inmates, and so on. Often they have obeyed a leader, communi- 
cating his orders by whistle or bugle, and have moved off in some rudi- 
mentary military formation. In some of the later cases in Calcutta 
motor cars have been employed. These are not the characteristics- 
of endemic dacoity as heretofore known to the police. 

The circumstance that firearms are used goes a very long way 
to differentiate these crimes from ordinary dacoities, inasmuch as by 
reason of the Arms Act, -which requires a permissive and not merely a 
revenue license for the possession of firearms, they cannot readily be. 
obtained without an organisation for their illicit acquisition beyond 
the resources of the ordinary criminal. Statistics, moreover, show 
that the use of firearms has not been a usual characteristics of dacoity in 
Bengal. In the six years ending December 1906 there were in all Bengal 
according to police statistics for which we asked, only one case in which 
pistols and nine in which other firearms are known to have been used. 

A much more cogent piece of evidence is where there has been the 
use in a number of cases not merely of fire arms or of fire arms of a 
similar pattern but of weapons traceable, in some cases by demon- 
stration, in others upon a very strong presumption, to a common source. 
This evidence connects as due to confederacy dacoity with dacoity.. 

27 



murder with murder, and the murders with the dacoities. This subject 
is elaborated hereafter when we deal with the connection between groups 
and districts in the matter of organisation. It is here referred to in 
passing as one of the external features justifj^ng our classifying these 
crimes together. 

It may be mentioned here that, out of 250 confessions tabulated 
with reference to the motive assigned for engaging in crime, in only five 
cases has it been stated that the object was private gain. Of the five 
persons referred to three were taxi-cab drivers. 

Apart from the circumstances of the crimes themselves the materials 
upon which we have formed our conclusions are mainly as follows : — 

34. In the first place we have a number of decisions in the criminal 

courts. These naturally have had great weight 
. iludgmerrts^and docu- ^^j^ ^g because they have been arrived at 

upon evidence formally given and elaborately 
1;ested, and after hearing both sides. We have devoted a special 
annexure * to summarising the more important of these decisions one by 
■one. Although a great many accused persons were acquitted either in the 
court of first instance or on appeal and although a great many outrages 
have not been the subject of any trial, it will be found that our general 
conclusions as to the character of the revolutionary movement, its aims 
and methods have been affirmed over and over again in the courts. 
Prosecutions, however, are directed to particular outrages or, in the 
case of conspiracies, to charges against particular gangs, whereas we 
have to enquire how far a system of revolutionary ^outrage has over- 
spread the country and how far the gangs committing them are connected 
in a common movement. 

In the second place we have a number of documents obtained by 
searches of premises or found on persons arrested, including some corre- 
spondence. There have also been finds of arms and materials from 
which important deductions can be drawn. 

35. Lastly we have had placed before us a great number of state- 

ments. In some cases these have been made 
by approvers, who haVe been wiljing to give 
^evidence, but in most cases they were made by persons in custody, 
who are not so disposed. There are a very few statements, and those 
only as to particular incidents, made by poUce agents and members of 
the public. The great mass of the statements are by persons in custody 
other than approvers, and as ' o these we must offer some comment and 
explanation. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, we have felt bound 
to treat these statements as confidenital. By the Indian E^^dence 
Act a confession by a person in police custody is not e^'idence against him 
unless made before a magistrate with certain formahties laid down in 
the Code of Criminal Procedure. Xo statement made bv an accused 



* Annexure (1). 

28 



to a police officer is admissible, except in so far as it distinctly refers tc 
some fact deposed to as discovered in consequence of that statement. 
This has induced a great candour in speaking to the poUce, but if state- 
ments made under such circumstances were made pubUc we are satisfied 
that it would be a breach of a well-understood though often unexpressed 
condition. ^Vhat compels us to be particularly careful in this respect 
is that the deponents would in our judgment certainly be exposed to- 
the vengeance of their associates. 

The above considerations have hampered us considerably in fortifying^,, 
by way of reasoning upon evidence disclosed upon the face of this report, 
the conclusions at which we have arrived. They have robbed us of the 
power to cite particular deponents by name, to set forth the circumstances 
of the making of the statement, to discuss his means of knowledge and 
the corroboration which he receives from independent statements or 
ascertained facts. We have, however, been able to use extracts from 
statements where the identity of the deponent is not directly or indirectly 
disclosed. 

The statements in question have been made at various times from 
1907 down to the date of the sittings of this Committee. They are 
most copious in the latest period, when police action under the Defence 
of India Act broke the morale of the conspirators. At this time the 
leaders when arrested, sometimes after a long period of hiding, have in 
many though not all cases been ready to tell the whole story freely. 
Some speak under the impulse of a feeling of disgust for an efiort which 
has failed. Some, of a different temperament, are conscience-stricken. 
Others speak to relieve their feelings, glad that the hfe of a hunted 
criminal is over. Not a few only speak after a period of consideration, 
during which they argue with themselves the morality of disclosure. We 
have not failed to bear in mind that information of this kind is not to 
be bhndly rehed upon, least of all in India. But we have had remark- 
able facilities for testing these statements. The fact that they are ex- 
ceedingly numerous, that they have been made at different dates and 
often in places remote from one another gives an opportunity for a 
Tjomparison far more useful than if they were few and connected. But 
this is not all. In numerous instances a deponent refers to facts pre- 
viously unknown to revolutionary haunts not yet suspected or persons 
not arrested. Upon following up the statements the facts have been 
found to have occurred the haunts are found in full activity, the 
persons indicated have been arrested and in turn have made state- 
ments, or documents have been unearthed and a new departure 
obtained for further investigation. This class of research has been 
particularly successful in the years 1916 and 1917 and a network of 
information has been obtained which leaves no escape from the 
general conclusions which we shall record. The fatal precision of 
the information given by persons arrested was only too well appre- 
ciated by those who remained at large. A revolutionary and un- 
doubted murderer, since arrested, thus writes in a letter dated the 2nd 
January, found in January 1918 : " One gives ou': the names of ten 

29 



others and they in their turn give out something. By this process we 
have been entirely weakened. Even the enemy don't consider that they 
who remain are worth taking." 

Two sample episodes taken from the history of the investigations 
pursued are described in a later section of this report.* They give some 
idea of the completeness and cogency of the methods by which the 
conspirators have been tracked down and their methods largely revealed. 
They also illustrate the ramifications of their organizations. 



* See paragraph 170 

30 



CHAPTER IV. 

Revolutionary Crime iu Bengal. 

1906—1908. 

36. We now propose to give a chronological statement of the outrages 
committed by the revolutionaries in Bengal. 

Development of revolution- In order to give a general view in moderate 
ary crime^dunng the years ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^.^ ^^^^^ ^^^^.j^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ 

maps will be'introduced at convenient periods 
to show the volume and distribution of this class of crime from time to 
time. We shall just note in passing certain collateral matters such as 
legislation and occurrences in other provinces to facilitate the apprecia- 
tion of the general development. 

At first the persons undertaking to commit outrages in Bengal showed 
a lack of lesolution. Thus there is reason to believe that in August 

1906 a plot to rob a widow's house at Eangpur was abandoned because 
the intending robbers, on arrival at the scene of operations, heard that 
there was a Sub-Inspector in the village. At Sekharnagar in Septem- 
ber 1906 a large body of armed dacoits were baffled by an iron safe. 
In May 1907 a party of nine or ten gave up an intended dacoity at a jute 
office near Arsulia on hearing that the people in the office had a double- 
barrelled gun. In August of the same year a projected dacoity at 
Bankura was abandoned because the man who was to point out the house 
was too drunk to do so. These abandoned projects are not indicated oi 
any of the sketch maps which will be found on the succeeding pages 
to illustrate the spread of outrages, because they came to nothing. They 
a,re only mentioned because there is information believed by us that 
those who were party to them included men who were afterwards found 
guilty by the courts of serious outrages, and in order to show how 
the mischief grew from small beginnings under the influence of criminal 
propaganda. 

More serious incidents, however, soon occurred. There is informa- 
tion to show that in October 1907 there were two plots to blow up the 
Lieutenant-Governor's train and on December 6th, 1907, the train in 
which he was travelling was actually derailed by a bomb near Midnapore, 
the explosion making a hole 5 feet wide by 5 feet deep. In October 

1907 a man carrying money in a bag was stabbed and robbed at Netai- 
ganj, in the Dacca district. On the 23rd December 1907, Mr.' Allen, 
formerly District Magistrate at Dacca, was shot in the back, though 

31 



not fatally, at a railway station in the district of Faridpur between 
Dacca and Calcutta, On the 3rd April 1908, seven men armed with 
knives and pistols entered a house at Sibpur, just outside Calcutta, and, 
by threatening to murder the owner's infant daughter, secured the surren- 
der of money and ornaments of the value of Rs. 400. For want of cor- 
roborative evidence no one was put on his trial, but we are satisfied the 
robbery did take place and a well-known revolutionary has since ad- 
mitted complicity in it. 

On the 11th April 1908, a bomb containing amongst other ingredients 
picric acid was thrown into the house^of the Maire of Chandernagore, 
It exploded but fortunately no one was injured. Chandernagore is 
a small French possession on the Hooghly above Calcutta and had been 
a channel for the illicit importation of arms. The Maire had recently 
got an " ordinaire " passed prohibiting this trafiic. Well-known revolu- 
tionaries have since confessed to being party to this outrage. 

37. On the 30th April at Muzaffarpur in the north of Bengal (now in 

Bihar and Orissa) a bomb was thrown into a 
The Muzaffarpur murders, ^^^rriage in which two ladies, Mrs. and Miss 
Kennedy, were driving. They both were killed. The outrage occurred 
outside the house of Mr. Kingsford, the Judge of Muzaffarpur for 
whom it was no doubt intended. Mr. Kingsford had formerly been 
Chief Presidency Magistrate and had resided at Garden Rea«iP, Calcutta, 
and the assassins had been sent to Muzaffarpur, far away in Bihar,, 
to commit the crime. The pohce had received information 10 days 
before that the murder of Mr. Kingsford was intended, and during 
the next year a well-known revolutionary, when in custody, said that 
before this outrage a bomb had been sent to Mr. Kingsford in a parcel. 
Upon search being made, a parcel was found which Mr. Kingsford had 
received but not opened, thinking it contained a book borrowed from 
him The parcel did contain a book ; but the 4niddle portion of the 
leaves had been cut away and the volume was thus in efiect a box and in 
the hollow was contained a bomb with a spring to cause its explosion if 
the book was opened. 

Within two days of the murder of the two ladies two youths were 
arrested. One, a student, confessed in court and was hanged. The other 
shot himself dead on arrest. The Sub-Inspector who arrested the latter 
was shot dead in Serpentine Lane, Calcutta, on November 9th following. 

38. Meanwhile, on the 2nd May, on evidence obtained in connec- 

tion with a previous outrage, searches were 
'^"''wSnMted '"mJrderr"'' ^^^de in a g^^rden at Maniktala and elsewhere 

in Calcutta and bombs, dynamite, cartridges 
and correspondence seized. Upon this 34 persons were charged with con- 
spiracy, of whom one, Narendra Gosain, became an approver. Fifteen 
were ultimately found guilty of conspiracy to wage war against the 
King-Emperor, including Barindra Kumar Ghosh, already mentioned 

32 



as one of the most active founders of the criminal revolutionary move- 
ment in Bengal, Hem Chandra Das, the manufacturer of the bomb 
which killed Mrs. and Miss Kennedy, and another who made the state- 
ment already alluded to and so strikingly confirmed as to the sending 
of a bomb in a parcel to Mr. Kingsford. The trial in this case is known 
as the Alipore conspiracy case. It is convenient to mention by anticipa- 
tion that, pending the trial, the approver Narendra Gosain was shot 
dead in jail by two revolutionaries also confined, who managed to get 
arms smuggled in. They were both convicted and executed. Fur- 
ther, on the 10th February 1909, the Public Prosecutor who had acted in 
the Ahpore case and in the case of the murder of the approver was shot 
dead in Calcutta, while on the 24th January 1910, a Deputy Superin- 
tendent of Police was shot dead while leaving the High Court, Calcutta, 
. where he was attending the hearing of the appeal in the Alipore case. 

The arrests made in the beginning of May 1908 in connection with the 
Alipore conspiracy for a time removed from the scene between 30 and 40 
persons, twelve of whom as shown by their convictions and ultimate 
sentences in that case were leaders in outrage. Crime, however, 
continued. 

39. On the 15th May 1908, a bomb exploded in Grey Street, Cal- 
cutta, injuring four persons, and between 
More outrages and murders, j^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ 

cases of bombs being thrown into railway carriages near Calcutta. 
These bombs were, however, not of a formidable character, being 
enclosed in cocoanut shells. On one occasion a European gentleman 
was badly wounded and two others sUghtly injured. On the other 
occasions no one was hurt. It may be that the intention was to injure 
Mr. Hume, the Public Prosecutor, who on one occasion was in the 
carriage into which the bomb was thrown and on another occasion 
was in the train but not in the particular carriage. Two other cases of 
cocoanut bombs being thrown into trains occurred near Calcutta on the 
10th February and 5th April 1909. They do not call for further notice. 
Proceedings under the preventive section of the Criminal Procedure 
Code were instituted against a certain person and this type of outrage 
ceased when he was bound over. 

On the 2nd June 1908, at Barrah in the Dacca district, there took 
place a serious dacoity, with murder. The circumstances of this crime 
presented most of the characteristics by which dacoities organised by 
the revolutionaries were thereafter distinguished. A body of about 
50 men armed with rifles, revolvers and daggers and wearing masks 
came in a boat apparently from a considerable distance and attacked 
the house of a native resident. They took away about Rs. 25,000 in 
cash and about Rs. 837 worth of jewellery. They then retired to their 
boats which were about 400 yards from the house. The village chau- 
kidar or watchman attempted to stop them. They shot him dead. 
They then got into their boats, but were pursued by villagers and police 

33 

n 



on the banks for a great distance. At different times th3y fired on their 
pursuers and three more men were killed and several wounded. Three 
persons were put on their trial for this outrage, but the evidence did not 
sufiiciently identify them. 

Another serious dacoity of this kind took place at Naria in the Farid- 
pur district on the 30th October. Thirty or forty men armed with guns 
and other weapons arrived in a large boat at the village landing-place. 
They scattered the boats and people by firing guns and looted the 
steamer office and three houses. The}^ did not find much money or 
jewellery, but in their retreat through the bazar they set fire to several 
houses and caused damage to the extent of Ks. 6,400. Although a 
reward of Es. 1,000 was offered for information, no evidence on which 
any individuals could be brought to trial was obtained, but among 
articles left behind by the dacoits was a copy of a book circulated from 
the Dacca Anusilan Samiti. 

There is no doubt that the Barrah and Naria dacoities were the 
work of the Dacca Samiti. There is abundant evidence of that before 
uSj including the confession of a man who took part in both. 

In August three men were arrested in a boat which had been stolen 
in the Dacca district. Two country-made daggers were concealed in 
the boat, and one of the men found in it was afterwards convicted and 
sentenced to transportation in what was known as the Barisal supple- 
mentary conspiracy case. There is no reasonable doubt that the boat 
was stolen for use on another enterprise of the character of the Barrah 
and Naria dacoities. 

On the 15th August 1908 and on the 16th September 1908, there 
occurred dacoities, one at Bajitpur, Mymen- 
Dacoits P^m^ as police ^^^^^ district, and another at Bighati in th e 
Hooghly district, more than 100 miles away. 
In both cases a number of young men armed with pistols obtained 
admittance to houses on the pretence of being police officers conduct- 
ing a search, and when admitted robbed the premises. In the latter 
case four men were convicted, of whom two had also been committed 
for trial on ample evidence in the former case. A conviction having 
been obtained, this case was not proceeded with against the men 
convicted. 

The murders in September and November 1908 of Naren Gosain, 
Murders *^® approver, and of Sub-Inspector Nanda Lai 

Banarji who had arrested one of the murderers 
of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy, have already been mentioned. In Novem- 
ber there were certainly one and probably three murders of the same 
kind. In the first, the victim was a man called Sukumar Chakrabarti, 
who had been arrested with Pulin Behari Das of the Dacca Anusilan 
Samiti and others upon a charge of enticing away a boy. Sukumar 
.made a statement and was released on bail, but never appeared. There 

84 



RE 



Pa 



BENGAL 

8c«:e t'l:64- Mile* 



lal 

as 



35 



1)2 



lis 
al 
:t. 
m 
al 



'ir 



n 



3- 

)f 



REVOLUTIONARY CRIME IN BENGAL DURING 1907-08. 




BENGAL 



Murder or wounding with intent to murder ■ Other attempts at murder C 

Dakaity or Robbery.... Daltaity with Murder.. Other attempted Outrages © 



Murder or wounding with 
intent to murder.. ...B 

1 Goaiundo(Faridpur) 

2 Muzaffarpur 

3 Calcutta, Aiipur Jail 



5 Ramna, Dacca Town 

6 Howrah Town 

7 Ramna, Dacca Town 



Other attempts at 
murder 



1 French Chandernagar 

2 Narayangarh (Midna- 

pur) 

3 French Chandernagar 

4 Calcutta, Grey Street 

5 Kharda, 24-Parganas 

6 Calcutta, Overtoun Hall 



Dal<alty or Robbery.. 



1 Netaiganj (Narayan- 
ganj, Dacca) 



3 Sibpur (Howrah) 

4 Satlrpara(Nar8lnghdi, 

Dacca) 

5 AlkaparalBajiptpur, 

Mymensingh) 



7 Naria, I Palong, Farld- 

pur) 

8 Raita(Nadia) 



10 Dehargati (Bakarganj) 



Dakaity with Murder, 



is abundant concurring but independent testimony, including a con- 
fession by one of the murderers, that he was killed to prevent him giving 
evidence. Two other men, Keshab De and Annada Persad Ghosh, 
members of the revolutionary party, are also believed on substantial 
grounds to have been murdered about the same time, because it was 
feared they would give information against the Samiti. 

In November and December of 1908 there were two more serious 

_ ... dacoities iu West Bengal at Raita and Morehal 

in which armed bands with fire-arms took part. 

There was also one at Dehargati in the Bakarganj district. One man 

who was wounded and arrested in the act was convicted in the Morehal 

case. - 

On the 7th November 1908 there was also an attempt to shoot Sir 
Andrew Fraser, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. The assailant was 
arrested and sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment. 

This brings the narrative down to the end of 1908 ; it is summarised 
in the table appended. The scenes of the outrages mentioned are shown 
on the accompanying map. 

40. On the 2nd November of this year was issued the Royal Pro- 
clamation foreshadowing the enlargement o f 
stitutional reforms. " ^^® Legislative Councils and the extension of 
the representative principle. The reforms were 
announced by the Secretary of State in the succeeding month. 

Tabular statement ol ^^' ^® annex a tabular statement of re- 

revolutionary crimes volutionary crimes perpetrated during the 
for the years 1906-08. years 1906—1908 :— 



36 

1)2 



jnade a statement and was reieaseuun ^o-.i, ^^.. ^ rr 

84 



is abundant concurring but independent testimony, including a con- 
fession by one of the murderers, that he was killed to prevent him giving 
evidence. Two other men, Keshab De and Annada Persad Ghosh, 
members of the revolutionary party, are also believed on substantial 
grounds to have been murdered about the same time, because it was 
feared they would give information against the Samiti. 

In November and December of 1908 there were two more serious 

Dacoities dacoities iu West Bengal at Raita and Morehal 

in which armed bands with fire-arms took part. 

There was also one at Dehargati in the Bakarganj district. One man 

who was wounded and arrested in the act was convicted in the Morehal 

case. 

On the 7th November 1908 there was also an attempt to shoot Sir 
Andrew Fraser, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. The assailant was 
arrested and sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment. 

This brings the narrative down to the end of 1908 ; it is summarised 
in the table appended. The scenes of the outrages mentioned are shown 
on the accompanying map. 

40. On the 2nd November of this year was issued the Royal Pro- 

clamation foreshadowing the enlargement of 

stitutional reforms. ' *^® Legislative Councils and the extension of 

the representative principle. The reforms were 

announced by the Secretary of State in the succeeding month. 

Tabular statement of ^^' ^^ annex a tabular statement of re- 

revolutionary crimes volutionary crimes perpetrated during the 
for the years 1906-08. years 1906-1908 :- 



35 

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1909. 

42. On the llth December 1908 was passed the Criminal Law 
Amendment Act XIV of 1908. This statute 

Preventive action. provided that charges of certain scheduled 

offences might after an abridged form of preliminary investigation be 
tried by a Special Bench of three High Court Judges without jury or 
assessors. It further enabled the Governor-General in Council to declare 
imlawful certain classes of associations. Under this enactment the 
following samitis of Eastern Bengal were declared unlawful in January 
1909 :— 



Dacca Anusilan Samiti 


Dacca. 


Swadesh Bandhab Samiti 


Bakarganj. 


Brati Samiti ..... 


. Faridpur. 


Suhrid Samiti .... 


Mymensingh 


Sadhana Samiti .... 


Ditto. 



In November 1908 Pulin Behari Das, the head of the Dacca Samiti, 
with 8 other persons had been deported under Regulation III of 1818, 

43. On February 10th, 1909, as has already been mentioned 
Ashutosh Biswas, the Public Prosecutor, who 
Dacoities smd "JJ^ers of ^^^ appeared for the Crown in the case of the 
murder of Naren Gosain, the approver, was 
shot as he was leaving the Suburban Police Court, Calcutta. His 
assailant was seized by constables, convicted and hanged. On the 
3rd June 1909 a young man named Priya Nath Chatarji was murdered 
at his home in the presence of his mother by a band of men armed with 
firearms. This man was murdered in mistake for his brother, Gabesh, 
who at the time was giving evidence for the police in a case then pending. 
There is clear proof by the confession of a participator corroborated 
by other statements that this was the work of the Dacca Samiti. 

On the 16th August, at Nangla in the Khulna district, a dacoity 
was committed by 8 or 9 masked persons armed with pistols and daggers, 
who obtained delivery of the victim's keys by menaces and took away 
Rs. 1,070 in money and ornaments. In searches made in connection 
with the arrest of persons suspected of this crime seditious literature 
and instructions for the manufacture of explosi^s were found. A 
number of persons were convicted. 

On the 11th October 1909 while a consignment of Rs. 23,000 in 
seven bags was being conveyed in a train which had just left Rajendra- 
pur station, 7 or 8 hhadralok youths who had entered the train at Dacca 
attacked the three men who were in charge of the money. Two of the 
men were shot, one fatally, and the other stabbed. The robbers then 
threw the money out of the train and jumped off. About half the 
money was ultimately recovered and one man was convicted. From at 
least three statements made at later dates, at different times and places 

40 . 



REVOLUTIO^ 




REVOLUTIONARY CRIME ItsI BENGAL pblRING 1909-10. 




Murder or wounding with intent to murder ■ Other attempts at murder B 

Dakaity or Robbery # Dakaity with Murder. .. 4 Other attempted Outrages €) 

Dakalty or Robbery # 



Murder or wounding with Other attemtpts 
intent to murder.. .. ■ at murdei 



3 Calcutta, Hii 

4 Dacca Town 



c 



1 Kharda (24-Parganas) 



Dakaity with Murder. .< 
1 Rajendrapur (Dacca) 



2 Haldiahat(Lohajang, 
Dacca) 



1 Comilla Town 



4 Nangla (Taia. Khulna) 



6 Dariapur (Faridpur) 



8 Rajnagar (Manikganj, 
Dacca) 



10 Buikara (Nawaoara, 

Jessore) 

11 Solegants(Oamuria, 

Khulna) 



12 Dhulgram (Abhoya- 

nagar, Jessc-e) 

13 Nandanpur (Khulna) 

14 Mohlsa (Muhammadpur 

JesEore) 



17 Dadpur{Mehendlganj, 
Bakarganj) 



Tjy persons in custody independently of eacli other, it is clear that this 
^as a dacoity on account of the revolutionary organisation, and one 
•deponent, whose statement has been proved otherwise trustworthy and 
has been so characterised in a judicial decision, states definitely that 
part of the money went to the Dacca Samiti and part to the Jugantar 
party in Calcutta. 

On the 10th November 1909, a house at Rajnagarj Dacca district, 
was entered by 25 or 30 youths armed with guns, who carried away 
in ornaments and money Rs. 28,000. On the 11th November, next 
day, 20 or 30 youths with bombs and guns looted four shops at Mohanpur. 
Tippera, and carriei off Rs. 16,000 in cash and ornaments. Both these 
dacoities were planned at Sonarang National School, and they have 
been described since by undoubted members of the Dacca Samiti, 
These three dacoities were clearly the work of the Dacca Society, which, 
it is observed, are using a school for the organisation of such crimes. 

Another important dacoity committed this autumn, but not by 
the gang just mentioned,' was at Haludbari in the Nadia district. On 
October 28th, ten or twelve youths armed -with pistols and a gun, with 
faces muffled and some with false beards, raided two houses and carried 
■off in ornaments and money Rs. 1,400. Five of them were intercepted 
on their way to a railway station and arrested. In the house of one of 
them 35 loaded revolver cartridge's were found. Five of these men 
were convicted. In the possession of one of them, Upendra Deb, were 
pills containing fatal doses of cyanide of potassium. One of the others 
in his statement said that such pills had been given to Upendra in 
order that they might commit suicide if necessary. 

There were other -thefts and dacoities in 1909, which in order to 
avoid overloading this statement are only noted in the following table 
ior the year : — 



41 



"Tby persons in custody independently of eacli other, it is clear tliat this 
was a dacoity on account of the revolutionary organisation, and one 
•deponent, whose statement has been proved otherwise trustworthy and 
has been so characterised in a judicial decision, states definitely that 
part of the money went to the Dacca Samiti and part to the Jugantar 
party in Calcutta. 

On the 10th November 1909, a house at Rajnagar, Dacca district* 
was entered by 25 or 30 youths armed with guns, who carried away 
in ornaments and money Rs. 28,000. On the 11th November, next 
day, 20 or 30 youths with bombs and guns looted four shops at Mohanpur. 
Tippera, and carriei of? Rs. 16,000 in cash and ornaments. Both these 
dacoities were planned at Sonarang National School, and they have 
been described since by undoubted members of the Dacca Samiti. 
These three dacoities were clearly the work of the Dacca Society, which, 
it is observed, are using a school for the organisation of such crimes. 

Another important dacoity committed this autumn, but not by 
the gang just mentioned,' was at Haludbari in the Nadia district. On 
October 28th, ten or twelve youths armed -with pistols and a gun, with 
faces muffled and some with false beards, raided two houses and carried 
■off in ornaments and money Rs. 1,400. Five of them were intercepted 
on their way to a railway station and arrested. In the house of one of 
them 35 loaded revolver cartridge's were found. Five of these men 
were convicted. In the possession of one of them, Upendra Deb, were 
pills containing fatal doses of cyanide of potassium. One of the others 
in his statement said that such pills had been given to Upendra in 
order that they might commit suicide if necessary. 

There were other -thefts and dacoities in 1909, which in order to 
avoid overloading this statement are only noted in the following table 
ior the year : — 



41 



Ses stolen 
the store 
Nawab of 
at Comilla. 

erson bound 


13 




Chree ri 
from 
of the 
Dacca 
One p 
down. 








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43 



During this year, 1909, there is information indicating that a number 
of other murders and dacoities were plotted. As nothing occurred 
we do not notice these matters. It is worth mentioning, however, 
that in November, when the Lieutenant-Governor of Eastern Bengal 
was paying a visit to Agartala in Hill Tippera, three young men, two 
of whom have been since convicted of revolutionary crime, were found 
loitering there disguised as religious devotees and gave false names 
when questioned. 

In December of this year occurred the murder already mentioned 
of Mr. Jackson, the Collector of Nasik in the Bombay Presidency. 



1910. 

44. The first outrage of the revolutionaries in 1910 was the murder 
Murder of Shamsul Alam. ^^ *^^ Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shamsul 

Alam, on the 24th of January in the High 
'Court, which has already been referred to. 

45. In the month of March action in connection with what is known 

as the Howrah conspiracy case began, but it 
The Howrah^conspiracy ^^^ ^^^ ^^^-^ ^^^.-^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^-^^ proceedings 

terminated with the judgment of the Special 
Bench appointed under the Criminal Law Amendment Act XIV of 1908. 
Fifty persons were charged with conspiracy to wage war against the 
King and with committing various dacoities in the districts round about 
Calcutta in order to collect money in furtherance of their scheme. Among 
the dacoities specified in the charges were the Bighati, Raita, Morehal, 
Netra and Haludbari robberies already mentioned. That these dacoi- 
ties actually occurred and were the work of persons of the bhadralok (or 
respectable) class was the conclusion of the court, though the conspiracy 
charged was held proved against six only of the accused. These six had 
already been convicted and sentenced in the Haludbari case. The con- 
tinuance of the proceedings under the Criminal Law over a period of 
12 months against 50 accused persons was followed by a complete cessa- 
tion of bhadralok dacoities in the districts around Calcutta, until a notable 
individual named Jatindra Mukharji became the leader of a party in 
Western Bengal about 1914. ^ 

The Khulna eane ^^' '^^^ ^^^* P^^* ^^ *^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^® 

marked by the following dacoities : — 



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.45 



All these robberies took place in the Khulna-Jessore country lying 
between Calcutta and Dacca and were prepetrated by young men armed 
with pistols and daggers. Inquiries led to the discovery of a gang of 
educated youths who associated for the purpose of committing dacoities 
in the Khulna district, of whom 17 were committed for trial to the High 
Court in what was known as the Khulna gang case. They all pleaded 
guilty and were discharged without punishment on their own recogni- 
zances binding them to be of good behaviour. There is no reason to 
doubt that they had combined to commit these crimes under the influence 
of the revolutionary ideas then prevalent. > 

47. In July 1910, in consequence of the prevalence of anarchical 

crime in the Dacca district, proceedings were 

The Dacca conspiracy • ^^ ^ i • t^ -j. • . ■> t 

case. instituted m Dacca city against a number of 

persons charging them with conspiracy to wage 
war against the King. Among them was Pulin Eehari Das, who had 
been deported as already mentioned, in November 1908, but had been 
allowed to return at the beginning of 1910. Forty-four accused were 
eventually brought to trial, and 15 found guilty sentenced to terms of 
imprisonment varying from 7 to 2 years' rigorous imprisonment. In the 
case of Pulin Behari Das the sentence was for 7 years. The Sessions 
Judge, whose findings were affirmed in the appeal to the High Court, 
remarked that " the members of the organisation (the Dacca Anusilan 
Samiti) had committed dacoities obviously for the purpose of collecting 
funds and had got possession of arms and committed murders to ensure 
their secrets being kept inviolate. These overt acts clearly showed that 
the conspiracy to wage war had long passed the passive stage and had 
become an active conspiracy in respect of which it was essentially the 
duty of Government to take action." Searches made at the head- 
quarters of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti in connection with this prose- 
cution brought to Hght a quantity of literature by the aid of which, as 
we shall hereafter show, the organization and working of the society was 
to a large extent made clear. 

48. Unfortunately this prosecution had no efiect in reducing the 

„ ,^ , . political crime in this district, probably because 

Further outrages in fi . , j • f j • i.- 

Eastern Bengal. *^® conspirators, and associated organizations 

were too numerous and the net of the prosecu- 
tion had not been cast far enough. From July to December 1910, the 
following political outrages occurred in the country about Dacca : — 



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and in addition a dacoity was planned to take place in which, conspirators, 
from Calcutta, Mymensingh and Sonarang were to take part. The plan 
fortunately miscarried and no property was stolen. 

From the statement of a witness accepted as true in the Barisal 
supplementary conspiracy case, it appears that the three last mentioned 
dacoities originated among the students and teachers at the Sonarang 
National School (which attained greater notoriety iti 1911). The loot 
was partly used for the defence of the accused in the pending Dacca 
conspiracy case. 

49. This year saw the enactment of the Indian Press Act (Act I of 
A t of 1910 1910), which received the assent of the Governor- 

General on the 9th of February. The virulence 
of the seditious newspapers in the early days of the movement has been 
mentioned in the introduction. By the Newspapers (Incitement to 
Offences) Act, 1908, power was given to forfeit presses used for publish- 
ing newspapers inciting to certain offences, with the result that the 
Jugantar soon ceased to appear. By the Act of 1910, security might be- 
required from the keeper of any printing press. This Act drove much of: 
the seditious literature to secret presses. 



1911. 

50. In the year 1911 there were 18 outrages by revolutionists. Of 
these, 16 occurred in Eastern Bengal, a sufficient 
Outrages oMne year proof of the remark already made that the pro- 
ceedings in the Dacca conspiracy case, which 
were not concluded till April 1912, had no substantial deterrent effects 
The following is a tabular statement of the outrages in Eastern Bengal : — 



48 





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BENGAL 



Scale I' 64 Milet 



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51 



E 2 



REVOLUTIONARY CRIME IN BENGAL DURING 1911-12. 








Murder or wounding with intent to murder ■ Other attempts at murder . 

Dal<aity or Robbery 9 Daltaity with murder # Other attempted Outrages. 

Dal<alty or Robbery . . . 



1 Calcutta 

2 Rauthbog( Dacca) 

3 Mymensingh Town 

4 Sonarang, Dacca 

5 Barisal Town 

6 Feni (Noakhali) 

7 Goalnagar (Dacca) 



1 Calcutta, Dalhousie Sq. 

2 Mldnapur Town 



1 Sonarang (Dacca) 

2 Panditchar (Faridpur) 

3 Goadia (Lohajang, 

Dacca) 

4 Sual(air {Madarganj, 

Mymensingh) 

6 Lakankati (Bakarganj) 

6 Charshasa (Mymen- 

singh) 

7 Barkanta(Tlpperah) 

8 Sarachar(Bajitpur, 

Mymensingh) 

9 Singhairf Manikganj, 

Dacca) 

10 Kaiiachar (Bajitpur, 
Mymensingh) 

11 Bailagram (Rangpur) 

12 Chaulpatti (Noakhali) 

13 Baiguntewarl (Dacca) 



14 Ainapur (Gheor, Dacca) 
16 Kushangal (Bakarganj) 

16 Kakuria(MehendiganJ, 

Bakarganj) 

17 Birangal (Bakarganj) 



21 Koia (Srinagar, Dacca) 



1 Comllla Tovi 



51 „ The first of the above outrages was an assault by the students 

and teachers of the Sonarang National School, 
The Sonarang National ^^^ g^j^^^ ^j^^ ^^^ ^^ ^ p^g^^^l ^^^^ ^-^j^ -^^ 

contents, including registered orders for money 
and cash. Fourteen teachers and students were arrested and seven were 
ultimately punished by fine or imprisonment. The Sonarang murders 
of the 11th July appear to have been an offshoot of this case, for upon 
that day Rasul Dewan was shot dead, and his brother and another man 
were mortally wounded at their house at Sonarang. They had been 
assisting the police with information, and Rasul Dewan particularly 
had assisted the police in the postal peon case. 

There is reason to beheve that the students and masters of the 
Sonarang School participated in the Goadia dacoity mentioned in the 
foregoing hst. This notorious school had been founded in the year 1908 
and at the time of the Dacca conspiracy case was attended by 60 or 70 
students. The curriculum was the same as in the Government schools 
up to the Entrance or Matriculation standard, with the addition that 
physical exercise and lathi-Tgi[a,j were taught and a blacksmith's and 
carpenter's shop utilised for the teaching of practical carpentry and 
iron-work. No syllabus of subjects taught or text-books used at this 
school had ever been issued, and it has not been ascertained what books 
were actually in use there, but on the occasion of a search made in 
August 1910 in connection with the Dacca conspiracy case, the 
following books were found in the school library : — ■ 

_ (1) History of Tilak's case and sketch of his Ufe. 

(2) Chhatrapati Shivaji, by S. C. Sastri. 

(3) History of the Sepoy Mutiny, 

52. Of the other murders mentioned in the list, Man Mohan De, 
Murders murdered at Rauthbhog, was a witness in the 

Dacca case and the Munshiganj bomb case 
already referred to ; Sub-Inspector Rajkumar, murdered at Mymen- 
singh, was shot in cold blood while walking home in Mymensingh town, 
Inspector Man Mohan Ghosh, who was murdered at Barisal, was shot 
on the evening of the day of the Royal proclamation at Barisal, 
while returning to his quarters ; he had been conspicuously active in 
various pohtical inquiries and had appeared as a witness in the Dacca 
conspiracy case. 

Although the great majority of the outrages in this year took place 
in Eastern Bengal, two daring crimes were committed in the streets of 
Calcutta by the revolutionaries in this year. On the 21st February 1911 
Tiead constable Srish Chandra Chakrabarti, attached to the Calcutta 
■Criminal Investigation Department, was shot dead in that city, and there 
is reason to believe that he was murdered by a member of the gang 
known as the Calcutta Anusilan Samiti. Within a fortnight, on the 2nd 
of March, a httle before 5 o'clock in the evening, a bomb was thrown into 
the motor car of a European gentleman named Cowley by a boy aged 

61 

B 2 



5L The first of the above outrages was an assault by the students 

and teachers of the Sonarang National School, 

The Sonarang National ^^^ g^-^^^ the bag of a postal peon with its 

contents, including registered orders for money 
and cash. Fourteen teachers and students were arrested and seven were 
ultimately punished by fine or imprisonment. The Sonarang murders 
of the 11th July appear to have been an offshoot of this case, for upon 
that day Rasul Dewan was shot dead, and his brother and another man 
were mortally wounded at their house at Sonarang. They had been 
assisting the police with information, and Rasul Dewan particularly 
had assisted the police in the postal peon case. 

There is reason to believe that the students and masters of the 
Sonarang School participated in the Goadia dacoity mentioned in the 
foregoing hst. This notorious school had been founded in the year 1908 
and at the time of the Dacca conspiracy case was attended by 60 or 70 
students. The curriculum was the same as in the Government schools 
up to the Entrance or Matriculation standard, with the addition that 
physical exercise and lathi--pla,j were taught and a blacksmith's and 
carpenter's shop utilised for the teaching of practical carpentry and 
iron-work. No syllabus of subjects taught or text-books used at this 
school had ever been issued, and it has not been ascertained what books 
were actually in use there, but on the occasion of a search made in 
August 1910 in connection with the Dacca conspiracy case, the 
following books were found in the school library :■ — 

- (1) History of Tilak's case and sketch of his fife. 

(2) Chhatrapati Shivaji, by S. C. Sastri. 

(3) History of the Sepoy Mutiny. 

52. Of the other murders mentioned in the list, Man Mohan De, 
„ . murdered at Rauthbhog, was a witness in the 

Dacca case and the Munshiganj bomb case 
already referred to ; Sub-Inspector Rajkumar, murdered at Mymen- 
•singh, was shot in cold blood while walking home in Mymensingh town. 
Inspector Man Mohan Ghosh, who was murdered at Barisal, was shot 
on the evening of the day of the Royal proclamation at Barisal, 
while returning to his quarters ; he had been conspicuously active in 
various pohtical inquiries and had appeared as a witness in the Dacca 
conspiracy case. 

Although the great majority of the outrages in this year took place 
in Eastern Bengal, two daring crimes were committed in the streets of 
'Calcutta by the revolutionaries in this year. On the 21st February 1911 
liead constable Srish Chandra Chakrabarti, attached to the Calcutta 
"Criminal Investigation Department, was shot dead in that city, and there 
is reason to believe that he was murdered by a member of the gang 
known as the Calcutta Anusilan Samiti. Within a fortnight, on the 2nd 
of March, a httle before 5 o'clock in the evening, a bomb was thrown into 
the motor car of a European gentleman named Cowley by a boy aged 

61 

E 2 



1 6, who was arrested on the spot. The bomb fortunately did not e xplode . 
It was, however, one of the type manufactured at Chandernagore which 
has since proved in more than one case to be of a very dangerous make. 
It is certain that the bomb was intended not for Mr. Cowley but for 
Mr. Denham, a prominent officer of the Criminal Investigation Depart- 
ment in Calcutta. 

53. In this year was passed the Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act 

S dT M f ^^^^ ^ °^ ^^^^^' ^^ *^^^ ^^*' ^^ ^^o^^g^* i^^^ 

' Act. '"^ operation by a notification by the Government, 

considerable powers for controlling pubhc meet- 
ings were conferred. We understand, however, that recourse has rarely 
been had to its provisions. 

54. At the end of this year took place the Coronation Durbar, aiid 

_ . . . Eastern and Western Bengal were re-unitcd in 

Reunion of the two rrx. • t 4.x, i. M.- 

Bengals. ^^^® provmce. The grievance oi the partition 

thus disappeared. 

In the Tinnevelly district of the Madras Presidency, Mr. Ashe, the 
Collector of Tinnevellv, was murdered on the 17th June 1911. 



1912. 

Revolutionary crime in ^^- The chief interest of the year 1912 centres 

Eastern Bengal during round the events which led up to the Barisal 
^®^^" conspiracy case of the following year. 

On April 17th occurred the Kushangal dacoity, the first of a group 
of " actions " committed by the Dacca Anusilan Samiti in the Bakarganj 
district, which the prosecution in the Barisal case subsequently cited as 
the overt acts of the conspiracy charged. 

The next of the series occurred two days later at Kakuria and the 
third after a month's interval at Birangal. Details of these outrages 
have been related by a self-confessed participant who turned approver. 
They were of the recognised revolutionary type. In two of them the 
dacoits carried guns and wore masks, and in two of them inmates of the 
houses attacked received injuries. The main preoccupation of the anar- 
chists was always to secure fresh arms, and at Kushangal the objective 
was a Government gun, which was secured ; at Kakuria the value of the 
loot was small, but at Birangal it totalled about Es. 8,000. 

It was not long before the police were on an effective line of investi- 
gation. The first statement of the approver Rajani Das was secured in 
September 1912 with the help of a Barisal non-ofiicial gentleman, and 
information was thereafter secretly collected regarding the gang respon- 
sible for the Kushangal-Birangal affairs. Certain of their docmnents 
were secured which were of great importance as showing the highly 

52 



finished and quasi-religious organisation of the party ; they included 
oaths to be taken by members, preliminary and final, and a description 
of the information to be sent up to the society from outlying branches. 

The preparation of the conspiracy case^was greatly advanced by the 
events of November 1912. A letter to the son of a Sub-Inspector of 
Police at Comilla conveyed information which led to the arrest at night 
of 12 men with dripping clothes in a darkened house surrounded by all 
the implements of a bhadralok dacoity, including 2 revolvers, a 12 bore 
gun and a number of masks, as well as a slip of paper containing a list 
of names and of weapons allotted to their holders, clearly a plan drawn 
up for an intended dacoity. Ten of these men were convicted of assem- 
bhng for the purpose of committing dacoity, two more being acquitted 
by the High Court on appeal. There is abundant information to the 
effect that the men surprised on this occasion were members of the 
Dacca Anusilan Samiti assembled for one of their " actions," while the 
seizure of the paper mentioned gave the clue to further members of the 
samiti. 

Of still greater importance was the discovery on November 28th of a 
collection of revolutionary stores, arms and documents, in the box of 
Girindra Mohan Das. Girindra's father, an Indian 'gentleman who 
attained the high official position of Additional Magistrate, was the first to 
call upon his son to open the box and subsequently induced him to 
disclose what he knew of the workings of the secret society to which he 
belonged. - The arms discovered included a large number of gun and 
revolver cartridges, powder, shot, bullets and percussion caps, for the 
possession of which Girindra was sentenced to 18 months' rigorous 
imprisonment under the Arms Act, and in addition to these the box 
was found to contain silver ornaments identified as part of the property 
stolen in the big Nangalband dacoity a few days before, for receiving 
which a sentence of 5 years' rigorous imprisonment was imposed ; but 
more important than either was the collection of samiti papers including 
an account of the society, a list of its members and figures which were 
clearly accounts of the loot taken in the Bakarganj dacoities (Kushangal- 
Kakuria-Birangal). The extent of the Dacca society's organisation 
was shown by the " Third quarterly reports " an account of the progress 
of its branches in the Noakhali district and adjoining areas at the extreme 
south-east extremity of the Presidency by the member in charge of 
that area. These papers, which were subsequently put before the 
courts, contributed a large volume of fresh information regarding the 
aims and methods of the samiti, and Girindra himself, at the instance 
of his father, joined Pajani Das as an approver. Thus, by the end of 
the year, Government had largely increased their knowledge of th^s 
organisation and its members and were ready to take active steps against 
them. 

Two murders are known to have been committed by the samiti 
during the year in furtherance of its aims. The first was the disciplinary 
murder in June of one of the members, Sarada Chakrabarti, who had 

63 



offended against the samiti in some way which is not clear. The body 
was decapitated and throv.n into a tank to prevent identification, but 
information from more than one source has since supplied the name 
of the victim and made it clear that the samiti were responsible for the 
crime. 

On September 24th a Head Constable named Rati Lai Ray, who had 
been prominent in the Dacca conspiracy case and was at the time 
employed on the dangerous task of watching political suspects on the 
river front at Dacca (the Buckland Bund), was shot dead at seven o'clock 
in the evening in a populous part of the town. The murderers got away 
and the ofier of a reward of Rs. 5,000 failed to induce any of the public 
to come forward and give evidence. Accounts of the occurrence have 
been received from several sources, and there is no doubt at all that the 
murder was planned by the Dacca Anusilan Samiti. and intended to 
remove a dangerous opponent as well as to deter other police officers 
from acting against them. 

Two further dacoities were committed by the Dacca Anusilan Samiti 
during the year which are noticeable on account of the value of the loot 
secured. At the Panam dacoity (Dacca district) in July cash and 
ornaments to the value of Rs. 20,000 were said to have been taken. The 
dacoits attacked in military formation and fired indiscriminately at any 
persons or lights appearing near the scene. They had also taken the 
precaution of cutting the telegraph wires. 

The Nangalband dacoity has been mentioned already in connection 
with the property recovered from Girindra Mohan Das. The dacoits 
numbered about 13. Guns and pistols were fired and a crowd of from 
100 to 200 villagers were kept at bay by four armed dacoits. The loot 
was estimated, though perhaps with considerable exaggeration, at 
Rs. 16,000. 

The Dacca party were not alone in the field. A more or less inde- 
pendent group formed at Madaripur, the south-eastern sub-division of 
Faridpur, an interesting tract among the great rivers where hhadraloh 
are numerous and English education widespread, but communicatioEL 
except by water almost impossible for most of the year. ., Their ideals 
and methods were similar to those of the Dacca party and they were- 
responsible for three guerilla actions during the year — at Baiguntewari 
in January, at Ainapur in February, ajid at Kola in November. They 
appeared to have thought it safer to operate away from home, and all 
these outrages took place on the other side of the great Padma river 
in the Dacca district. The sums Ipoted amounted to about Rs. 11,000. 
Their methods were terroristic. Armed with firearms, masked and 
bearing torches, they advanced in a body on the houses selected, made 
a great uproar, threw down bombs and fired shots to keep off the inhabi- 
tants of the neighbourhood, and finally lined up before departure to 
the sound of a bugle. A participant in the Kola affair, where the 
house attacked was a post-office, subsequently related that the object 

64 



of the dacoity was to obtain funds for the defence of one of their members 
who had fallen under suspicion and had been called upon to show cause 
why he should not be bound over to be of good behaviour. 

One more dacoity of the year may be mentioned, the work of still 
another group with headquarters at Barisal, who were subsequently 
to cross into Nadia district, Western Bengal, and commit the Shibpur 
dacoity and murders which proved their downfall. This dacoity occurred 
at Pratabpur, not far from Barisal itself. The unarmed villager^ bravely 
attacked their armed assailants, who numbered about 25, with iron 
bars and fishing spears, and two of the dacoits were seen to be earned 
from the scene by their fellows. Two of the villagers were wounded 
by pistol shots and four more beaten. The loot taken was valued at 
about Ks. 7,500. 

56. The last occurrence of the year takes us back to Western Bengal 

and the Midnapore bomb case. On December 

Bomb at Midnapore. ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^ dangerous attempt to murder 

Abdur Eahman, the informer in that case. A powerful picric acid 
bomb of the type manufactured in Chandernagore and distributed 
by revolutionaries in various parts of India was exploded against the wall 
of the room in which he ordinarily slept, and in which on this particular 
night his daughter was sleeping. A hole was blown through the wall and 
it was by good fortune only that no life was lost. 

It was in this very month that an attempt was made upon the life of 
His Excellency Lord Hardinge, a bomb being thrown at him while 
entering Delhi. The incident will be referred to again when we come 
to discuss the course of events in the Punjab. 

57. A tabular statement for the year is 
Tabular statement for the appended. 



65 



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57 



1913. 

58. During 1913 the revolutionaries continued their activities with 

increased ferocity. Two poHce officers were 
Murder ol police officers. jj,,,r(jered. On the evening of September 29th 
Head Coristable Haripada Deb was shot dead by three young Bengalis 
on the edge of the lake in College Square, Calcutta, a spot where the 
well-to-do people of that part of the town congregate to take the air 
in the cool of the evening. The Head Constable was assassinated in the 
middle of the throng, his assailants disappeared into the crowd, no arrest 
was made and no evidence was forthcoming. The murdered officer 
had succeeded in getting into touch with a revolutionary section and 
it is clear that they had seen through him and decided to put him out 
of the way. 

On the following evening a picric acid bomb was thrown into the 
house of Inspector Bankim Chandra Chaudhuri in Mymensingh town at 
the other end of the Presidency. He was instantly killed. The Inspector 
had been a prominent worker against the Dacca Samiti at the time of 
the Dacca conspiracy case and there is no doubt that the samiti brought 
about his death. 

59. An attempt had been made in March to assassinate Mr. Gordon 

of the Indian Civil Service by the same means. 

Armed with a bomb, the would-be murderer 
was making his way into Mr. Gordon's garden at Maulvi Bazar, Sylhet, 
in Assam, when the bomb exploded and killed him . Two loaded revolvers 
were also found on the person of the dead man, whose identity was 
not established till some time afterwards. Mr. Gordon had offended the 
revolutionaries by the action he had taken to suppress the immoralities 
of a local rehgious community. 

The two cases referred to above were not the only instances of the 
use of bombs during the year. Attempts were made at two pohce- 
stations, at Raniganj in April and at Bhadreswar, bordering on French 
Chandernagore, in December, In the latter case the bomb, which was 
of the deadly picric acid type, was thrown into a room where two officers 
were working and they must infalhbly have lost their Uves if the bomb 
had not, for some reason, failed to explode. 

The object of these outrages, for which the revolutionaries were 
certainly responsible, seems to have been sheer desire to murder, for the 
officers whose lives were attempted were not employed in detecting 
revolutionary crime. ' 

In December yet another attempt was made to bomb Abdur Rahman 
of the Midnapore conspiracy case while he was walking in a rehgious 
procession. The missile failed to explode, but on examination it proved 
to be another of the picric acid bombs. 

58 



Scale 1«64 I 



;of 
the 
les, 
ice 
•his 
me 
les 
ost 
let, 
the 



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the 



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val 
the 
ere 



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lea 
ind 



REVOLUTIONARY CRIME IN BENGAL DURING 1913-14. 




Murder or wounding with intent to murder 

Oakalty or Robbery. . . .9 Dakaity with Iwiurdei 

Murder or wounding with Other attempts at 



intent to murder. 



1 Calcutta, Coiiege Sq. 

2 Hflymensingh Town 

3 Caicutta, Chitpur Road 

4 Chittagong Town 

5 Dacca Town 

6 Calcutta, Musalman- 

para Lane 



murder 



D 



1 Moulvl Bazar (Sylhet) 

2 Raniganj (BurdWdn) 

3 Midnapur Town 

4 Bhadreswar (Hooghly) 

5 Madaripur(Faridpur) 

Dakaity or Robbery. . .# 



4 Kamrangir Char 
CRupganj, Dacca) 



. ■ Other attempts at murder . 
• Other attempted Outrages. 



5 Chatrabaria(24-Par- 

ganas) 

6 Sarachar (Bajltpur, 

Mymenslngh) 

7 Kharampur (Brahman- 

barla, Tipperah) 



9 Gossalnpur (Nabinagar. 
Tipperah) 

10 Calcutta 

11 Madarlpur 

12 Mamurabad (Deganga, 

24-Parganas) 

13 Ukrasai (KatladI, 

Mymenslngh) 



16 Areadah (24-Parganas) 



Dakaity with Murder. .^ 

1 Dhuldia (Katiadi, 
Mymenslngh) 



3 Belati (Netrakona, 
Mymenslngh) 



2 BaidyabatI (Hooghly) 

3 Baranagar(24-Par- 

ganas) 

4 Alambazar (24-Par- 

ganas) 

5 Matia (Mymenslngh) 

6 Mochna (Muksudpur, 

Farldpur) 



60. The revolutionaries were kept in funds for the year by a series of 
ten successful dacoities. All of these had the 
Dacoities and outrages. characteristic features of bhadralok dacoities, 
and in all of them the dacoits carried firearms, making effective resistance 
impossible. The value of the loot reported to have been taken in this - 
way during the year amounted to about Rs. 61,000. By this time 
the members of the " Violence Department," as the revolutionaries 
who engaged in dacoities styled themselves, had reached an almost 
complete .disregard of human Hfe. At Bharakair, in Dacca district, ^ 
they fired a volley into a crowd of villagers who had been brought to the 
scene- by their bombs and battle -shouts. 

A similar dacoity was committed at Dhuldia, in the adjoining district 
of Mymensingh, on the same night, and the promiscuous firing of the 
dacoits caused the death of one villager and wounded three others. 

At Kedarpur, an isolated spot on the borders of these two districts, a 
servant of the owner of the house, who asked the dacoits on their arrival 
who they were, was immediately shot down in cold blood, while in the 
volleys with which the dacoits covered their retreat five villagers were 
wounded. 

It is unnecessary to describe all the dicoities of the year in detail, 
since in all respects they conformed to what had by this time become a 
recognised type of crime. Others not already mentioned will be found 
in the following statement of the year's outrages : — 



59 



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He 

on 
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hoi 
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pre 

to 



60. The revolutionaries were kept in funds for the year by a series of 
ten successful dacoities. All of these had the 
Dacoities and outrages. characteristic features of hhadmlok dacoities, 
and in all of them the dacoits carried firearms, making effective resistance 
impossible. The value of the loot reported to have been taken in this 
way during the year amounted to about Rs. 61,000. By this time 
the members of the "Violence Department," as the revolutionaries 
who engaged in dacoities styled themselves, had reached an almost 
complete .disregard of human Ufe. At Bharakair, in Dacca district, ^ 
they fired a volley into a crowd of villagers who had been brought to the 
scene- by their bombs and battle -shouts. 

A similar dacoity was committed at Dhuldia, in the adjoining district 
of Mymensingh, on the same night, and the promiscuous firing of the 
dacoits caused the death of one villager and wounded three others. 

At Kedarpur, an isolated spot on the borders of these two districts, a 
servant of the owner of the house, who asked the dacoits on their arrival 
who they were, was immediately shot down in cold blood, while in the 
volleys with which the dacoits covered their retreat five villagers were 
wounded. 

It is unnecessary to describe all the d i coities of the year in detail, 
since in all respects they conformed to what had by this time become a 
recognised type of crime. Others not already mentioned will be found' 
in the following statement of the year's outrages : — 



59 



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61 



61. The year was an important one in the Courts, In the Barisal 

conspir 'cy case 26 members of the Dacca Samiti 

an^R^fatSLrriSs. -^"^^ P"* <"> ^^f 'rial and 12 of these pleaded 
guilty to the charge of conspirmg -to wage war 
agiainst the Eing-Emperor. Sentences of imprisonment and transporta- 
tion varying from 2 to 12 years were imposed, and for a time the samiti 
was considerably weakened. 

The events of the year showed that the revolutionaries were obtain- 
ing a supply of bombs. 'In November a raid on a house in the heart of 
Calcutta brought to light one of the sources, A room was discovered 
containing both revolutionary literature and cigarette tins, the latter 
in the process of being manufactured into bombs. The men foimd in 
this room were put on their trial for infringing the Explosives Act and for 
conspiring to commit crime, and, while only one of them * was eventually 
convicted under these charges, it was held by the High Court that 
the tins were undoubtedly intended to be used as bombs and that 
their purpose was to endanger life. This trial showed the manner in 
which the revolutionaries were secretly manufacturing bombs of a very 
dangerous type' from simple materials and without the aid of elaborate 
-apparatus. 

62, On the 17th May of this year a bomb exploded on the road at 
Outrages elsewhere. Lahore, killing a chaprasi. It had been placed 

there by a Bengali, Earlier in the year there 
had been a brutal murder in Bihar and Orissa, committed in order to 
perpetrate a political d coity. 



1914. 

63. For the year 1914 the chronicle of events relating to revolu- 
. tionary activities may be divided into three 

Bengal during 1914. g^o^^ps> those of Eastern Bengal, those dis- 
closed in Hooghly and the 24-Parganas in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Calcutta, and those in Calcutta city itself. 
The following is a statement of occurrences in Eastern Bengal : — 



* Amrita Lai Hazra, alias Sasanka Mohan. He was sentenced to transportation for 
,15 years. 



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63 



The activities of the revolutionaries in this part of the province 
were chiefly confined to dacoities, but there was 
a case of extortion for the purpose of bringing 
in money for the party, and there were two cases of deliberate murder. 
The murder in Chittagong was effected in the public street, the victim 
was one who was suspected of giving information to an ojB&cer of the 
Criminal Investigation Department. A person who narrowly escaped 
murder and was in company of the the victim, had been a witness in the 
Dacca conspiracy case. 

The murder in Dacca City was the murder of an informc who was 
working against the revolutionaries under the direction of Deputy 
Superintendent Basanta Chatarji, who was himself murdered in the 
year 1916 in broad daylight in Calcutta. 

64. The activities of the revolutionaries in the immediate neigh- 
Outrages near Calcutta. bourhood of Calcutta are shown in the follow- 
ing list :— 



64 



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65 



All the above were cases of dacoity but they present no very special 
features, except that in the dacoity at Mamurabad on the 7th Novem- 
ber, two Mauser pistols were used by the revolutionaries which were stolen 
from Rodda & Co., together with 48 other pistols of the same descrip- 
tion and a large amount of ammunition, on the 26th of August in the 
same year. 

65. The theft of pistols from Rodda & Co., a firm of gunmakers in 

Calcutta, was an event of the greatest import- 

'^^^rom ^R^ddr&^Co!*'^ ^^ '^ i^ *^^ development of revolutionary crime 
in Bengal. On "Wednesday, the 26th of August 
1914, the clerk of Rodda & Co. whose duty it was to clear imports of 
arms and ammunition at the Custom ofiice, had cleared 202 cases of 
arms and ammunition, but had brought only 192 cases to his employer's 
warehouse in Vansittart Row. He had then left, saying that he was 
going to bring the re'iiainder. He never returned and after three days 
the case was reported to the police. The 10 missing cases contained 
50 Mauser pistols and 4G,000 rounds of Mauser ammunition for the same, 
the pistols were ^f large size, 300 bore, and each pistol bore a number 
of which Rodda & Co. had a record. The pistols were so constructed 
and packed tha; by attaching to the butt the box containing the 
pistols, a weapon was produced which could be fired from the shoulder 
in the same way as a rifle. The authorities have reliable information 
to show that 44 of these pistols were almost at once distributed to 9 
different revolutionary groups in Bengal, and it is certain that the 
p stols so distributed were used in 54 cases of dacoity or murder or 
attempts at d icoity and murder subsequent to August 1914. It may 
indeed safely be said that few, if any, revolutionary outrages have 
taken place in Bengal since August 1914, in which Mauser pistols 
stolen from Rodda & Co. have not been used. Owing to the activity 
of the police 31 of the stolen pistols have been recovered in virioua 
parts of Bengal. 

66. Of the other revolutionary outrages in Calcutta, the first in order 

of date 'in this year was the Chitpur Road 
mS^orpJli'cfofficlJs. niurder, in which Inspector Nripendra Ghosh 
of the Criminal Investigation Department 
of the Calcutta Police, who had been employed in investigations con- 
nected with political crime for some years, was attacked by young men 
armed with pistols while alighting from a tram car at the junction of 
three crowded streets in Calcutta and killed. The murder was witnesssd 
by members of the police force who were standing close by, and a young 
man who was running away was at once pursued. He was armed with 
a 5-chambered revolver, which, when he was captured, was found to have 
discharged cartridges in two chambers. One of the pursuers had been 
fired on and killed. The man arrested was twice tried at the High Court 
sessions, but the majority of the jury in each ca.se brought in a verdict 
of "not guilty." 

Another notable outrage in Calcutta in this year was an attempt 
on the 25th November to murder Deputy Superintendent Basanta 

66 



Chatarji, already mentioned, by throwing two bombs, one into his house 
and one outside it. The Deputy Superintendent escaped, but the 
explosion killed a Head Constable and wounded two constables and a 
relative of Basanta Chatarji, From information now available it 
appears to us to be clear that this was the work of the Dacca Samiti, 
and that the bombs thrown had been procured from Chandernagore. 

The only other event to be noted in Calcutta in this year is the 
attempt of certain anarchists to resist arrest in a public place known 
as Greer Park. One of the persons arrested was wanted as a suspect 
in the Chittagong murder 'case above referred to, which had taken - 
place in June of that year. 

67. The autumn of this year and the early months of 1915 brought 
serious occurrences in difEerent parts of India. 
Events which preceded the j^ ^j Punjab from September onwards large 
passing of the Defence of . / t n .. ^ a-t ^ j £_ 

India Act. numbers oi disaiiected bikhs arrived irom 

America. Dacoities and murders took place 
with alarming frequency and a military outbreak planned for February 
1915 was only detected and prevented at the last moment. It is 
certain that revolutionaries in Eastern Bengal were aware of its 
imminence. 

The Defence of India Act was passed in March, under which rule 
were made authorizing the arrest and internment of dangerous persons 
Trial by Special Tribunals without appeal was introduced. During 
this same winter there were dangerous intrigues in Burma, a conspiracy 
of Bengali origin was hatching at Benares, and an attempt was made 
under Bengali management to found a revolutionary society in the 
Central Provinces. All these incidents will be more fully dealt with 
in Jiheir proper place. 



1915. 

68. The year 1915 was remarkable in Calcutta for a number of 
outrages committed by the revolutionaries. 

in'cafcutta^during'lSls! "^^^J ^^® ^®* ®^* ^ chronological order in the 
• following statement :— 



87 

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69. AmoDg these outrages were four dacoities committed with the 

help of automobile taxi-cabs, a new feature in 

Taxi-cab jJacmties and revolutionary crime. They commenced with 

the Garden Eeach dacoity on the 12th of 

February. It was committed by dacoits working under the direction 

■ of the notable leaders, Jatin Mukharji and Bepin Ganguli. It was 

carefully planned so as to intercept the servant of Bird & Co., carrying 

a weekly sum of Rs. 20,000 from the Chartered Bank in Calcutta to 

Bird & Co.'s mills at Garden Reach, a little way down the Hooghly. 

The dacoits succeeded in getting Rs. 18,000 and escaping with it to 

Calcutta, where it was handed over to a person known as the " financial 

minister." 

The Garden Reach dacoity was followed in a week by another 
serious dacoity at Beliaghata in Calcutta, where the dacoits, with the 
help of a taxi-cab and acting under the direction of Jatin Mukharji, 
succeeded in extorting from the cashier of a rice merchant Rs. 20,000 
in cash and currency notes. Shortly after the outrage the dead body 
of a taxi-cab driver was discovered, the driver having presumably been 
shot and thrown out of the carriage for disobedience to orders. 

Two days later occurred the murder of Nirod Haldar in Pathuria- 
ghata Street. There is ample evidence of a convincing nature that 
he was murdered because he unexpectedly came into a room where 
Jatin Mukharji with other anarchists was seated and recognised Jatin 
and addressed him by name. 

Four days later, in Cornwallis Street in Calcutta, Inspector Suresh 
Chandra Mukharji, while on duty with an orderly supervising arrange- 
ments in connection with a ceremony at the Calcutta University at 
which the Viceroy was to attend, noticed an absconding anarchist in 
the street and approached to arrest him, when he was fired at by the 
anarchist and four others. The Inspector was killed and the 
orderly wounded. There is very good reason for belie\'ing that the 
murder of this officer was planned by Jatin Mukharji. 

70. At this point it seems desirable to follow Jatin Mukharji's 

further history. Information was received to- 

Jatin Mukharji. ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ March that Jatin had gone 

to Balasore, where the Mahanadi from the west discharges into the 
Bay of Bengal. In or about September, in consequence of information 
received in connection with what will hereafter be described as the 
German plot, certain officers of the Criminal Investigation Department 
in Calcutta went to Balasore to search the premises of a firm doing 
business under the name of the " Universal Emporium." In conse- 
quence of an arrest which was made there, searches took place among 
the hills in the neighbouring Mohurbhanj State, and eventually five 
Bengalis w'ere discovered in a patch of jungle. They had killed one 
villager and wounded another and subsequently fired upon an attacking 

70 



party which was led by the Magistrate of Balasore. The result of this 
affray was that a well-known rev^olutionary, Chittapriya Ray Chaud- 
huii — whom the Sub-Inspector murdered in Cornwallis Street had 
tried to arrest on the 28th February — was found to be killed, while 
Jatin Mukharji and another revolutionary were found wounded. Jatin 
died of his wounds a few days later. Two other youths were alsa 
captured. 

71. From the 21st of October to the end of the year no fortnight 
passed in Calcutta without some anarchist 
Intensified crime in crime committed by the revolutionaries. On 
two days there were murders and on two days 
taxi-cab dacoities. The murder of the 21st of October was committed 
by a young man who had undoubtedly been deputed to murder Inspector 
Satish Chandra Banarji. At about 10-30 p.m. this Inspector with three 
Sub-Inspectors was seated in a room in Masjidbari Street on the ground- 
floor, when a young man appeared at the open door and began firing 
at the occupants with a pistol. They rushed into the courtyard and 
fled up some stairs followed by their assailant, who was joined by twa 
or three others, who also began firing pistols. One of the Sub-Inspec- 
tors was killed and another was wounded in the arms and legs, but 
Satish Banarji escaped. 

The other murder occurred on the 30th of November, when a con- 
stable guarding a house, No. 77, Serpentine Lane, which had been. 
searched the previous night in connection with the arrest of certain 
revolutionaries, was attacked by two youths ^ imed with pistols, who 
fired at him and at once disappeared. In their retreat they fired at a 
cook who happened to be on the spot. Both the constable and the 
cook died of their wounds. Empty Mauser cartridges were found upon 
the scene. 

All the four dacoities in Calcutta during this closing period of 
the year occurred within five weeks and were effected by bands of 
five or six Bengali youths armed with pistols before 10 o'clock at 
night. 

The robbery at Chaulpatti Road on the 27th of December was of 
a particularly daring nature. Two professional book makers had just 
returned from the races to their house when two Bengali youths carrying 
Mauser pistols entered and demanded the handbag of the book makers 
which contained about Rs. 750. An altercation ensued, in course of 
which one of the bookmakers was shot in the stomach and the youths 
decamped with the bag. 

72. Revolutionaries m Calcutta were also responsible in this 
Outside crimes committed year for outrages in the surrounding districts. 
by Calcutta revolutionaries. The following are the bare particulars :— 



71 



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72 



The group led by Bepin Ganguli committed the dacoities on the 
'6th of April at Areadah, and on the 2nd August at Agarpara, both in 
the district of the 24-Parganas. In the second of these cases an attack 
was made upon a bill collector who brought back from Calcutta every 
"Monday money collected for his master. An alarm was raised, and 
in the pursuit which ensued' Bepin Ganguli was captured with a revolver. 

During the police investigation which followed, a Bengali, who was 
giving the police material assistance in the investigation was shot dead 
at the door of his house by some Bengali youths. Several shots were 
fired and empty Mauser cartridges were left on the ground. The 
■murderers were unsuccessfully pursued, and in their flight they fired 
and wounded a constable. 

The most notable dacoities, however, in the districts, which were 
planned and carried out from Calcutta, were two committed in the 
Nadia district at Pragpur and Shibpur, about 100 miles from the capital. 
They presented certain remarkable features. 

In the Pragpur dacoity Mauser pistols and a large quantity of 
ammunition and safe-breaking implements were sent from Calcutta 
and all details planned there. After the dacoity had taken place the 
plans for returning to Calcutta miscarried. Much of the journey had 
to be done by boat and the dacoits were attacked while on the river 
bank by a crowd of villagers imder a Police Inspector. In the confu- 
sion which followed the dacoits shot one of their own party ; they then 
sank their boat, threw the corpse into the river and escaped. 

The Shibpur dacoity was the work of a different gang, which had 
left Barisal for Calcutta in 1912. The victim at Shibpur was a wealthy 
money-lender who lived near the Jhalangi river, 9 miles from a railway 
station. His house was attacked by more than 20 dacoits carrying 
electric torches and armed with pistols, including Mausers. In this 
case the dacoits were pursued by the villagers on both banks of the 
river. In their flight the dacoits murdered a police constable. Nine 
of the dacoits were arrested, tried and transported, a severe blow to 
this group. 

73. Dacoities of a similar nature to those of Pragpur and Shibpur 

occurred in Eastern Bengal, where the country 

Outrages^m Eastern gives an opportunity for means of approach by 

water. On the 14th of August the house of a 

Tvell-to-do zamindar at Haripur was lo6ted in the presence of many 

villagers, who were intimidated by the threatening attitude of the 

dacoits. The dacoits were armed with Mauser pistols and revolvers. 

They escaped in a boat with Rs. 18,000 worth of property. The dur- 

wan of the zamindar was shot dead and three villagers were seriously 

wounded. 

73 



On the 7tli of September the bazar at Chandrakona, in the Mymen- 
singh district, was attacked by dacoits, who looted five shops and 
carried off Rs. 21,000 worth of property and opened fire on the villagers, 
wounding five of them seriously. Here, again, the approach and the 
retreat were effected in boats. 

Another serious dacoity occurred in Eastern Bengal on the 29th 
of December, when the shop of a rich cultivator at Kartola in the 
Tippera district was raided, Rs. 15,000 was stolen and two persons 
were killed. The dacoits were armed with Mausers and intimidated 
a large crowd of Muhammadans who had assembled at the place of 

the outrage. 

« 

The outrages committed or attempted in Eastern Bengal in 1915, 
including the three dacoities just mentioned, were as follows : — 



74 





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76 



The dacoity which was planned to take place at Bikrampur on the 
1st of January was arranged by Bepin Ganguli, 
Projected dacoity. the Calcutta leader. The arrival of suspicious 
youths at Dacca from Calcutta had aroused the police, who traced 
them out and shadowed them. They were found to be in possession 
of various articles usually associated with bJiadralok dacoity, and seven 
of them were bound over before a Magistrate to be of good behaviour. 

The dacoity attempted at Kalamridha on the 22nd of January only 
failed because the dacoits were unable to open a chest containing the 
loot. They numbered 10 or 12 and were armed with pistols. Even- 
tually villagers approached, and the dacoits fled, leaving some empty 
Mauser cartridge cases behind them. 

On the 22nd of January a dacoity occurred at Baghmara, when 
Rs. 4,000 were looted. The dacoits were armed with Mausers. They 
intimidated a crowd of villagers by firing shots and succeeded in 
escaping with their loot. 

On the 15th of February a case of extortion occurred, when revolu- 
tionaries tried to force one Debendra Chakrabarti to join their gang 
and pay them Es. 2,000. This attempt resulted in the arrest of several 
persons, two of whom were bound over to be of good behaviour. 

74. It remains to mention three murders which occurred in Eastern 

Bengal this year. On the 3rd of March Babu 

Notable murders. g^^^^ Kumar Basu, the Head Master of the 

Zilla School at Comilla, was shot dead while walking with his servant. 
The servant was wounded in the stomach. A Muhammadan who 
pursued the murderers received two shots in the chest and a woman 
was accidentally struck by a bullet from one of the pistols. Five empty 
Mauser pistol cartridges were found upon the scene. The Head Master's 
servant eventually died. The victim of this murder had come into 
antagonism with pohtical parties in Bengal in 1908 and shortly before 
his murder had had occasion to report to the District Magistrate about 
two students concerned in the distribution of seditious pamphlets. 
None but pohtical reasons can be assigned for this murder. 

On the 19th October, a singularly brutal mm'der occurred in Mymen- 
singh town. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jatindra Mohan 
Ghosh, was sitting facing the door of his house with his little child upon 
his knee, when four or five youths came to his door and fired at him, 
killing both him and the child. Empty Mauser cartridge cases were 
found upon the spot. There is reason to believe that the cause of this 
murder was a rumour that the murdered man had come to Mymensingh 
►to direct a conspiracy case. 

On the 19th of December one Dhirendra Biswas was murdered at 

Sasherdighi in Mymensingh. He had been a member of a revolutionary 

gang known as the Bajitpur gang and his life was known to be in danger 

as he was acting at the time as a police informer. One of the first mur- 

• 77 



ders occurring in 1916, viz., that of Shashi Chakrabarti, appears to have 
resulted from the same causes. 

75. On the 18th of November, in consequence of information re- 

ceived from a revolutionary, certain houses in 
Arms found at Dacca. -^^^^^ ^^^^ searched. Anukul Chakrabarti, 

leader of the Dacca party, Barisal, and other revolutionaries were found 
and dealt with u ider section 109 of the Criminal Procedure Code. 
In another building a Mauser pistol of Rodda & Co.'s consignment and 
an automatic pistol with a quantity of ammunition were found. 

76. Long though the chronicle of outrages in 1915 has been, there 

still remain three more crimes which it is 
OutragM^m Northern necessary for us to refer to. These occurred 
in the north of Bengal, a part of the province 
heretofore comparatively free from revolutionary crime. 

On the 23rd of January 1915, a band of 20 or 25 young men broke 
into a house in Kurul in the Rangpur district and took awa.ya large 
quantity of loot, estimated by the owner of the house at Rs. 50,000. 
They were armed undoubtedly with Mauser pistols, for empty Mauser 
cartridges were recovered on the spot. Their identity was, as usual, 
concealed by masks. 

On the 11th of February two young men, inhabitants of Khulna 
and Faridpur, were arrested in Calcutta on suspicion of complicity in 
the dacoity. 

On the 16th of February the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, 
the District Superintendent of Police and Rai Sahib Nanda Kumar 
Basu, Additional Superintendent of Police in Rangpur, were all at 
this time engaged in the enquiry into the dacoity. Four Bengali youths 
came and enquired for the Rai Sahib. Two of them entered his house 
and as soon as the Rai Sahib appeared fired three or four shots at him. 
He escaped into another room unhurt. His servant received a bullet 
in the leg and his orderly, who was standing outside, on trying to stop 
the culprits whilst they were escaping, received two shots which mor- 
tally wounded him and he shortly afterwards died. Four empty Mauser 
cartridges were found on the scene. There seems to be no doubt that 
the murder of the Rai Sahib was attempted because it was believed 
that he was responsible for the repressive measures taken in connec- 
tion with the Kurul dacoity. 

Four days later at Dharail, Nator, in the Rajshahi district,. a band 
of 30 or 40 Bengali youths, disguised with red masks, looted the house 
of a money-lender and carried away property worth Rs. 25,000. They 
shot a durwan dead and wounded two other men. Some of the fire- * 
arms used were evidently Mausers, for empty Mauser cartridges were 
found on the scene. 

It is known that Nator was the place of residence of one of the re- 
volutionaries entrusted with some of the Mauser ammunition stolen 
irom Rodda & Co., and information has been received from which it 

78 



REVOLl 






BENGAL 

8c«le 1-64 Milec 



24 




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Vur 



8 

9 
9 



7» 



REVOLUTIONARY CRIME IIS 3ENGAL DURING 1915-16. 




Murder or wounding with intent to mur 
Dakaity or Robbery. . . . # Dakarty with Murd 



3 Calcutta. Garden Reach 

4 Areadah (Baranagar, 

24-Parganasi 

5 Balda. Tipperah 

6 Pragpur(Daulatpur, 

Nadiai 

7 AuraiilSaraii. Tipperah) 

8 Gazipura (Bakargan]) 

9 Agarpara(24-P.irganas) 

10 Chandrakona(Nalita- 

bari, Mymensingh) 

11 Calcutta. Kansaripara 

Road 

12 Calcutta. Cornwallis 

Street 

13 Calcutta. Corporation 

Street 

14 Calcutta, Seth Bagan 

Lane 

15 Kaltachapra (Katiadi. 

Mymensingh) 

16 Calcutta, Chaulpatti 

Road 

17 Salkea. Goiabari, 

Howrah 

18 Kadimpur(Sara. Pabna) 

19 Dalfarpur(Domjur, 



Other attempts at murder B 

Other attempted Outrages. . . O 



1 Rangpur Town 

2 Calcutta. Pathuriaghata 

Street 

3 Calcutta, Cornwallis 

Street 

4 Comma Town 

5 Agarp3ra(24-Parganas) 

6 Balasore, Orissa 

7 Mymensingh Town 

8 Calcutta, Musjidbarl 

Street 

9 Calcutta, Serpentine 

Lane 

10 Sasherdighi (Bajitpur, 

Mymensingh) 

11 Calcutta, College 

Square 

12 Bajitpur, Mymensingh 

13 Malda Town 

14 Dacca Town 

15 Calcutta, Bhawanlpur 

16 Dum Dum (,24-Par- 



1 Bajitpur (Rajoir, 

Faridpurj 

2 Calcutta 

3 Salkea, Howrah 

Oakalty or Robbery. . 

1 Bagmara (Comilla, 

Tipperah) 

2 KuruKLalmanlrhat, 

Rangpur) 



How 



ah) 



20 Gandora (Muradnagar, 

Tipperah) 

21 Ntahghar(Nabinagar, 

Tipperah) 

22 DhanakatI (Gosairhat, 

Faridpur) 

33 Calcutta (Gopinath 

Ray's Lane) 

24 Shahapadua (Chandia, 

Tipperah) 

25 Ramdianali (Gheon, 

Dacca) 



Dakaity with Murder. ..0 

1 Dharail (Nator, Raj- 

shahi) 

2 Calcutta, Belliaghata 

3 Haripur (Nasirnagar, 

Tipperah) 

4 SibpuriKotwali, Nadia) 

5 Rasulpur, Gaffargaon, 

Mymensingh) 

6 KartoialChandina, 

Tipperah) 

7 Sultanpur (Mymen- 

singh) 

8 Lailteswar (Debidwar, 

Tipperah) 

9 Sahildeo (Barhatta, 

Mymeningh) 

10 Paraii (Kotwali, 

Mymensingh) 



.e 

1 Bikrampur (Dacca) 

2 Satinokola(Kishoreganj, 

Mymensingh) 

3 Kalamridha(Bhanga, 

Faridpur) 

4 Madarlpur 

5 Calcutta 

6 Calcutta, (Kalitola) 

7 Calcutta, Upper Chitpur 

Road 

8 Janai. Howrah 

9 Chandpur (Tipperah) 
10 Bhadda (Palong, 

Faridpur)' 



appears to be certain that the dacoity was planned in Calcutta by mem- 
bers of the Dacca Samiti. 

As was mentioned at the end of the chronicle for 1914, there were 
dangerous developments in the Punjab at the beginning of 1915. During 
this year there was also in progress a plot to which the Bengali revolu- 
tionaries were party for landing arms of German origin on the coasts 
of or adjacent to the province. A special chapter will give the details 
of this. 



1916. 

77. In the beginning of 1916, Pulin Mukharji, Atul Ghosh and their 
associates of the Western Bengal party were 

''^"alwtta riSlS'""'' ^^*^^® ^^ Calcutta. On the 17th of January, 

they carried out a successful dacoity in Howrah, 

realising loot of the value of Es. 6,000 and two dacoities were planned 

in Howrah in that month by the same group, which fortunately failed. 

Another group, composed of conspirators coming from Eastern 
Bengal districts, planned dacoities in January and February in Kali- 
tala and Upper Chitpur Eoad, Calcutta. These failed. On the 22nd^ 
of February, certain members of the Baranagore party, another branch 
of the conspiracy, attempted another dacoity at Janai, in the Howrah 
district, which also failed. On the 3rd of March, they successfully 
raided the house of a resident of Dafarpur, in the Howrah district. 
Mausers were used and Ks. 2,000 worth of loot was carried off. This, 
however, was the last effort of that gang, for, on the night of the 3rd 
March, the poUce made raids upon the houses of suspects and a large 
number of members of the Barisal and Baranagore group were arrested. 
They were eventually interned under the Defence of India Act, 

There was no other dacoity in Calcutta or its neighbourhood in this 
year, except a dacoity in Gopi Roy's Lane on the 26th of June, when 
Rs, 11,500 were carried off. The victim of this outrage received the 
following letter in Bengali, sealed with the seal * of the revolutionaries 
and dated the 14th AsTiar (28th June), thanking him for Rs. 9,891-1-5, 
which it was promised would be repaid with interest. 

41 

"No. 2250. 

BANDE MAT ARAM. 

Bengal Branch of Independent 
Kingdom of United India. 

Most respectfully and humbly we beg to say : — 

Gentlemen, 

Six honorary officers of our Calcutta Finance Department have taken a 
loan of Rs. 9,891-1-5 from you, and have deposited the amount in the office noted 

♦ See page 110. 

79 



a 

•fc] 

tl 
B 

tl 

C£ 

ai 
H 
in 
fch 
ta 
ca 
til 
til 
tic 

of 

of 
sh 
ar: 
foi 



vo 

■fro 



appears to be certain that the dacoity was planned in Calcutta by mem- 
bers of the Dacca Samiti. 

As was mentioned at the end of the chronicle for 1914, there were 
dangerous developments in the Punjab at the beginning of 1915. During 
this year there was also in progress a plot to which the Bengali revolu- 
tionaries were party for landing arms of German origin on the coasts 
of or adjacent to the province. A special chapter will give the details 
of this. 



1916. 

77. In the beginning of 1916, Pulin Mukharji, Atul Ghosh and their 
associates of the Western Bengal party were 

''^"akuttia" in"l916!""*' ^^*^^® ^ Calcutta. On the 17th of January, 

they carried out a successful dacoity in Howrah, 

reahsing loot of the value of E,s. 6,000 and two dacoities were planned 

in Howrah in that month by the same group, which fortunately failed. 

Another group, composed of conspirators coming from Eastern 
Bengal districts, planned dacoities in January and February in Kali- 
tala and Upper Chitpur Eoad, Calcutta. These failed. On the 22nd 
of February, certain members of the Baranagore party, another branch 
of the conspiracy, attempted another dacoity at Janai, in the Howrah 
district, which also failed. On the 3rd of March, they successfully 
raided the house of a resident of Dafarpur, in the Howrah district. 
Mausers were used and Rs. 2,000 worth of loot was carried off. This, 
however, was the last effort of that gang, for, on the night of the 3rd 
March, the poHce made raids upon the houses of suspects and a large 
number of members of the Barisal and Baranagore group were arrested. 
They were eventually interned under the Defence of India Act. 

There was no other dacoity in Calcutta or its neighbourhood in this 
year, except a dacoity in Gopi Roy's Lane on the 26th of June, when 
Rs. 11,500 were carried off. The victim of this outrage received the 
following letter in Bengali, sealed with the seal * of the revolutionaries 
and dated the 14th Ashar (28th June), thanking him for Rs. 9,891-1-5, 
which it was promised would be repaid with interest. 

" No. 2250. 

BANDE MAT ARAM. 

Bengal Branch of Independent 
Kingdom of United India. 

Most respectfully and humbly we beg to say : — 

Gentlemen, 

Six honorary officers of our Calcutta Finance Department have taken a 
loan of Rs. 9,891-1-5 from you, and have deposited the amount in the office noted 

• See page 110. 

79 



above on your account to fulfil our great aim. The sum has been entered in our' 
cash book on your name at 5 per cent, per annum. 

By the grace of God if we be successful we will pay the whole amount with the 
interest at one time. 

The kind treatment accorded to our officers can only be expected from great 
men like you. We beheve that our officers have also behaved with j'ou in the like 
manner as far as possible. 

Under our orders they did not lay their hands on the pledged ornaments, but at 
the time of counting your deposit, we have got one locket and a maduly. On 
enquiry made by our spies, we have come to know that these two articles are also 
pledged things. The meeting held in the night of 13th Ashar decided their return 
to you. It is noted, for your information, that these two articles will be sent to. 
3-0U within a fortnight. We warn you that if this is brought to the notice of the 
selfish police officers they will surely misappropriate them. 

Gentlemen ! If you go against us by deeds, words or any other means, or 
hand over any one to the police on groundless suspicion, then we will not be able 
to keep our former promise ; and we will not leave any one in your family to enjoy 
your enormous wealth. 

It is perhaps not unknown to you that all the police officers have stood in the 
way of our righteous cause. The Government of our United India have never 
hesitated to inflict adequate punishment on them and the foreign British Govern- 
ment could not save them despite the utmost precautions. Therefore we remind 
you again not to do anything to compel us to besmear the Motherland with the 
blood of our countrymen. 

A sound man like you may perhaps understand that to liberate the country 
from the yoke of the foreigners requires self-sacrifice, benevolence and sympathy 
of our countrymen. If the rich men of the country feeling the weight of our 
work subscribe monthly, quarterly, and half-yearly to establish the rules 
and regulations of the Sanatan DhCtrma (ancient rehgion) in India then we would 
not have to trouble you in this way. If you do not accept our proposal then we 
shall be compelled to collect money in a like manner. 

Gentlemen ! will you decline to spend somethmg for us who initiated with 
Matri Mantra (worthy of Mother) determined to perform this Mahajajna (great 
work) to liberate the country from the foreign yoke with the new vigour of Khatriya. 

The improvement and power of Japan are due to the self-sacrifice and bene- 
volence of the rich men of the country. Pray to God that He for the achievement 
of His great work may give strength to the heart and a right mind to our country- 
men. 

(Sd.) J. Balamanta, 

Finance Secretary to the Bengal 
Branch of Independent Kingdom of United India.^* 
Calcutta, 
14th Ashar 1323 B.S. 

This was the work of the Western Bengal party, of which Atul Ghosh 
and PuHn Mukharji were leading members. Three of the persons con- 
cerned, including Pulin Mukharji himself, were caught in July and 
August and interned. 

The activity of the police in searching for Atul Ghosh after this 
dacoity led directly to an affray on tlie 4th of August in the Howrah 
district. Information had been received that Atul Ghosh was harbour- 
ing certain members of his party in i, house in Domepara Lane at Salkia,. 

80: 



The house was raided and a young man, an absconder from justice, 
charged with possession of T. N. T. under the Explosives Act was 
arrested. Another man caught escaping into the jungle tried to shoot 
a Head Constable with a Mauser pistol belonging to the consignment 
stolen from Kodda & Co. 

A few days later a body supposed to be that of a relation of Atul 
Grhosh, who was believed to be giving information to the police about 
Atul, was found in a mutilated condition in a trunk in a railway 
carriage. 

78. The campaign of murder in Calcutta in this, year opened with 
the murder of Sub-Inspector Madhusudan 

^!L[f^I!Jl!i r?it'?J5?*' Bhattacharji at 10 a.m. on the 16th of January 

murders in Calcutta. im,- • n n a n ^ 2.2. - i. •/ 

1916 m College Square, Calcutta, just opposite 

the Medical College. Many people were passing in the street at the 

time. He was shot by two assassins armed with a Mauser pistol and 

a Webley revolver, who, after killing their victim, ran away, firing 

shots ' to scare pursuers. Three empty Mauser cartridge cases were 

found upon the spot and a loaded chamber of a -450 revolver. Five 

persons were arrested in consequence of the investigation ; they are 

all now interned under the Defence of India Act. One of these persons 

who was arrested in possession of a Mauser pistol was the leader in 

Calcutta of the Barisal gang which had migrated to Calcutta in 1912. 

The statements of various persons concerned in the murder leave no 

doubt as to the group responsible for it. 

In June the members of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti in Calcutta 
were busy with schemes for murder. It has been established to our 
satisfaction that three persons were deputed to murder Sub-Inspector 
Jogendra Gupta about the beginning of June because the Sub-Inspector 
was learning too much about the members of the Pamiti. On two 
occasions attempts were made to waylay him, the conspirators being 
armed with revolvers and a Mauser pistol. On each occasion, how- 
ever, they were disappointed as their j.roposed vistim did not appear. 

On the 30th of June the persons deputed to murder the Sub-Inspec- 
tor were concerned actively with other members of the gang in the 
murder of Deputy Superintendent Basanta Chatarji * before sunset in 
Calcutta in the region of Bhowanipore. The murder was very care- 
fully planned and was completely successful, but it led to extensive 
searches and valuable discoveries which went far to put an end to the 
activity of the Dacca Anusilan in Calcutta. 

The information available regarding this crime, which results from 
the collation of various statements made by persons concerned in it, 
shows that five men, armed with two Mausers and two revolvers and 
led by the chief of the Violence Department, carried out their attack 
on their victim under the orders of three organisers who, in accordance 
with the rules of the society, withdrew themselves before the actual 



* See paragraph 170, 



commissioji of the crime, in order that the society might not be crippled 
by their arrest. These organisers were, however, arrested within a 
few months of the crime : two of them are now State prisoners ; the 
other escaped in December 1916, but was re-arrested in January 1918 
in an armed conflict with the police. All the actual assassins were 
arrested ; four are now State prisoners. The fifth man escaped from 
custody but has been recently re-arrested. 

79. There was no more crime in Calcutta durmg the year owing 

^ . to the vigorous action of Government in 

Vigorous action under the - ■ ^\ ■ i x> i i.- tti 

Defence of India Act. cxercismg their powers mider Regulation III 

of 1818 and under the Defence of India Act 

for the arrest and detention of political offenders. 

80. In this year there were many dacoities and attempted dacoities 

^ . . „ . * in Eastern Bengal. They are shoAvn in the 

Crime in Eastern Bengal, t u j. ^ i. • i, ^ ■ ^ j 

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94 



The first notable dacoity was that at Sultanpur, in Mymensiugh, 
when 20 youths armed with pistols and a -12 bore gun laided the house 
of a Hindu and killed one of the occupants; There is reason to believe 
that the organiser was not only a revolutionary, but also a member 
of an influential family in the Mymensingh district who was concerned 
in the Rajendrapur train robbery of 1909. 

The next important dacoity was that at Gandora, when Rs. 14,00U 
worth of loot was taken from the house of the father-in-law of one of 
the dacoits : the dacoits were armed with Mausers and one of them 
was tried and sentenced for cutting telegraph wires and infringing the 
provisions of the Arms Act. 

The Nathghar dacoity in the Tippera district is noteworthy not 
only on accomit of the amount of loot (Rs. 17,500), but also because 
a note-book fell into the hands of the police which contained accounts 
of the disposal of the loot. Six yomig revolutionaries have made confes- 
sions of their complicity. 

The Dhanakati dacoity of the 9th June was chiefly noteworthy for 
the amount of loot which was carried off in the shape of hundis. The 
value of the property taken is said to have been Rs. 13,000, but very 
little of it was available for the dacoits' use. 

The dacoity at Laliteswar, in the Tippera district, was a very serious 
affair. Five villagers were killed and live were wounded, and one of 
the dacoits who was killed proved to be Prabodh Bhattacharji, who 
had been interned in July 1916 under the Defence of India Act and had 
absconded. 

In September, a ^^'ell-authenticated case of attempted dacoity 
occurred at Palang, in the Faridpur district, which was organised from 
Calcutta and< for which arms and other articles were sent out from 
Calcutta. The Calcutta organisers subsequently arranged the dacoity 
which took place at Sahildeo, in Mymensingh, when Rs. 80,000 worth 
of property was carried off and the owner, an old Muhammadan, was 
shot dead. In this dacoity Mausers were used which had been sent 
down from Calcutta for the Palang dacoity. 

The RamdianaU dacoity in the Dacca district on the 30th September 
was the work of students from Faridpur. Most of them belonged to 
the Ishan Institute, a school of which Nibaran Pal, a member of the 
Dacca Anusilan, was the master. Seven of those who participated 
in this dacoity were convicted and sentenced including the five students 
of the Ishan Institution. 

All the three last-mentioned dacoities were boat dacoities, effected 
by gangs coming by river^ 

The last dacoity of the year, viz., that at Dharail, in Mymensingh, 
was the work of 25 or 30 youths, who had among them a Mauser pistol 
and a '12 bore gun. In their attack upon the house the son of the 
owner was killed by a pistol shot. There is reason to believe that the 

85 



dacoits belonged to one of the Western Bengal parties who were much 
disappointed that the loot was not more valuable. 

One dacoity by revolutionaries took place in the Pabna district in 
this year. On the 27th of February 1916, 14 or 15 youths, armed with 
pistols and daggers, looted two houses at Kadimpur in Sara in that 
district. From information subsequently received there is reason to 
believe that they belonged to a Calcutta gang. 

81. In Bengal in this year there were other murders, two of informers, 
one of a Head Master, who by his action had 
Five further murders. rendered himself obnoxious to the revolu- 
tionaries, and two of constables in Dacca city who were searching for 
well-known revolutionaries who had absconded from justice and were 
believed to be in the city. One of the constables received five pistol 
bullets and the other two received eight, they were entirely unarmed 
at the time. 



82. On the 5th January 1917, a plot was formed, which nearly 
. succeeded, to murder Gyan Bhaumik, who 
IQ^j^ had been associating with the revolutionaries 

and was thought to be giving information 'to 
the police. Amrita Sarkar sent word from the jail in which he was 
confined that Gyan was the cause of his arrest. A house was taken 
in a secluded part of Calcutta to which Gyan was decoyed to be murdered. 
He, however, suspected a plot, and as soon as he got to the house made 
an excuse that he wanted a glass of lemonade and took refuge in the 
Oriental Seminary, where he reached the Head Master's room. Chandra 
Kumar followed him there with a revolver, but Gyan got to the tele- 
phone and communicated with the pohce, and Chandra Kumar then 
left. This has all been independently narrated by the participants, 
and the incident at the school is of course unquestionably established. 

In January 1917, Rebati Nag, a revolutionary, was murdered by 
his comrades at Serajganj, but this was on a charge of immorahty. 

On the night of the 15th April 1917, a dacoity of the famihar revolu- 
tionary type was committed in the house of two wealthy brothers at 
Jamnagar in the district of Rajshahi. The dacoits were about 20 in 
number, w^ore masks and haversacks and carried firearms and crowbars. 
A large amount of money and gold ornaments were stolen. The tele- 
graph \vires had been cut. On the 22nd of November 1916 (five months 
before) on the search of the house of a revolutionary arrested at Master- 
para. Rajshahi, there had been found the map of a house and premises 
in great detail. When the Jamnagar dacoity was committed, it was 
found that the house looted was that so minutely delineated in the map. 
The dacoity had obviously been planned many months before. In 
July 1917 two youths were aiTested after a chase at Dacca station. One 

8G 



had arrieved by train and handed the other a parcel. The parcel was 
found to contain gold ornaments looted at the Jamnagar dacoity. The 
man who had handed the parcel was carrying one of the Mauser pistols 
stolen from Messrs. Rodda and some cartridges. He tried to use the 
pistol but the cartridge misfired. 

Four other dacoities were committed in 1917, which may briefly 
be dismissed as foUows : — 

(1) 25th Febmary 1917, at Paikarchar, Dacca district ; loot alleged 

to amount to Rs. 1,200. The dacoits spoke Enghsh, wore 
masks, carried revolvers and daggers. A Mauser cartridge 
was found. 

(2) 20th June 1917, at Rakhalbruz, Rangpur district ; loot put 

at Rs. 29,400 in cash and Rs. 1,686 in ornaments. An old 
man aged 80 was dragged from his bed, his fingers were cat 
off with an axe an(^ he was stabbed with fatal results. His 
son, who attacked the dacoits with a spear, was killed on 
the spot. The dacoits were masked and nine spent Mauser 
cartridges were found. 

(3) 27th October 1917, at AbduUapur, Dacca district ; loot put 

at Rs. 24,850 in property and Rs. 8,000 in cash. Dacoits 
numbered 25 or 30 armed men with muffled faces. The 
dacoits departed at the sound of a bugle. The telegraph 
wires had been cut and nine spent Mauser cartridges were 
found. 

(4) 3rd November 1917, at Majhiara, Tippera district ; loot 

obtained put at Rs. 33,000 in cash and ornaments from 
two houses. The dacoits numbered about 15 and wore 
masks and haversacks. One of the proprietors was shot 
through both legs, another was bound. The keys of both 
were taken from them. A loaded Mauser cartridge, besides 
two spent and one misfired, were left behind. 

83. Ancther dacoity in 1917 remains to be specially mentioned. It 

was committed in a goldsmith's shop at No. 32, 

^*'* ^dawiyl **'^*** Armenian Street, Bara Bazar, Calcutta, at about 

9 P.M. on the 7th May. Two young Bengahs 

entered the shop and asked to see jewellery. Then four young BengaUs 

entered the shop and began firing wildly with pistols. Two brothers of 

the owner who were in the shop fell mortally wounded- There were also 

in the shop an assistant and a servant, who were both wounded, two 

women, one of whom escaped and the other hid under a bench, and 

a Muhammadan who escaped. The dacoits decamped with jewellery 

to the value of Rs. 5,459, and some of them drove away in a taxi-cab 

that they had in waiting. One of the dacoits was, however, badly 

wounded in the abdomen and had to be helped into the cab. His 

comrades took him from the cab at a lonely place and shot him dead. 

The dead body, on being found, was identified as that of one Surendia 

87 



Kuehiari, known already to the police by tlie evidence of documents 
found in revolutinaiy quarters as a member of a gang who had been 
school-fellows at Daulatpur College, Khulna, and had moved up 
together with one of their teachers to the Metropolitan College, Calcutta. 
Some of these were arrested and freely described the occurrence. They 
stated that two other of the dacoits, whom they named, had received 
wounds, one in the hand, the other in the back. These two have been 
since arrested, one as recently as the sittings of this Committee, with 
the marks of the wounds as described. 

84. It will be observed that the dacoities of 1917, though few in 

number, are marked by two characteristics, 

Tabular statement for the ^^^-^ extreme brutahty and the wealth of the 

houses chosen for the robbery. A chronological 
outline for, the year follows : — 



Sti 





1 

1 








1 g^l1§a.2§ 
















and 
rigor 
men 
you 
rs' a 
rigor 
m e 
sect 
nPe 




hi 















-»l 










s 



year's 
years' 
impriso n 
Also two 
to 4 yea 
5 years' 
impris n 
under 
411, India 
Code. 




■A 










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a 
H 






















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m 



REVOLUTK 



Scale \<^6' 



I 
g 

le 

a 

le 

D 

re 



it 
•n 
d 

id 
id 



in 
to 
ay 
an 
ng 
of 
he 
Iso 
of 
lan 
laii 

ia' 

ied 
on- 
led 
ds, 
of 
the 
nd 



18 

to 



91 



as* 

ler 
3g. 



REVOLUTIONARY CRIME IN BENGAL, JANUARY 1917 TO END OF FEBRUARY 1918. 




Murder or wounding with intent to murder B Other attempts at murder B 

Dal<aity or Robbery. . . .w Dakaity with Murder. .• Other attempted outrages .€) 



Murder or wounding with 
intent to murder B 



1 Serajganj (Pabna) 



Other attempts at 
murder. 



C 



1 Calcutta 

2 Dacca Town 



Dakaity or Robbery. 



1 Jamnagar (Bagatipara, 
Rajshahi) 



2 Paikarchar (Narsingdi, 
Dacca) 



3 Abdullapur (Tangibari, 
Dacca) 



4 Majhiara ( Rasulabad, 
Tipperah) 



Dakaity with Murder 



1 Calcutta, Armenian 

Street 

2 Rakhal Buruj (Gobind- 

ganj, Rangpur) 



SUMMARY. 

85. The tale oi the outrages from 1906 to 1917 has now been told. 

It has been set forth with a view of giving 
Revolutionary arms supply. ^ ^^^,^.^^,^ impression of their nature and volume 

without digressing into the consideration of questions, material 
from other points of view, suggested by the different incidents. 
These will be dealt with in due course. Before, however, leaving 
this aspect of the case it is very relevant to inquire how far the 
activities vi the conspirators, as contemplated, were restricted in 
attainment by difficulty in procuring arms of precision. Before 
August 1914 their supply was drawn chiefly from the French settle- 
ment of Chandernagore. The theft from Messrs. Rodda in August 
1914 gave them 50 Mauser pistols and 46,000 rounds of ammunition 
and in addition a few pistols and guns have been obtained by isolated 
thefts and by illicit transfer from licensees. 

86. As regards Chandernagore a special officer was in 1907 deputed 

to make an investigation there. He reported 
Chandernagore. ^^ f^jj^^^ ._ 

" in li)Ub only two guus and six revoiveis were imported by natives in 
Chandernagore, whilst in the first half of 1807, 24 registered parcels, believed to 
contain revolvers, were received frcm St. Etienne, the Government Arms Factory 
in France. Twenty-two of these parcels were addressed to one Kishori Mohan 
Shampui, of which 16 were taken delivery of by the addressee ; the remaining 
six not being claimed by him, apparently owing to the proposed introduction of 
the Aims Act in French Chandernagore, w ere returned to the makers by the 
following mail. Later on another consignment of similar parcels arrived, also 
consigned to Kishori Mohan. The special officer examined the contents of 19 of 
these 34 parcels and found that they all contained revolvers. Kishoii Mohan 

was at that time a pleader's clerk in Chandernagore Kishoii Mohan 

was summoned by the Administrateur in 1807 and questioned as to why he had 
imported so many revolvers, and what had become of them. He at first denied 
all knowledge of the revolvers, naaintainirg ttat the parcels consigned to fcim con- 
tained watches, etc., but when confronted with the Collector, who had opened 
several of the parcels^ he eventually admitted having imported 16 for bis friends, 
but gave no names. Our further inquiries in this connection show that four of 
these revolvers were sold to Barin Ghosh and Abinash Bhattacharji, of the 
Maniktala Garden, through Ban Bihari Mandal, a mutual friend of Barin and 
Abinash, who were at that time frequent visitors to Chandernagore." 

There is other information to the same effect, but the above is 
sufficient. 

In 1907, His Excellency the Governor of Pondicherry submitted to 
his Council an Arms Bill, which he recommended in a memorandum, 
of which the following are the opening words : — 

" Gektli:mk>', 

The regrettable incidents which have accompanied the last legislative elections* 
and the anti-European movement which is going on around us in British territory — 
tendencies which have, to some extent, been revealed at Chandernagore — render 
it incumbent'upon us at the present time to regulate the import, the holding, 
the sale, and carrying of arms and ammunition in our colonies " 

91 



uu 



SUMMARY. 

85. The tale or the outrages from 1906 to 1917 has now been told. 

It has been set forth with a view of giving 
Revolutionary arms supply. ^ ^^^.^.^^.^ impression of their nature and volume 

without digressing into the consideration of questions, material 
from other points of view, suggested by the different incidents. 
These will be dealt with in due course. Before, however, leaving 
this aspect of the case it is very relevant to inquire how far the 
activities of the conspirators, as contemplated, were restricted in 
attainment by difficulty in procuring arms of precision. Before 
August 1914 their supply was drawn chiefly from the French settle- 
ment of Chandernagore. The theft from Messrs. Rodda in August 
1914 gave them 50 Mauser pistols and 46,000 rounds of ammunition 
and in addition a few pistols and guns have been obtained by isolated 
thefts and by illicit transfer from licensees. 

86. As regards Chandernagore a special officer was in 1907 deputed 

to make an investigation there. He reported 
Chandernagore. as follows :- 

" lu li)Ob only two guus and six revolveis were imported by natives in 
Chandernagore, whilst in the first half of 1807, 34 registered parcels, believed to 
contain revolvers, were received frcm St. Etienne, the Government Arms Factory 
in France. Twenty-two of these parcels were addressed to one Kishori Mohan 
Shampui, of which 16 were taken delivery of by the addressee ; the remaining 
six not being claimed by him, apparently owing to the proposed introduction of 
the Aims Act in French Chandernagore, were returned to the makers by the 
following mail. Later on another consignment of similar parcels arrived, also 
consigned to Kishori Mohan. The special officer examined the contents of 19 of 
these 34 parcels and found that they all contained revolvers. Kishori Mohan 

was at that time a pleader's clerk in Chandernagore Kishori Mohan 

was summoned by the Administrateur in 1807 and questioned as to why he had 
imported so many revolvers, and what bad become of them. He at first denied 
all knowledge of the revolvers, maintaining that the parcels consigned to him con- 
tained watches, etc., but when confronted with the Collector, who had opened 
several of the parcels^ he eventually admitted having imported 15 for his friends, 
but gave no names. Our further inquiries in this connection show that four of 
these revolvers were sold to Barin Ghosh and Abinash Bhattacharji, of the 
Maniktala Garden, through Ban Bibari Mandal, a mutual friend of Barin and 
Abinash, who were at that time frequent visitors to Chandernagore." 

There is other information to the same effect, but the above is 
sufficient. 

In 1907, His Excellency the Governor of Pondicherry submitted to 
his Council an Arms Bill, which he recommended in a memorandum, 
of which the following are the opening words : — 

" Gi;isTLEME]M, 

The regrettable incidents which have accompanied the last legislative elections* 
and the anti-European movement which is going on around us in British territory — 
tendencies which have, to some extent, been revealed at Chandernagore — render 
it incumbent'Upon us at the present time to regulate the import, the holding, 
the sale, and carrying of arms and ammunition in our colonies " 

91 



It is understood that this Act., though passed by the Council, wtls 
disapproved by the Home Government. 

In 1909 a Local Eegulation ^Ordinaire) was introduced in Chanderna- 
gore requiring possessors of firearms to produce them before the 
authorities and obtain licenses, but how far this has been efiectual in 
preventing arms passing through Chandernagore intb_ Bengal, is 
uncertain. That arms were in fact obtained from Chandernagore is 
disclosed by many statements. An inspection of the weapons recovered 
by the police, which have been collected and shown to us, makes it 
clear that though the revolutionaries acquired a fair number, apart 
from the theft from Messrs. Rodda, the latter was the most ef^'ective 
supply they ever obtained. The other pistols, though there are among 
them some good weapons, were of a mixed character and must have 
led to difficulties in the matter of amnmnition. Indeed in numerous 
cases unsuitable ammunition was found to be employed in pistols and 
not a few misfires resulted. 

87. Taking the whole supply together, the revolutionaries only 

obtained arms enough to provide for isolated 

^'''"umJ*"©! S?'"^ outrages, and we shall show in due course that 

they were sent about from place to place. In 

some instances, however, there was considerable jealousy between 

different groups with regard to their distribution and there is evidence 

that the groups were not above planning the theft of pistols from one 

another. If the supply had been sufficient to- give every gang an 

ample and separate supply, we think that the conspiracies might have 

produced, especially in the event of a rising in some other parts of 

India such as was planned for February 1915, a calamity of a terrible 

character in Bengal. 



6S 



CHAPTER V. 

The Organisation and Inter-connection of Revolutionary 
Societies in Bengal. 

88. The foundation of revolutionary societies in 1906 has already 

been adverted to in the second chapter of this 
Vows imposed by Dacca j. tj. ■ j. • .i 

Anusilan Samiti. report. It is now necessary to examine the 

organisation and inter-connection of these 

societies, not only as they originally existed but in the forms in which 

they reveal themselves during the next 10 years. 

In November 1908 the premises of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti at the 
Bhuterbari, Dacca, were searched and the following documents were 
found : — 

I. — A letter or circular signed by Pulin Behari Das, undated, in the 
following terms : — 

" Owing to the gradual increase in the branches and number of the Anusilan 
Samiti, it has become particularly necessary, having regard to the place where, the 
time when, and the person or persons concerned for their supervision, inspection 
and protection to make some good arrangements for the present by dividing the 
whole of Bengal into divisions and subdivisions and forming Central Samitis with 
a few small Samitis, Pargana Samitis with a few Central Samitis, Mahakuma 
Samitis with a few Pargana Samitis, and District Samitis Avith a few Mahakuma 
Samitis and by placing the right person in charge of the right place and the right 
mission, in order to carry out in a thorough manner the entire work in an orderly 
way being bound by the tie of union. So the detailed opinion and new proposala 
of the entire body of the inhabitants of the country on this point are cordially 
invited. Everyone will please oblige by letting me know soon as much as he can 
the advantages and disadvantages to anyone of there being a Central Samiti at a 
certain place and the fit men with their whereabouts for the carrying out of these 
works. '^ 

II. — The forms of four vows, viz. : — 
(a) The initial vow. 
(6) The final vow. 
(c) The first special vow. 
{d) The second special vow. 

These vows require the observance of many estimable rules, but 
they disclose a remarkable system for the progressive enthralment of 
the initiated, as the following extracts will show : — 

A. — The initial vow {Adya Pratijna) — 

"1. (a) I mil never separate myself from this samiti. 

5. («) I will always be under the rules of the samiti. 

08 



(b) I will carry out the orders of the authorities without saj'ing a word. 

(c) I will never conceal anything from the leader and will never speak anything 
but the truth to him." 

B. — The final vow [Antya Pratijna) — 

"1. I will not divulge any internal matters whatsoever of the samiti to anyone, 
nor will I ever discuss those matters unnecessarily. 

.3. I will never move from one place to another without informing the Pari- 
chalak (leader). I will not keep the Parichalak uninformed of the place and the 
circumstances I may be in at any time. I will instantly inform the Parichalak 
should the existence of any sort of conspiracy against the samiti come to my know- 
ledge and, under his orders, will try to remedy it. 

4. I will instantly come back in obedience to the Pariehalak's command, no 
matter in what circumstances I may happen to be at the tifne. 

• «*•** 

6. I will never be at liberty to teach any of those subjects with respect to which 
I may receive instructions in tliis samiti, being bound by oath, to any one save 
those persons who are bound by oath as regards these subjects." 

C. — The first special vow {Pratham Bisesh Pratijna)— 

* " Om Bande Mataram. 

In the name of God, mother, fathe?, preceptor, leader and Almighty, I make 
this vow that — 

(1) I will not go away leaving this circle until its object (until the object of the 
samiti) is fulfilled. I will not be bomid by the tie of affection for father, mother, 
brother, sister, hearth and home, etc., and I Avill, without putting forward any 
excuse, perform all the work of the circle under orders of the leader. I will do all 
work in a steady and serious manner, giving up loquacity and fickleness. 
« * * * « « 

(3) If I fail to keep this vow, may the curse of Brahmins, of father and mother, 
and of the great patriots of every country speedily reduce me to ashes." 

D. — The second special vow [Dwitiya Bisesh Pratijna) — 

" Om Bande Mataram. 

1. In the presence of God, fire, mother, preceptor and the leader (making them 
witnesses) I swear that I will do all the work of the circle for the development of 
the samiti, staking my life and everything that I possess. I will cany out all 
commands and will act m opposition to those who act in opposition to the aforesaid 
circle, and do injury to them to the utmost of my power. 

2. I swear that I will never discuss the inner secrets with anybody, and that I 
will not tell them to my relations and friends or unnecessarily ask anything about 
them even from those included in the circle." 

« * * * * « 

If I fail to keep this vow or act in opposition to it, may the curse of Brahmins 
of the mother and of the great patriots of every country speedily destroy me." 

The method of taking the vows has been described by Priya Nath 
Acharji, a witness in the Barisal supplementary conspiracy case, whose 
evidence was accepted by the Court. :— - 

" Before the Durga Puja vacation on the Mahalaya day, Ramesh, myself and 
several others of the Dacca Samiti were formally initiated at Ramna Siddheswati 
Kalibari by Pnlin Das. There were 10 or 12 cf us. We took Adya, Antya and the 
special vows before. There was no priest present and the ceremony took place 



at 8 A.M. before the goddess Kali. Pulin Das performed jajna before the goddess 
and other puja. The vows, which were printed, were read out by each of us and 
we signified our readiness to be bound therebj'. The special vow was taken by 
each of us specially before the goddess with a sword and Oita on the head' and 
kneeling on the left knee. This is called the Pratyalirha position and is supposed 
to represent a lion about to sprine on his prey." 

The statement of a boy recruited at ConMlla in 1914 thus describes 
his initiation : — 

" * ♦ On the Kali Puja day of that year I was summoned from my home by 
Puma, and under his instructiori^ myself and the following men did fast for the 
whole day * ♦ ♦ After nightfall Puma took all four of us to the cremation 
ground. There Puma had arranged for the image of Kali and at the feet of the 
image he had placed two revolvers.' We were all of us made to touch the 
imsge and take a vow to remain faithful to the Samiti. On this occasion we 
received our Samiti names." 

* III ]» * 4c * 

This system of initiation seems to have been kept up at least till the 
beginning of 1916, for a manuscript vow has been found signed by the 
person taking it and dated the 14th February 1916. It is stated to have 
continued later and it may be still in use, but this is the latest piece of 
documentary evidence on the subject. 

89. There were also found at the search in November 1908 two sets 

1...I-. «*- ^.»k.,o of I'liles to be observed by members. A peru- 

Ruies for members. i , ,i i ,i • i t,- 

sal of them reveals the social conditions 

under which it was hoped to get the initiated to live together. 

One set is directed rather to the private life of the member. Bule 1 
requires that every member should take all the vows, while rule 8 lays 
down that money and commodities obtained by members must be brought 
into the common stock. 

The other set deals mainly vAth. the domestic economy of the society. 
The two sets to some extent overlap. 

Another document found was the Duties of Secretaries (" Sampadak- 
ganer Kartabya "). Perhaps the main interest of this document is that 
it shows that the members were expected to be largely boys. Rule 6 
requires that (among other particulars) the name of the guardian of a 
candidate for admission should be taken, as also his school and class, 
and by rule 7 a list is to be kept shomng the residence (in the current 
year) and the school and class of each member. Rules 23 and 24 provide 
for the case of members under 12 years of age. Rules 21 and 22 dis- 
tinguish as regards instruction in ?frf7n'-play between those who have 
taken all the vows and those who have only taken the Aclya vows. It 
is only the former who are to be instructed in all branches. In this 
connection it must be mentioned that many books on Za^/w'-play were 
found. Some of the /erf 7m"- play described was clearly sword exercise, 
and some of the books had transcribed in them a high-flown and some- 
what bloodthirsty " Invocation to the Sword." 

Yet another document found at the same place was the " Paridar- 
shak " (The Visitor). It is a paper for the guidance of the inspectors of 

96 



the organisation. It is headed with an injunction that it is to be read 
five times with attention. It indicates the lines upon which the orga- 
nisation is to be recommended to the inhabitants of the place where a 
new samiti is to be established, how it should be explained to them that 
mthout vows only an undisciplined body would be created, that without 
hard and fast rules a po\verful body or military organi.'^ation never has 
been and never can be created and that unquestioning obedience to 
leaders is essential. It lays stress on the necessity of multiplying the 
societies, pointing out^'that the greater the number of different branch 
samitis and different centres for play, the greater opportunity will there 
be for collecting men. Finally, it gives^the reasons why Musalmans are to 
be excluded. " The document taken as a whole," said Mr. Justice 
Mukharji, " clearly indicates that systematic effort was to be made to 
have a network of samitis throughout the length and breadth of the 
land." 

There were also found forms of " Parwanas " or certificates accredit- 
ing inspectors, and also forms of village notes for the collection of statis- 
tics as to the population, resources and topography of the village. 

At the same time and place there were also discovered seditious litera- 
ture and works of a military nature. 

90. On the 2nd September 1909, in connection with investigations as 

to the Nangla dacoity, a search was made at 

'*mefh"ods*''?tlld?ed*''^ ^o. 15, Jorabagan Street, Calcutta, when 

among other things two documents were found, 

viz., " General Principles " and an exposition of Russian revolutionary 

methods. Both are lengthy documents. A brief summary of each may 

be given here. 

The opening passage of " General Principles " is as follows : — 

"ClENER.Oi PkINCIPI.es. 

The history of the Russian revolutionary movement show.s that those who 
organise the masses for a revolutionary outbreak ought to keep in mind the follow- 
ing principles : — 

I. — A solid organisation of all revolutionary elements of the country, allowing 
the concentration of all forces of the party where they are most neces- 
sary. 
II. — A strict division of different branches or departments, i.e., persons work- 
ing in one department ought not even to know that which is done in 
any other, and in no case should one control the dii'ection of two branches. 
III. — A severe discipline, especially in certain branches (military and terror- 
istic), even of complete self-sacrificing members. 
IV. — A strict keeping of secrecy, i.e., every member may only know what he 
ought to know, and talk about business matters with companions who 
ought to hear such matters, and not with them who are not fit to hear. 
V. — A skilful use of conspiring means, i.e., paroles, ciphers and so on. 
VI.- A gradual developing of the action, i.e., the party ought not at the begin- 
ning to grasp all branches but to work gradually ; for instance — (1) 
organisation of a nucleus recruited among educated people, (2) sj^reading 
ideas among the masses through the nucleus, (3) organisation of technical 
means (military and terroristic), (4) agitation, and (5) rebellion." 

99 



These five heads are then elaborated seriatim. 

Under- head II ("Division of branches") it is noted that the work 
of a revokitionary party is (a) general, (6) special. The general work is 
organisation, propaganda, agitation. The special includes seven kinds 
of work, each of which are more particularly described in detail. Of 
these, the second {" Military ") includes " chemistry (preparing of ex- 
plosives and other matters for the rebellion)," the third (" Finances ") 
includes " imposing taxes on rich people (with the aid of the terroristic 
department)." One of the functions of the seventh (terroristic) depart- 
ment is " to organise flying terroristic departments (for unimportant 
acts, chiefly for aiding the financial department)." 

Under head III (" Discipline ") it is laid down that " serious infrac- 
tions," including " refusal of a member of the terroristic or military 
organisation to execute a superior's orders are punished by death." 

The document then outlines the organisation to be aimed at. This 
is to be Central and Local. 

Local organisation is separately sketched under the headings of " Pro- 
vincial Organisation," " District Committees," " Town Committees," 
*• Kural Organisations " and " Members." 

The other document, namely, the exposition of Russian revolutionary 
methods, describes for an Indian reader the revolution which it says had 
been going on for 50 years in Russia. The functions of the terroristic 
department of the Russian revolutionaries are set forth. It is to be 
observed that it is " to co mm it dacoities " as well as assassinations. 

A similar document was found at some engineering works in Madras. 

91. On the 27th February 1913, two docimients were found on the 
District organisation person of Ramesh Acharji, a member of the 

Dacca Anusilan Samiti. They probably had 
already been in existence for some time. The two documents are, res- 
pectively, the " District Organisation Scheme " and the " Rules for 
members." They embody the elaboration in detail of the requirements 
(so far as concerns these two matters) of the document " General Prin- 
ciples." 

The District Organisation Scheme contains 35 paragraphs, the last 
with 16 sub-paragraphs. We quote here some of the most important of 
the paragraphs. Others providing especially for propaganda among 
students are noticed hereafter in connection with that special subject. 

" District Organisation. 

1. All the work of a subordinate centre shall be conducted under the orders of 
the person in charge of it. He shall read the organisation scheme five times before 
entering the arena. 

2. The person in charge of a subordinate centre shall, again, divide his district 
into various parts according to the (territorial) divisions of the Government. An 
intelligent and warm-hearted man shall be vested with the charge of each such 
subdivision. 



25. If, in any district, another party have arms, and if harm is found to be done 
to the country by them, then, with the permission of the headquarters, such arms 
should be anyhow secured. This work should be done very cautiously so that 
they may know nothing of it. 

26. Without an autograph letter of the head organiser or organiser in charge |f* 
no district organiser sliall give arms to anybody. 



31. * * Without the permission of the superior officer no one shall send 
directly any letter to any place. 



34. * * Those who have arms or confidential papers in their custody shall 
not take part in any " violent work " or " organisation " or ordinary affray, 
that is to say, shall not take part in any work, or go to any place in which they 
run any risk. 

35. The district organiser shall submit to the headquarters quarterly reports 
under the following headings : — " 



The headings mentioned in paragraph 35 were, as abeady stated, 
16 in number. The information called for includes particulars as to 
members and other inhabitants of the district, educational and other 
estabhshments, topography and communications and accounts and 
receipts of expenditure. One copy of a quarterly report has been found, 
as well as many other documents, reveaHng the collection and tabulation 
of this class of information. They will be dealt with in due course. 

The other document (Rules for Membership) found on Ramesh 
Acharji contains 22 paragraphs. Three may be quoted here — 

"14. Before sending any correspondence relating to any matter connected with 
the organization to any place, a member shall give it to the head and he shall arrange 
to have it sent to its destination. 



17. Each shall look upon this as a military organisation, and any violation of 
its rules shall involve punishment in proportion. 

18. Every member shall have the idea present in his mind that he is bringing 
about a revolution with a view to the establishment of righteousness, and not for 
enjoyment. He shall see that he does not fall back from this ideal." 



With reference to rule 14, it may be explained that numerous persons 
have been found acting as " post-boxes " for leaders, and sometimes in a 
series one behind the other, the postal addressee delivering to another 
" post-box " and being ignorant of the real addressee. 

Another set of Samiti Rules was found buried in 1916 along with 
Mauser cartridges, printing type and seditious leaflets. They are short. 
There is a space at the end of the document for the signature of the 
member signifying his assent. The last rule provides " <^apital punish- 
ment for being treacherous." 

98 



92. In September 1916 a pamphlet was found at the house of Amulya 

Sarkar in Pabna deaUng with revolutionary 
'^'"pampmet^'"'* organization. It is very lengthy and not 

well arranged. It can hardly be classed as an 
official working document of any particular body. Much of it deals in 
great and in some respects almost ludicrous detail with the regulation of 
daily hfe. Some passages are, however, instructive. 

Amulya Sarkar, an organiser, was in touch with North Bengal, and 
as such is mentioned in a list belonging to the Dacca Anusilan Samiti 
found in Calcutta at the search in Raja Bazar in 1913. 

In discussing the scope and province of the League the author writes 
as follows : — 

" ♦ * Political independence is not possible without the expulsion of the 
greedy and selfish foreigners from the country. They cannot be driven out without 
the subversion of the established Government by means of arms and munitions 
required for a national rising. Men and money are the two important requisites 
for a national rising. The whole thing in a nutshell is that the confederacy should 
vigorously work together men, money and arms, and to organise these people into 
a sacred military band for the future struggle. Therefore, organisation is the chief 
thing to which the confederacy must pay supreme attention." 

Under the heading " Leader : His duties and responsibilities " it is 
laid down that " the leader should have relation or keep communication 
with other organisations in the same locality or elsewhere. He should 
know the methods of work of other organisations." Under Rules and 
Regulations for recruitment, stress is laid on the necessity for gradual 
initiation. It is fair to add that the draughtsman of this scheme 
apparently did not favour dacoity, for rules 10 and 11 under " Finance " 
are as follows : — 

" 10. Money collection is prohibited by violent methods. 

11. The chief source of income will be public subscription and subscriptions of 
the members of the league." 

On the other hand he would have information collected of a kind which 
could only be required for purposes of massacre, e.g., " churches — • 
when and how many persons attend the church services." 

A large portion of this pamphlet is devoted to a tabulated syllabus 
of literature to be studied. The principle followed is that the member is 
to be instructed first in general subjects and lastly in sedition, 

93. In 1917 a document entitled " Establishment " was found in 

Bihar and Orissa. It contains guidance for 
Other documents. ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ selected to start 

an establ shment at a new place. He should set up house with a college 
or school student and the organisation is then to be spread through 
the boys and through them throughout the division and down to the 
village. 

In 1918 an " Organisation Scheme " was found in the house of Harihar 
Mukharji, where a revolver and 221 copies of the last of the seditious 

99 

H 2 



leaflets (namely, that referring to Mr. Montagu's visit) were also found. 
The scheme provided for the training of students under the district 
organiser. They were to be of two classes, " sacrificing " and " sympa- 
thising." There were to be three stages in their education, " primary," 
*• secondary " and " senior." A stafE of " four sacrificing legal men," 
to act as messengers, should be kept at every centre and sub-centre. 
Calcutta was exhaustively dealt with. Members were to gain admission 
to institutions, of which 11 were named, and also to found businesses. 
The city was divided into 14 " principalities " for the purposes of this 
work. These were described with metes and bounds. 

The above-mentioned documents reveal something of the sort of 
organisation which appears to have been on the minds of the leaders of 
these samitis from time to time. The next thing is to inquire how far 
such schemes were actually worked to. 

In November 1912 certain documents were found in the box of a 
boy named Girindra Mohan Das, of Dacca. The father of this boy was 
a gentleman of the highest character, and it was through his action that 
the documents were discovered. No doubt they were placed in the 
boy's custody because the premises were beyond suspicion. The first 
of these documents was a " Quarterly Report," obviously of the kind 
called for by rule 35 of the District Organisation Scheme already men- 
tioned or a similar scheme. It deals with five villages, Durgapur, Feni, 
Amirabad (really Nababpur), Belonia, Saroatoli. These places are 
situated in the Chittagong and Noakhali districts and in the independent 
State of Hill Tippera. 

The report deals with the local characteristics and its inhabitants, 
with special reference to the schools and the disposition of the teachers 
and scholars. At the end, under the heading " Notes on organisation," 
there is a list of 13 names, and at this point there is a portion of the 
document torn off. At the end there is a table showing certain names 
under " Organisation " and " Violence." " Violence " covers four sub- 
heads, viz., — {i) Arms repairing and handling ; {ii) Actions ; (m) Coining ; 
{iv) Farming. The explanation of " farming " is this. Several of 
these societies had stations in remote districts called " farms ", where 
training took place and shooting was practised. In the report under 
notice reference was made to one of these farms at Belonia in Independent 
Tippera, (Mie of the five places with which the report deals. 

Anotheit document found at the same place is a list of seven names 
with country addresses and 14 names and addresses under the heading 
''• Town School." 

Another document is an account of receipts and payments from 
Agrahaijan 1318 B.S. {i.e., November 1911) to 12th Ashwin 1319 B.S. 
{i.e., 28th September 1912). Among the receipts is Rs. 400 for the 
sale of gold, obviously the proceeds of a dacoity ; and among the expen- 
diture are items for an " Act," the expenses of a defence and " for making 
coin." A note indicates certain property unrealised, including a finger 
ring, a watch and some rupees of an issue no longer current. 

100 



Other documents have been found either on persons arrested or by 
means of searches. No other example of a quarterly report has come 
to light, but there are further records of the disposition of spoils and 
numeroushsts of names and addresses and notes as to the custody of 
arms and implements. There are also letters passing between revolu- 
tionaries dealing with these subjects. 

94, Such were the methods. We may recur briefly to the ideals. 
It will be remembered that in 1905 was published 
the pamphle t ■BAat6'am__i l£a22^,- -which -set. out 
the aims and objects of the revolutionaries. It was remarkable in more 
ways than one and cleverly associated the religious and political aspects 
of the question from the point of view of so-called Indian Nationalism. 
We find the glorification of Kali under the names of Sakti and Bhawani 
(two of her numerous names) and the preaching of the gospel of force 
and strength as the necessary condition of political freedom. The 
success of Japan is attributed to the strength drawn from religion, and 
the necessity for Indians to worship Sakti (or Bhawani manifested as 
the Mother of Strength) is insisted upon if success is desired. The 
Bhawani Mandir advocated the building of a temple to Bhawani in a 
spot " far from the contamination of modern cities and as yet little 
trodden by man, in a high and pure air steeped in calm and energy." 
A new order of political devotees was to be instituted, but it was optional 
for the members to become sanyasis (ascetics). Most of them were to 
be brahmacharis (or unmarried people) who would return to the grihastha 
asram when the allotted work was finished. What the allotted work 
was, though not specified, is clear. It was the hberation of India from 
the foreign yoke. The combination of the rehgioiis, political and social 
views is clearly brought out in the rules already mentioned by which the 
new order was to be governed. Generally speaking, a new organisation 
of political sanyasis was to be started, who were to prepare the way for 
revolutionary work. It is significant that at this stage there is no refer- 
ence to violence or crime. The central idea as to a given religious order 
is taken from the well-known novel Ananda Math of Bankim Chandra . 
It is an historical novel having for its setting the sanyasi rebellion in 
1774, when armed bands of sanyasis came into conflict with the East 
India Company and were suppressed after a temporary career of success. 

The revolutionary societies in Bengal infected the principles and 
rules advocated in the Bhawani Mandir with the Russian ideas of revolu- 
tionary violence. While a great deal is said in the Bhawani Mandir 
about the religious aspect, the Russian rules are matter of fact. The 
samitis and associations formed later than 1908 gradually dropped the 
religious ideas underlying the Bhawani Mandir pamphlet (with the 
exception of the formalities of oaths and vows) and developed the ter- 
roristic side with its necessary accompaniments of dacoity and murder. 

The logical development of the movement required that anarchists 
should receive military training and the Bartaman Rananiti (or the 
Modern Art of War) was pubhshed in October 1907 by Abinash Chandra 

101 



Bhattacharji, who was a member of the Maniktala gang and was convicted 
and sentenced to 7 years' rigorous imprisonment in the Maniktala con- 
spiracy case. The book extols war- as necessary for the building up of 
Indian nationality, and after the usual diatribe against the English, 
who are alleged to have disarmed Indians in order to oppress them v/ith 
greater facihty, proceeds to discuss various military details. "Connected 
with this work is the manual for making bombs, which was studied by 
the revolutionaries. Copies were found in Bengal (at the search in 
Maniktala Garden, Calcutta) in the Bombay Presidency (at the search 
of Savarkar's house in Nasik) and in Bhai Parmanand's house at Lahore. 
An interesting collection of books was seized at various searches, and the 
list given in the catalogue of the Criminal Museum at Calcutta affords 
interesting reading. Amongst the books are Nitro Explosives by Sanford, 
the Swordsman by Alfred Hutton, a Handbook of Modern Explosives by 
Eissler, Modern Weapons and Modern War by J. S. Bloch, Mukti Kon 
Pathe, Field Exercises, Rifle Exercises, Manual of Military Engineering, 
Infantry Training, Cavalry Drill, Macliine-Gun Training, Quick Training 
for War, and other mihtary works. 

95. We may now take up again the general review of the move- 
ment which is carried down to a certain point 
Co-operation of groups. -^^ ^^^ chapter headed "The beginnings of 

a revolutionary movement in Bengal." We interrupted it in order to 
introduce a summary of the crime committed and some . account of the 
internal organisations of the associations which were found. We 
thought it convenient that these matters should be before the reader 
before going further. So far we have drawn attention to the scheme 
of organisation affected by the revolutionaries, the ideas they cultivated, 
and the crimes they committed, without defining the bodies with which 
they were associated. Bengal became full of such associations, separate 
in their membership but acting in common through their leaders. It 
may be true to say that there was not one conspiracy in the sense that 
the individual of one group or party could not be held legally responsible 
for the acts of another group, and it was on this ground that the Howrah 
conspiracy case launched in 1910 broke down. We may go further 
and say that there is evidence that particular outrages were not always 
approved of as matter of policy by groups other than that which com- 
mitted them. But that there was one movement, promoting one general 
policy of outrage and intimidation and working very largely in concert 
is, we think, perfectly clear. We have heard it suggested that the later 
outrages were the work of isolated gangs of youths who had abandoned 
themselves to a life of crime. It may be that this aspect of the matter 
presents itself to those who merely see the outrages mentioned from 
day to day in the newspapers. When, however, we study the state- 
ments made by the persons arrested, too closely interwoven to be 
invented, anticipating their own corroboration by way of subsequent 
discoveries and strikingly connected in important matters by documents, 
we are driven to take quite another view. It is true that the relations 
between fhe various parties were not formal, and elaborate documents 

102 



DarjeelJ 



BENGAL 

8e«le 1«64 Vlile» 



V' 



103 




Recoveries of Anifiiunition apart fron 

Recoveries of Pistols. 

Outrages in which fviauser Ammunition Recovered. 

Outrages in whicfi there is other evidence to show that Mausers were i 



0. . Recoveries of Pistols ll|p . ..Recoveries of An 



176311 on 


23-11-15 


a 1040 on 


2a-IX-14 


176465 


26-11-15 


960 ,. 


6-X-14 


176540 


30-XI-15 


21200 ,, 


11-X-14 


176550 




10 ., 


24-11-15 


176486 


29-1-16 


40 „ 


29-1-16 


176524 


1-VI-15 


48 „ 


-V-16 


176568 °" 


19 „ 


10-IX-16 


176464 
176492 on 


9-X-16 


8 ,, 


18-XII-16 


176542 




40 ,, 


29-V-17 


176490 




20 „ 


18-VIII-17 


176616 "" 




li 19 ., 


28-111-15 


176432 on 


18-XI-15 


c 61 ,, 


1-VI-15 


176466 on 


5-VI1I-16 


d 926 „ 


12-IX-15 


175625 on 


19-X-16 




7-III-16 


176434 
176439 




f 491 „ 


7-IV-16 


176602 °" 




e 130 ,, 


10-1 V-16 


176620 




h 28 ,, 


27-1X-16 


176442 




1 241 ,. 


1-XII-16 


176563 on 
176570 


14-X1-16 


J 1187 ,. 


8-1-17 


'176404 




t 15 „ 


-11-17 


176433 




/ 50 „ 


2-X-17 


176498 




m 159 ,, 


3-V-17 










176666 




n 18 „ 




176624 




99 „ 


19-VIII-17 


175622 




P 59 „ 


10-IX-17 


-176437 or 


23-VII-17 


7 „ 


17-IX-17 


-176440 or 


1Q-IX-17 







9 _ Outrages in which 
Mauser Ammunition has 
been Recovered. 



1 Kurui Daliaity 

2 Rangpur Attempted 

(Vlurder 

3 Rakhalbaruz Dakaity 

4 Sahlldeo Dakaity 

5 Parail Dakaity 

6 Kaliachapra Dakaity 

7 Murder. Sashi Chakra- 

varti 

8 Aurall Dakaity 

9 Haripur Dakaity 

10 Balda Dakaity 

11 Murder, Head Master 

12 Laliteswar Dakaity 

13 Extortion Case 

14 Bagmara Dakaity 

15 Ganoora Dakaity 

16 Rasuliabad Dakaity 

17 Bairagitola Murders 

18 Ataduilapur Dakaity 

19 Palkacha Dakaity 

20 Madarlpur Bomb 

Outrage 

21 Kalamndha Dakaity 

22 Dhanakati Dakaity 

23 Gazipura Dakaity 
24.Dalfarpur Dakaity 

2 6 Mamudabad Dakaity 

26 Areadai Dakaity 

27 Agarpara Murder 

28 Pragpur Dakaity 

29 Dharali Dakaity 



30 Calcutta. Musalmanpara 
Outrage. Mulder of 
Madhusudan Bhatta- 
charji 

Bhawanipur Murder 
Armenian Street 
Dakaity 

31 Balasore Affray 

32 Murder of Jotindra 

Ghosh 

33 Murder of Dhirendra 

Biswas 

34 Dompara attempted 

Murder 

35 Majaria Dakaity 

36 Rasulpur Dakaity 

37 Sibpur Dakaity 

38 Beliaghatta Dakaity 

Masjedbari Murder 
Serpentine Lane 

Murder 
ChauipattI Road 

Dakaity 

39 Kartala Dakaity 
"a , . Other Outrages 

z Sahapadua Dakaity 
y Agarpara Dakaity 
X Jaipur Dakaity 
w Garden Reach Dakaity 
1/ Sett Bagan Dakaity 
u Goplnath Ray Lane 

Dakaity 
t Chandrakona Dakaity 
5 Cornwallis Street 

Dakaity 
r Corporation Street 

Dakaity 
q Nathghar Dakaity 



(tnough we have drawn attention to some fairly ambitious schemes of 
recent date) were not either necessary or possible for use in practical 
working under the conditions which the activity of the police imposed. 
For instance, the more recent lists and notes which have come to light 
though sometimes of considerable length and detail, were mostly kept 
in cipher, and arrangements as to arms and in connection with dacoities 
and other outrages so far as committed to writing had to be made in 
obscurely-worded letters passing between individuals. Each organisa- 
tion had, however, its own District Organiser in each district to which it 
extended. When one was arrested another was appointed. The parties 
communicated through their leaders and helped each other : when 
reduced in strength, they entered into proposals for amalgamation. 

The most striking co operation is revealed in» 1914-15, when an 
outbreak in the Punjab and the landing of German arms in Bengal were, 
as we shall show more particularly hereafter in prospect. At this point 
we have the cogent piece of evidence supplied by the distribution of the 
Mauser pistols and ammunition stolen from Messrs. Rodda in August 
1914. It is to be noted that the pistols so stolen were all numbered, 
so that they can be identified. Further, the Mauser pistol ejects the 
spent cartridge automatically and thus for every discharge a cartridge 
case was bound to be left on the ground, though of course it was not 
necessarily found. Again, so far as is known, the revolutionaries only 
had one Mauser pistol other than those of Messrs. Eodda. The circum- 
stances under which they obtained this are known and the pistol was 
recovered. Under these circumstances, as 50 pistols were spent from 
Messrs. Rodda, there is a strong presumption that when stolen Mauser 
cartridges were picked up on the scene of an outrage they had been fired 
from one of Messrs. Rodda's pistols. The distribution of these pistols 
can best be seen by a study of the tables and map annexed, which show 
the places where and the occasions upon which Rodda's pistols and 
Mauser cartridges, used or unused, were recovered. 

The persons in whose possession the Mausers were found must also 
be noted. These include members of the Madaripur partyj Jatin 
Mukharji of Western Bengal, members of the group headed by Satish 
Chakrabartti in Western Bengal, of the Chandernagore group, of Bepin 
Ganguli's party, and of the Mymensingh, Barisal, North Bengal and 
Dacca parties. That arms were interchanged between the several groups 
is shown by various statements. Whether or not the particular trans- 
actions mentioned are correctly detailed, it can hardly be imagined 
that the system to which they point can have been separately imagined 
by the several deponents. 

The custody in which arms were deposited for the moment is found 
named in cipher lists which came to lijht in the various searches. For 
instance, upon the search at No. 39, Pathuriaghata Street, on the 8th 
October 1916, a cipher list was found stating that certain arms were at 
Comilla and that there was a Mauser at Rajshahi. Now the house of 
the District Organiser at Comilla had been searched in July 1916 and his 

103 



102 



(tnough we have drawn attention to some fairly ambitious schemes of 
recent date) were not either necessary or possible for use in practical 
working under the conditions which the activity of the police imposed. 
For instance, the more recent lists and notes which have come to light 
though sometimes of considerable length and detail, were mostly kept 
in cipher, and arrangements as to arms and in connection with dacoities 
and other outrages so far as committed to writing had to be made in 
obscurely-worded letters passing between individuals. Each organisa- 
tion had, however, its owti District Organiser in each district to which it 
extended. "WTien one was arrested another was appointed. The parties 
communicated through their leaders and helped each other : when 
reduced in strength, they entered into proposals for amalgamation. 

The most striking co operation is revealed im 1914-15, when an 
outbreak in the Punjab and the landing of German arms in Bengal were, 
as we shall show more particularly hereafter in prospect. At this point 
we have the cogent piece of evidence supplied by the distribution of the 
Mauser pistols and ammunition stolen from Messrs. Kodda in August 
1914. It is to be noted that the pistols so stolen were all numbered, 
so that they can be identified. Further, the Mauser pistol ejects the 
spent cartridge automatically and thus for every discharge a cartridge 
case was bound to be left on the ground, though of course it was not 
necessarily found. Again, so far as is known, the revolutionaries only 
had one Mauser pistol other than those of Messrs. E,odda. The circum- 
stances under which they obtained this are known and the pistol was 
recovered. Under these circumstances, as 50 pistols were spent from 
Messrs. Rodda, there is a strong presumption that when stolen Mauser 
cartridges were picked up on the scene of an outrage they had been fired 
from one of Messrs. Rodda's pistols. The distribution of these pistols 
can best be seen by a study of the tables and map annexed, which show 
the places where and the occasions upon which Rodda's pistols and 
Mauser cartridges, used or imused, were recovered. 

The persons in whose possession the Mausers were found must also 
be noted. These include members of the Madaripur party, Jatin 
Mukharji of Western Bengal, members of the group headed by Satish 
Chakrabartti in Western Bengal, of the Chandernagore group, of Bepin 
Ganguli's party, and of the Mymensingh, Barisal, North Bengal and 
Dacca parties. That arms were interchanged between the several groups 
is shown by various statements. ^^Tiether or not the particular trans- 
actions mentioned are correctly detailed, it can hardly be imagined 
that the system to which they point can have been separately imagined 
by the several deponents. 

The custody in which arms were deposited for the moment is found 
named in cipher Hsts which came to Ujht in the various searches. For 
instance, upon the search at No. 39, Pathuriaghata Street, on the 8th 
October 1916, a cipher Ust was found stating that certain arms were at 
Comilla and that there was a MauseT at Rajshahi. Now the house of 
the District Organiser at Comilla had been searched in July 1916 and his 

103 



ciphers showed the names of individuals to whom he in turn had entrdst- 
ed arms. The latter list showed that the Comilla District Organiser 
dealt with more arms than the Pathuriaghata Street document noted 
as in his care. The two documents may not refer to the same date ; 
or the Comilla branch may have received arms from other sources as well 
as from Pathuriaghata Street, As regards the Mauser noted in the 
Pathuriaghata Street list as being at Rajshahi, it is interesting to observe 
that according to the statement of one of the persons in custody two 
weapons were obtained from Rajshahi for the murder of Deputy Super- 
intendent Basanta Chatarji in June 1916, The above is sufficient as an 
illustration. The system could be further exemplified. 

There is further indication of the co-operation of the various groups 
in 1915 in the circumstance that in the Balasore affray Jatin Mukharji, 
the leader of a pafty in Western Bengal, was killed along with Chitta- 
priya Ray Chaudhuri, of Madaripur, in the company of two other Madari- 
pur men, who were hanged. In respect of the Corporation Street dacoity, 
a Western Bengal man and a man of the Mymensingh party were convict- 
ed together, and Western Bengal party men were also convicted with 
a man of the Dacca party in respect of the actual theft of Messrs. Rodda's 
arms. The documents relating to the plot in connection with the Ger- 
man arms, hereafter mentioned, notably a list in a note-book found on 
one Abani Nath Mukharji at Singapore, contain the names of members 
belonging to difierent groups. 

Co-operation between the groups is also shown by a study of their 
bombs. 

Three types of bombs were used in the outrages which have been 
described. The book bomb sent to Mr. Kingsford was of course of 
special construction. The first type was a round bomb in use in 1908. 
This was in evidence in the Alipore conspiracy case. Moulds for mak- 
ing the case were found in the Maniktala searches, and such vessels as 
the copper globes of ball cocks, brass globes belonging to bedsteads 
or metal lamp reservoirs were being used as cases. The explosive was 
picric acid, of which a bottle was also found. It was no doubt a bomb 
of this kind which caused the death of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy. As 
already mentioned, a cyclostyled copy of a bomb manual was found 
in these searches. The same manual in a typewritten form was dis- 
covered hidden in the eaves of the house of Ganesh Savarkar at Nasik 
in the Bombay Presidency in March 1909. The same formula was 
found in Hyderabad (Deccan) in 1910 and at Satara in the Bombay 
Presidency in 1911. Secondly, there were the comparatively harmless 
cocoanut bombs, such as were thrown into trains on several occasions 
as already narrated. The third type of bomb which supplanted the 
spherical bomb was used in all the later outrages throughout Bengal 
and also in other provinces. This bomb (a specimen of which we have 
inspected) was of a cylindrical form filled with high explosive and with 
jute needles and pieces of iron. Outside was a layer of jute needles 
(which in thickness rather suggest nails than needles) bound round 
with wire. These were to inflict wounds. The explosive was picric 

104 




# 




• OF THE RAJABAZAR TYPE. 

CalcuUa— M) 296.1, Circular RoaO, Bomb Factory. 

(2) Mu»almanDara Une. Bomb Outrage. 

(3) OalhouereSauare: Bomb Outraeo. 

(4) Gopal Bern. Bombs 'ound. 

(5) BombB found turled in Shiekh Samlr's Garden. 

(6) BombB Produced by Source No, 1 6, 
Bhadreshwar.- Bomb Outrage at Thana. 
Madaripur,- Bumb Outrage jgalnat Secretary of School. 



Mymenumgh.'-Bomb Ou' 



Mnsi 






Maulvl Baiar. Bomb Outrage Altemot on Mr. G 
Ranlsani,— Bomb Outraee at Thana. 
MIdnapur.-Bomb Outraae Attempt on Abdur Ri 
DelKl.-Bomb Outrage Attempt on the Viceroy. 
Meefut.— Pinglry caught with Bombs In cavalry I 
Lahore.-Bomb Outrage Attempts on Mr. Gordoi 



• OTHER TYPES. 

Calcutta.-(l) ManlkUia Garden, (2) Grey Street, (3) Dli<on*i Lane. Nogendra 
Chakravarti 

E. 8. S. RY.— Cocoanut bombs, 

Chandernagore -Attempt on Mayor. Naralngarh.-Attempt on Lleut.-Governor. 

MunshiganJ.-Lallt Chaudhurl Bombs, found. 

Muza(terDur.-(l) Murder of Mrs. and MisB Kennedy. (2) The Book bombi. 

Ahmedabad.— Attempted murder 

Lahore, -aombstound-(l) Muchl Gate. (21 Wachhowal). (3) Uhore Fort. 
(A) Lahore Gardens. (5) Shallmar Gardens. 

Amritaar.— Canal bank, Chabba.— Bombs used In dacoity. Ludhlana city.— Bomb 
eMploiion. Sanawal,— Bomb* used In dacoity, Mansuram. -Bombs 
used in dacoity. Patlala, Bombs found. Nabha State,Bombs found. 

■..BOMB MANUALS. 



acid. The materials for such bombs were very easy to procure and to- 
assemble, and all of them, except the explosive, were found in the search 
at Raja Bazar in November 1913. In the trial which followed it wa& 
found by the Court that bombs of this particular type had been used 
in Calcutta, Lahore, Delhi, Sylhet, Mymensingh and Midnapore. They 
have also been found since in the garden-house of Shek Samir at Khardah, 
near Calcutta, on the 10th April 1916 (two bombs), in the house of Gopal 
Bera at MulHck's Lane, Calcutta, on the 4th April 1917 (four bombs), 
and at Sonarkanda, Narayanganj, Dacca, on the 10th July 1917 (one 
bomb). 

These bombs were also prepared at Chandernagore. There are five 
statements to that effect, and we see no reason to doubt that they are 
correct in this respect. 

96. It must not be supposed that the various organisations were 
S'ze of the orsanisations iiecessarily small. The Dacca Anusilan Samiti 
and the bodies which we call the West Bengal 
and Northern Bengal parties were widely extended and overlapped 
each other's territory. The Dacca Samiti was throughout the whole 
period the most powerful of these associations. The existence of this 
body alone, even if there had been no other, would have constituted 
a public danger. It was originally founded in Dacca by Pulin Behari 
Das, ostensibly as a society for physical and religious culture. It took 
advantage of the bitterness which animated the swadeshi movement 
and altruistic spirit (admirable so long as unperverted) shown by the 
bands of National Volunteers, who at that period used to hold themselves 
ready to assist at fires, floods and similar calamities. It penetrated 
the schools. The National School, Dacca, where Pulin and Bhupesh 
Chandra Ray were teachers, was one of the chief training and recruit- 
ing grounds of the Samiti. The Sonarang National School, founded 
by Makhan Lai Sen, who succeeded Pulin as leader of the Dacca 
Anusilan when Pulm was deported, exercised a most sinister influence 
over the students and was responsible for several crimes detailed in the- 
section dealing with outrages. In the Barisal supplementary case the 
High Court held that there was no doubt that a number of dacoities 
put forward as overt acts in the conspiracy case were engineered and 
carried out from the Sonarang School. 

For the first two years of its existence the Samiti flourished openly 
"When at the end of 1908 it was declared an illegal association under the 
Criminal Law Amendment Act of that year and Pulin Behari Das and 
others were deported, it removed its headquarters to Calcutta, where 
it found an able leader in Makhan Sen. In after years it spread itself 
over all Bengal and extended its operations to other provinces. While 
its organisation was most compact in Mymensingh and Dacca, it was 
active from Dinajpur in the north-west to Chittagong in the south-east 
and from Cooch Behar on the north-east to Midnapore on the south-west. 
Outside Bengal we find its members working in Assam, Bihar, the- 
Punjab, the United Provinces, the Central Provinces and at Poona. 

105 



acid. The materials for such bombs were very easy to procure and to- 
assemble, and all of them, except the explosive, were found in the search 
at Raja Bazar in November 1913. In the trial which followed it was 
found by the Court that bombs of this particular type had been used 
in Calcutta, Lahore, Delhi, Sylhet, Mymensingh and Midnapore. They 
have also been found since in the garden-house of Shek Samir at Khardah, 
near Calcutta, on the 10th April 1916 (two bombs), in the house of Gopal 
Bera at MulUck's Lane, Calcutta, on the ith April 1917 (four bombs), 
and at Sonarkanda, Narayanganj, Dacca, on the 10th July 1917 (one 
bomb). 

These bombs were also prepared at Chandernagore. There are five 
statements to that effect, and we see no reason to doubt that they are 
correct in this respect. 

96. It must not be supposed that the various organisations were 

e-— «« »!.- - :.»«:>.. nccessarilv small. The Dacca Anusilan Samiti 

Size of the organisations. ^ ^ / ^ . , . , m ,^ ^tr , r, i 

and the bodies which we call the West Bengal 

and Northern Bengal parties were widely extended and overlapped 
each other's territory. The Dacca Samiti was throughout the whole 
period the most powerful of these associations. The existence of this 
body alone, even if there had been no other, would have constituted 
a public danger. It was originally founded m Dacca by Pulin Behari 
Das, ostensibly as a society for physical and religious culture. It took 
advantage of the bitterness which animated the swadeshi movement 
and altruistic spirit (admirable so long as unperverted) shown by the 
bands of National Volunteers, who at that period used to hold themselves 
ready to assist at fires, floods and similar calamities. It penetrated 
the schools. The National School, Dacca, where Pulin and Bhupesh. 
Chandra Hay were teachers, was one of the chief training and recruit- 
ing grounds of the Samiti. The Sonarang National School, founded^ 
by Makhan Lai Sen, who succeeded Pulin as leader of the Dacca 
Anusilan when Pulm was deported, exercised a most smister influence 
over the students and was responsible for several crimes detailed in the- 
section dealmg with outrages. In the Barisal supplementary case the 
High Court held that there was no doubt that a number of dacoities 
put forward as overt acts in the conspiracy case were engineered and 
carried out from the Sonarang School. 

For the first two years of its existence the Samiti flourished openly 
When at the end of 1908 it was declared an illegal association under the 
Criminal Law Amendment Act of that year and Pulin Behari Das and 
others were deported, it removed its headquarters to Calcutta, where 
it found an able leader m Makhan Sen. In after years ft spread itself 
over all Bengal and extended its operations to other provinces. While 
its organisation was most compact in Mymensmgh and Dacca, it was 
active from Dinajpur in the north-west to Chittagong in the south-east 
and from Cooch Behar on the north-east to Midnapore on the south-west. 
Outside Bengal we find its members working in Assam, Bihar, the- 
Punjab, the United Provinces, the Central Provinces and at Poona. 

105 



We will now give some illustration of the way in which the revolu- 
tionaries worked together, by sketching certain episodes in the inves- 
tigations concerning them. Besides indicating the habits of the conspi- 
rators, we learn by taking the subject from this point of view, something 
of the methods by which they were found out. AVe have had to suppress 
names and details in places in order to avoid the revelation of the identity 
of informers and other analogous information. 

97. In October a confessing revolutionary in custody pointed out 

Ramifications ^^' ^^' ^^^^liuriaghata Street, as the resort of 

conspirators. The house was searched and 

^mong other docmnents found were cipher lists of names and addresses 

in seven districts of Bengal and also outside the province. There were 

also lists of depositories of arms and bombs. 

All the addresses in Bengal were searched and the results have been 
investigated by us. In all but one or two cases these results were of more 
or less importance, but we only take one as an illustration. 

One of the addresses at Faridpur was — 

" N. N. Chatarji, 

Hemanta K. Mukharji, pleader. " 

Hemanta was Chatarji's uncle, with whom he lived. 
Another address was — 

" Prabodhendu Mohan Ray, 
32, Sonarpura, 
Benares." 

A letter was intercepted written to this m.an from Bijnore in the Punjab, 
The writer was traced as Prabhu Dayal Mehta, resident of Rohani, 
Punjab. This man was arrested and in his possession was a book with 
• nine addresses in the Punjab and also a suspicious letter of the 12th 
December 1916 from Jabalpur, giving the address of a student at Jabal- 
pur to whom Prabhu should write. This led to enquiries at Jabalpur 
and the police were led to believe there was a branch of the Dacca Samiti 
there, of which among others, one Sailendra Nath Ghosh was a leading 
member. He was arrested and his letters intercepted. One came to 
him from Vinayak Rao Kapile from Calcutta. On the back in cipher 
was the name of * * * * * 

* * * * Calcutta. 

* ■ * was arrested there and in his possession were cipher lists 
like those at No. 39, Pathuriaghata Street, containing, among others, 
the name of N. N. Chatarji, of Faridpur, with whose name this story 
started. Thus by following up a Benares address given in the lists at 
No. 39, Pathuriaghata Street, one is led from Benares to the Punjab 
from the Punjab to Jabalpur in the Central Provinces, from Jabalpur 
back to Calcutta, and there a new list is found containing a name at 

106 



Faridpur found independently in the list at No. 39, Patliuriagliata 
Street, from which we started. 

This, however did not exhaust the discoveries made through enquiry- 
being directed, through the long circuit just described, to * 
* * * Among the other names in his list was that 
of Purna Chandra Bhattacharji, Unnakali Tol, Berhampore, " post-box " 
for Jiban Thakurta alias Lengru alias Thibaut, one of the depositories 
of the arms mentioned in the ciphers at No. 39, Pathuriaghata 
Street, as being at Kajshahi. He was mentioned in these ciphers as 
" Thib." 

Further, as the result of the interception of letters suggested by mate- 
rials found in the possession of * * * and the shadow- 
ing of persons named therein, the police on 13th March 1917 arrested 
Indu Bhusan Chakfabarti alias Sri Kanta. His residence was at No. 
81-3, Dharmahata Street, Calcutta. Search there resulted in the arrest 
of three well-known revolutionaries, among them Jiban Thakurta alias 
Lengru or Thibaut, the custodian of arms at Eajshahi, already mentioned. 
In addition to these arrests, further ciphers were found, lists of pro- 
scribed books, maps of Chittagong showing the internment camps at 
Kutubdia and Maheshkhal and other documents. From this, again, 
another investigation starts. Indeed, new investigations branch off 
at each point of the history. We have only followed one main channel 
and one branch. 

We will give another illustration. 

In 1916, in connection with the investigation of a certain outrage 
a man was arrested, who stated, among other things, that revolution- 
aries whom he named met at a certain college hostel and he described 
the room. It was searched and some letters imintelligible at the time 
were foimd. 

Some "months afterwards an arrest was made of a member of the 
West Bengal party, suspected of harbouring absconding leaders in a 
plot to land German arms. In his pocket a letter was found describing 
(by an obscure reference to the nature of the business carried on) a 
certain place in Chandernagore and giving the name (A) of the father of 
a revolutionary (unnamed) as living there. 

Some five years before this a person arrested in connection with an 
' outrage of that date had stated that a revolutionary whom he named 
hved at Chandernagore and that his father's name was A. The place 
indicated by the letter above mentioned as the residence of A now 1^ 
1916) was searched and there was found, with Mauser pistols and further 
documents, the other portion of the correspt)ndence, of which the letters 
independently found and at first unintelligible as above mentioned 
formed a part. Putting all these letters and others found at the same 
time together, a further number of Mauser pistols and a large quantity of 
ammunition were recovered at another address. Further, the documents 

107 



so founcj gave the police a name which enabled them to identify 
the body of a dacoit murdered by his fellows in the Armenian Street 
dacoity * and so led to the unravelhng of that striking crime, as else- 
where mentioned-! Following up the same clues, a search was made 
of the rooms of a member of the teaching staff at a college. Influential 
protest was made upon this, but the occupant fled to the United States 
disguised as a Muhammadan stoker, a disguise which the nature of his 
duties at sea prevented his retaining long. In America he met a German 
and a Bengali and sent back, closely concealed, a note referring to 
revolutionary prospects in the United States. A watch led to the arrest 
of a participant in the Armenian Street dacoity, armed with a loaded 
revolver, which he attempted to use. Other documents were found 
on him. 

The above is the barest sketch of one portion of a long chain of 
investigation which is really endless. We have not described it from 
its beginning. We have not reached its end. We have neglected its 
collateral issues. We examined it in much more detail than it is possible 
to set forth, and have conducted other similar investigations. We 
think what we have said has, however, some illustrative value. 

98. We now turn to another subject, namely, the leaflet Uterature 
Revolutionary leaflets. ^^ *^® revolutionaries. In many cases, some 
of which have been noted in the course of the 
narrative, these documents have been discovered in great numbers at 
searches where revolutionaries have been arrested and organisation 
documents and arms (including Mauser pistols from Messrs. Rodda's 
consignment) recovered. Besides this, there are a great number of 
references in the statements of various deponents to the distribution of 
these leaflets. We do not print these, because we think there can be 
no real doubt that these documents were the propaganda of the various 
bodies, the members of which perpetrated the outrages and are now so 
largely in custody. The connection between this leaflet literature and. 
the outrages has over and over again been accepted and dwelt upon 
by the courts. These leaflets embody a propaganda of bloodthirsty 
fanaticism directed against the Europeans and all who assist them. 
The last of these documents, namely, that pubhshed in December 1917 
in view of Mr. Montagu's visit, is specially important, for it shows that 
the attitude of utter irreconcilabihty is maintained up to the present 
moment. The last three paragraphs are as follows : — 

" What then must we do. Our duty is plain. We have no concern in 
Mr. Montagu's coming or going. He is coming in peace, he may depart in peace 
|or aught we know or care. 

But first and last spread terror. Make this unholy Government impossible. 
Hide like invisible shadows of doom and rain death upon the alien bureaucracy. 
Remember your brothers who are perishing in Jails and rotting in swamps. Re- 
member those who have died or have gone mad. Remember, watch and work. 



* See paragraph 83. 
t See paragraph 170. 

108 



We ask you once more brothers in the name of God and Country and all young 
CT old, rich or poor, Hindus and Mahomnaedang, Buddhists and Christians, and 
ioin this War of Indian Independence and pour forth your blood and treasure. 
Hark, the Mother calls and shows the yyay-NANYA PANTHA VIDYATE- 
ANYA (The only way and no other). 

By order of the Executive. 
Indian REVOiiUTioNARY Committee." 



99. As the expression of these views, at the moment and in the 

. , _ . connection in question, is obviously a matter 

some facts about a leaflet. ^^ ^^^^^ importance, we will show who were 

connected with the issue of this leaflet and follow through the 
evidence on the subject. It will be seen that the document takes the 
form of a proclamation " by order of the Executive, Indian Revolu- 
tionary Committee." In January 1918 one Kuntal Chakrabarti 
was arrested and in his possession, along with pistol cartridges, 
were found copies of this leaflet, and on. the same evening another 
person was arrested with further copies, a revolver and a letter 
from Kuntal referring to the printing of it. The letter, though 
unsigned, is clearly Kuntal's, because it refers to his use of certain 
medicines of which he was found in possession. The passage in the 
letter is as follows : — " Seeing your delay I was compelled to get the 
paper printed. I was advised by every one that if it was at all necessary 
to print it, it should be printed before Montagu's arrival in Calcutta. 
I consulted Haren Da and Gunti in this matter and Haren Da himself 
met all expenses." 

This was the letter referred to on page 21 of this report which con- 
tained the lament that all the revolutionaries were now taken by the 
police owing to the successive revelations made by those arrested. 
Therefore we have the fact that this pamphlet was printed by a man 
whose fellow-workers were in the hands of the police as revolutionaries. 
Haren Da and Gunti, who are not in their hands, are " wanted," the 
one for murder and dacoity, the other as a leader in the German plot 
to be hereafter mentioned.* But the matter does not stop there. 

-Kuntal Chakrabarti had also been mentioned in four confessions as 
imphcated in the Gopi Mohan Roy Lane dacoity in July 1916.t It 
will be remembered that after that dacoity the victim received a receipt 
impressed with a seal. That seal contained a scroll bearing the words 
*' United India " and a motto in Sanskrit the translation of which is 
'* The Mother and the Motherland are more glorious than Heaven." 

The seal by which this impression was made found at the house 
in Chandernagore traced by the multifarious indications already referred 



* See Chapter VII. 

t See paragraph 77. 

109 



to. From that seal (which we have seen) the impression appended 
hereto was taken. 

Now in the same box with the seal were two letters referring 
to Kuntal Chakrabarti. The seal, having been seized, could not be 







used for the leaflet. This, it will be seen by referring to it, pur- 
ported to be issued by the " Indian Eevolutionary Committee " and 
there was no seal. It is, however, not a very risky inference to 
draw, especially having regard to the four confessions, that Kuntal 
Chakrabarti, the author or publisher of the leaflet, was connected with 
the dacoity and the seal and with the resort at Chandernagore where 
Mauser pistols were found and from which so many other connections 
radiate. At any rate, what is the m-ost important point, the author 
of the leaflet was the fellow-worker of a numerous band already in. 
custody as revolutionaries and of others wanted as such.|i 



110 



CHAPTER VI. 
Revolutionary Recruiting from Bengal Schools and Colleges* 

100. Abundant evidence has^ compelled us to the conclusion that 

the secondary English schools, and in a less 

Accessibility of Bengal degree the colleges, of Bengal have been re- 

it«?°««™'^Sf«„M^ garded by the revolutionaries as their most 
revolutionary influences. y ■ r i ■,• . -r^- ^ i 

fruitful recruitmg centres. Dispersed as these 

schools are far and wide throughout the Province, sometimes clustering 
in a town, sometimes isolated in the far-away villages of the eastern 
water- country, they form natural objects for attack ; and, as is apparent 
from the reports of the Department of Public Instruction, they have 
been attacked for years with no small degree of success. In these 
reports the Director has from time to time noticed such matters as 
the circulation of seditious leaflets, the number of students implicated 
in • conspiracy cases and the apathy of parents and guardians. But 
perhaps his most instructive passages are the following, in which he 
sets out the whole situation in regard to secondary English schools. 
" The number of these schools," he wrote, " is rapidly increasing, and 
the cry is for more and rnore. It is a demand for tickets in a lottery, 
the prizes of which are posts in Government service and employment 
in certain professions. The hhadralok have nothing to look to but these 
posts, while those who desire to rise from a lower social or economic 
station have their eyes on the same goal. The middle classes in Bengal 
are generally poor, and the increased stress of competition and the 
tendency for the average earnings of certain careers to decrease — a 
tendency which is bound to follow on the increased demand to enter 
them, coupled with the rise in the cost of living and the inevitable 
raising in the standard of comfort — all these features continue to make 
the struggle to exist in these classes keener. Hence the need to raise 
educational standards, to make school life a greater influence for good 
and the course of instruction more thorough and more comprehensive — 
a need which becomes more and more imperative as life in India becomes 
more complicated, and more exacting — is confronted by a determined 
though perfectly natural opposition to the raising of fees. 
Probably the worst feature of the situation is the low wages and the 
complete absence of prospects which are the fate of teachers in second- 
ary schools. . . . It is easy to blame the parents for blindness 
to their sons' true good, but the Matriculation examination is the thing 
that seems to matter, so that if his boy passes the annual promotion 
examinations and is duly presented at that examination at the earliest 
possible date, the average parent has no criticism to offer. This is per- 

111 



•fectly natural, but the future of Bengal depends to a not inconsiderable 
extent on the work done in its secondary schools, and more is required 
of these institutions than an ability to pass a certain proportion of boys 
through the Calcutta University Matriculation examination. 
The present condition of secondary schools is undoubtedly prejudicing 
the development of the Presidency and is by no means a negligible 
feature in the existing state of general disturbance. It is customary to 
trace the genesis of much sedition and crime to the back streets and 
lanes of Calcutta and Dacca, where the organisers of anarchic con- 
spiracies seek their agents from among University students. This view 
is correct as far as it goes, but it is in the high schools, with their under- 
paid and discontented teachers, their crowded, dark and ill-ventilated 
class rooms, and their soul-destroying process of unceasing cram, that 
the seeds of discontent and fanaticism are sown."* 

101. We have seen that the first Bengal revolutionaries, " fully 
realising that the boy and son of the present 

""**papers°*an^d*?eafletsf*^ ^^>' ^^ *^® prospective man and father of the 

future, aimed at securing the ultimate liberation 
and complete independence of the Bengali ' nation ' thrSugh the readily 
aroused and easily misdirected ardour and enthusiasm of youth."^ 
It is obvious that their efforts to secure recruits must have been faci- 
litated by the unfortunate enlistment of students and schoolboys in 
picketing operations. And when the influences of the boycott ferment 
were supplemented by the perusal of such newspapers as the Jugantar, 
the impressions on many a youthful mind n^&t have resembled those 
exemplified by the following letter, which was filed as an exhibit in the 
. Alipore case. 

" Mirasi, 7th September 1907- 

SiK, — From your advertisement, articles and your bold writings, I understand 
that he alone who has the subversion of the Feringhi Government at heart, should 
by all means read the Jiiganlar. I, a schoolboy, living in a hilly country, don't 
feel any oppression of the Feringhi, and I give way before people for want of infor- 
mation. I am, therefore, in need of Ju gantar, for it acquaints us to a great extent 
with the desire of driving away the Feringhis and also makes us alive to ^vrongs. 
I am extremely in straitened circumstances, hardly able to procure one meal a 
day ; nevertheless my desire for newspaper reading is extremely strong. Hence 
I approach you as a beggar. Ah ! do not disappoint such an eager hope of mine. 
I shall pay the price when I shall have the means. I hope you will favour me 
by enlisting me as a subscriber. Further, please don't fail to send a sample copy. 

Submitted by Sri Debendra Chandra Bhattacharji, 
P.O. Macchihadi, Mirasi, Sylhet." 

Moreover, the teaching implanted by newspapers was widened and 
emphasised by the circulatioii of numbers of leaflets containing such 
passages as those which we have quoted elsewhere in this report, passages 
instinct with racial hatred of the most virulent form conceivable. 



* Annual report of the Director of Public Instruction, Bengal, for the year 1915-16. 
t See judgment of Mr. Justice Carnduff, Alipore conspiracy case. 

! 112 



Such is the literature which has for years been circulating among 
the English-teaching schools and colleges of Bengal. 

102. But they have been persistently attacked by more direct 

methods. On the person of Ramesh Chandra 
Organisation for recruiting Acharii, the principal convict in the Barisal 
from schools and colleges. .••' '- '- , , t^-,-./-v 

conspiracy case, was round a District Organi- 
sation Scheme which contained the following provisions : — 

" The district organiser shall first make himself acquainted with the number 
of Entrance and Middle English schools or colleges in his centre. He shall in- 
fluence at least one boy in each class of the school or college, and through him 
will disseminate the idea to the whole class. He shall have connection with a 
higher class student under a teacher or professor of the school or college. This 
higher class student will have connection with the monitors of other classes. . ' . 
If a district organiser wishes to place a man in a school or in any post, he shall 
inform the headquarters centre of the followmg particulars regarding such man : — 
caste, and age, qualification, what pay he will draw in such post, or the amount 
of fee to be paid if he is put in a school as a student, particulars of such place and 
whether the man to whom he Avill be subordinate is our man — Will there be any 
special facility for our work if he be put there. The chief of the centre shall 
make arrangements to disseminate the ' idea ' more among the students of the 
entrance schools and colleges, as unmarried youths are receptacles of work, energy 
and self-sacrifice. 

When a boy is recruited the following information concerning him shall be 
submitted to the headquarters centre. ... As long as no orders are received 
from the headquarters centre the district organiser will make all necessary arrange- 
ments for his education." 

The organisation scheme provided that district organisers should 
be given " assistants " and should submit quarterly reports. 

103. When the box of Girindra Mohan Das, approver in the supple- 
. mentary Barisal conspiracy case, was searched 

llllustrations of .ts working. ^^ ^^^^^ some /' quarterly reports" were 

found therein, and were tiled as exhibits in the subsequent conspiracy 
trial. They contained the following passages : — 

" Durgapur. — This place is situated m the Chittagong district in pargaua 
Nazampur. It will not be an exaggeration to say that in this pargana this is the 
only place inhabited by gentlemen. It is here that I live. It is hoped that some 
work may be done here. . . . Here is a great want of educated men, there 
are only 2 or 3 such men in this village. Owing to the existence of the local High 
English School, it is gradually imijroving. . . . Most of the teachers of the 
school are religious minded, consequently most of the boj's are religious minded. 
The idea is not much in evidence among them. But the Head Master and 
Hemendra Mukhuti have it. Both are favourable to our work, particularly the 
latter. Two other teachers also know all about it. But they are not favourably 
disposed and are extremely criticising a*id inquisitive. On the other hand^ their 
inquisitiveness does not yield any good fruit. Of the students a student of the 
second class has become our initiated member. . . . There is one sitting 
every week on Sundays. The sitting takes place in my room at the Boarding. 
The Gita, the works ol Vivekananda, or the Katliamrita are read and there is also 
kirtdu (religious songs). . . . It is necessary that religious zeal and patriotism 
sliould flourish side by side. But even the faintest gleam of the latter is not visible. 
Hemendra Babu speaks a little about these things in his class. But very few of 
them can catch or comprehend what he says. Most of them have got no ' tenacity 
of purpose.' 

113* 



Feni. — This place is situated 20 miles north of Durgapur. Though it is a 
small town yet many educated men live here. There is a high class English school. 
. The situation here is unusually advantageous. The work is daily 
becoming more hopeful. There have been five men since my arrival. 
It would have been very fine if a teacher could have been established here. I 
asked for a teacher but you could not give one. Suren Babu also asked for one 
when he was here. It would have been very fine if you could have given one. 
The boys would have received much encouragement. At present the entire burden 
is on the first boy of the ' first class ' here. The principal thing to consider is what 
arrangement should be made after he has left this place after having passed his 
examination. . . . The members are all energetic. At present there has not 
been much obstacle from local men. 

Amirabad. — Of this place it is reported that ' There is no one fit to guide.' 
Consequently it would be well if a ' second Master ' could be appointed to the 
local M(iddle) E(nglish) school. The qualification of being ' Entrance plucked ' 
is enough. If you can give such a man after the Piija holidays, I will appoint 
him." « 

There are reports of two other places. Of one it is written " two 
and one more boys have been (secured) there." In the other there 
is an entrance school where " our Sriman Satish Chakrabarti is reading 
in the ' first class.' " 

The above quotations show the methods of recruitment from schools 
devised and practised by the Dacca Anusilan Samiti. These are further 
illustrated by the following incidents. We have noted that the pass- 
ages from " quarterly reports " which we have reproduced have been 
taken from documents found in the possession of Girindra Mohan Das, 
approver in the Barisal supplementary conspiracy trial. In the course 
of this trial the approver, aged only twenty, once a youth of great pro- 
mise and the son of a much-respected servant of Government, gave 
evidence to the following effect. He had become a member of the 
Dacca Anusilan Samiti while a pupil at the Dacca Collegiate School. 
He had been enlisted in the following manner. 

A class-mate had introduced him to some persons by the river bank. 
He used to go and meet them there in some gardens and was given 
revolutionary literature to read. " The conversation at the gardens," 
said the witness, " related to- religion and politics. The conversation 
about politics v\^as that a revolution would be brought about, that the 
British would be expelled from India, and that India would be made 
independent. . . We went to the temple of Kali at Swamibagh. 
We sat in the verandah of the temple. The door of the temple was 
closed, but as the door is made of iron bars, the image could be seen. 
Pratul Ganguli produced two pieces of paper from his pocket. He 
gave me these and told me to read them. One of them was a set of 
vows, and the vows were printed. I took the vows by reading them 
aloud while facing the image. I remember that the first of the vows 
was that I should never separate myself from the samiti." The wit- 
ness also said that he could not at first make a statement as he was 
afraid of being shot. 

Exhibit 215 in the same trial was a letter^intercepted under the 
Magistrate's order. Some passages ran as follows : '' Crowned with 

114 



vcitory, on Wednesday next you should remain at Station, Vivekananda's 
book in hand. You should act as I have written to you before. The 
schools and colleges will soon be closed. You should so arrange that 
those to whom letters are addressed to Barisal from Dacca and else- 
where do not go home during the vacation, and you must not leave 
Barisal for any other place during any sort of vacation. . . . When 
the schools and colleges are closed, you should keep him who is going 
in the lodgings of some one among you. It would not do to have any 
fear. If one falls into danger in God's work, God himself will save 
one.— (Sd.) Makhan Nag." 

Exhibit 15 in the same case, addressed to the same person, runs : 
" Inform me if Krishna Lai Babu will do for Bhola College. There is 
no one fit for the girls' school here." 

The Krishna Lai Saha herein mentioned was later arrested with a 
stolen revolver and important revolutionary ciphers and correspondence. 

Another approver in the same trial stated : " Pulin told both of 
us that we could do no good to the country by studying, and that we 
had better take up appointments at the Sonarang National School 
and that we could do the work of the samiti from there." The wit- 
ness went on to describe how he became a master in this school ;"how 
all the masters and some of the boys were members of the Dacca Samiti ; 
how a party from this school, in conjunction with a party from Calcutta, 
planned an armed robbery and brought back " money, clothes, and 
a small child's gold bangle " as well as Rs. 900 in cash. " These things 
were brought to the school hostel. Some of the money was kept for 
the expenses of the hostel, and the rest was sent to Dacca. Another 
dacoity was carried out from this school. The proceeds were " many 
gold and silver ornaments," and so on. At last the witness was con- 
victed of assaulting a Government postman and suffered a month's 
imprisonment. On release he became a master in a middle English 
school and " tried to preach the idea among the schoolboys and to 
secure recruits in the village." But the boys at this school were too 
young to appreciate this kind of instruction and he relinquished his 
post and became a private tutor, all the time closely maintaining his 
connection with the Dacca Samiti. Subsequently he became a master 
in a high (English) school in an important district, and at the same 
time worked as a district organiser for the samiti. This career in the 
high school came to an end after his quarters had been searched by 
- the police. He stated that the loot taken in the various dacoities which 
he had described was " spent in organisation, purchase of arms and 
defending cases." 

•• Both these approvers were sons of men in good positions and had- 
themselves been well educated. Their evidence was believed by the 
Judge before whom it was given. Like other statements which we 
have seen, it testifies in a striking manner to the perversion of youths 

115 

I ^2 



that went on under tlie cloak of education. When once initiated into 
a samiti the victims were bound by solemn vows never to separate 
from it. The very first condition of joining was an irrevocable pro- 
mise. This was administered even to young boys. 

104. We have perused many statements which attest the methods 
Results ^^^ results of the organised campaign of 

corruption that has so long been waged. One 
of the most interesting of these documents was written out last year- 
by an educated detenu who is now interned in his village under the 
provisions of the Defence Act. We have obtained his permission to 
publish the following passages : — 

*' From the very beginuing I had no faith in the success of this secret movement. 
I know full well that anarchism has never been attended vnth. good results. It 
may be asked then why I joined it. My long association with X, coupled with 
my love and affection for him for various helps rendered to me in my struggling 
days as a student, induced me to comply with his request for help, 

As regards the recruitment of young students as members of the secret society 
it is done in the follomng way. The word ' Liberty ' has a charm which appeals 
peculiarly, to young sentimental minds. Study of such books as the lives of Maz- 
zini, Garibaldi, Washington, etc., makes impressions upon young minds. Design- 
ing persons gi\'e out the idea of a mdespread organization and temj^t young men 
to join it as the best way of serving the country. The new recruits are kept quite 
in the dark as to the magniturle of the work they are to do and are enticed into 
awallomng the temptmg bait. They are in the begiiming utUised as messengers 
and minor workers for carrying out news and information. Generally they are 
drawn into the actual work, and when once they have been thoroughly initiated 
into it, it becomes impossible for them to give up the connection with the secret 
organisation. I have known from my personal experience that brothers do not 
trust one another, pupils regard their teachers as so many cowards and look upon 
their parents as persons of the old school. There are certain other modes of entice- 
ment besides — minor incidents, such as insults or affronts offered by a European 
to a native, published in the newspaper, are made much of and impressed upon 
young minds." 

Nine years ago the Judge who tried the first Bengal conspiracy 
case observed : " Those responsible for this conspiracy did their work 
well. They realised that their best chance was to get hold of the youth 
of the country and inflame them by appealing to their sense of reli- 
gion and their sense of chivalry, and to this end they have prostituted 
the teaching of their sacred books and represented that under English 
rule the chastity of their mothers and sisters is not safe. . . . 
The danger of a conspiracy like this lies not so much in its prospect of 
success as in its fruition. When once the poison has entered the system, 
it is impossible to say where it will break out or how far-reaching will 
be its effects." 

Ample evidence before us establishes the accuracy of this predic- 
tion. The fruition of the conspiracy has been tragic indeed. We** 
will not dwell further on the dreary record of the Sonarang National 
School, which was rather an association organized for robbery and 
murder than a place of education. Nor need we tell the tale of the 
Madaripur High English School, of J which two ex-pupils have been 
< 116' 



iianged, one committed murder and was afterwards killed fighting the * 
police, others have been imprisoned and others bound over under the 
Criminal Procedure Code to be of good behaviour. But these are 
extreme instances of what has been going on in many places, especially 
in places afEected by the ramifications of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti. 
We have noticed also the recent murders of two head-masters for trying 
to do their duty,* and the following evidence shows how wide-reaching 
is the campaign against impressionable youth. 

105. It will be remembered that one Amrita Lai Hazia was sen- 
Latest efforts "tenced to fifteen years' transportation in con- 
nection Avith the Raja Bazar bomb case.f 
When his house in Calcutta was searched, a list of sixteen names was 
found in cipher, among which was the name of a certain Amulya Nath 
Sarkar. Further information was received regarding Amulya Nath 
Sarkar ; and under the provisions of the Defence of India Act, this 
man's house at Pabna, on the south-west border of. the old province 
of Eastern Bengal, was searched in September 1916. An interesting 
pamphlet was found therein which deals with the organibation of an 
" Indian Liberating League " for " the expulsion of the greedy and 
selfish foreigners from the country. They cannot be driven out with' 
out the subversion of the established Government by means of arms 
and munitions required for a national rising." Among the various 
sections of organijation with which this pamphlet deals is " Different 
processes and places of recruiting." 

The pamphlet groups under this heading the following : — 

" i. Process. — By public oration, by press iKiblications, and by iudividual 
coaching. 

2. Places. — Schools and colleges, places of public amusement, theatres, etc., 
in ceremonies where relatives are assembled and so on, through ijhilanthropio 
work. 

Classes of recruits — according to their place in life — 

1st class — boys before they reach maturity : 
2nd class — youths before then marriage : 
3rd class — married young men : 
4th class — aged and worldly men. 

Next : classes according to their activity ami utilifi/ — 

1st class — boys who are prosecuting their studies :' 

2nd class — young men who Avill venture ariything, oven at the risk of their 
lives : 

3rd class — those who will help with money only : 

4th class — those who have genuine sympathy only. 

These classes should be grouped under respective circles." 



* See paragraphs 74 and 81. 
t See paragraph 61. '; 



W7 



Later on tlie pamphlet runs — 
^' Diijerent processes of recruiting — 

(1) Tlnough schoolmasters and Professors of colleges; through the drill 
and gymnastic masters. 

****** 

(5) Through students' messes and hostels both private and public. 

(6) Through meritorious students and company with young boys, behaving 

• with them as younger brothers, helping them when needed with 
material help." ^ 

. Again we find that when last year a certain Jogendi-a Bhattachai-ji 
of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti was arrested at Bhagalpur in Bihar last 
year, a document was found among his papers which discloses an ela- 
borate scheme for the perversion of whole neighbourhoods through 
organisations of students and schoolboys. 

106. We have marshalled in this chapter only the most prominent 
Summarv parts of the testimony which has convinced 

us that the revolutionary associations have 
spared no pains to secure recruits from schools and colleges. By 
elaborate endeavour and astutely devised methods they have achieved 
a degree of success which, unless strongly countered by combined 
official and non-official effort, must gravely prejudice the future of 
Bengal. 



m 



CHAPTER Vn. 

German Plots. 



107. Bernhardi in Ms book " Germany and the Next War," pub- 

lished in October 1911, had indicated the 
German mteresnn Indian Qe^man hop'e that th'e Hindu population of 
Bengal, in which a pronounced revolutionary 
and nationalist tendency showed itself, might unite with the Muham- 
madans of India and that the co-operation of these elements might 
create a very grave danger capable of shaking the foundations of 
England's high position in the world. 

On the 6th of March 1914 the Berliner Tageblatt pubhshed an article 
on " England's Indian Trouble," depicting a very gloomy situation in 
India and representing that secret societies flourished and spread and 
were helped from outside. In California especially, it was said there 
appeared to be an organised enterprise for the purpose of providing 
India with arms and explosives. 

108. According to the case disclosed by the prosecution in a State 

trial which opened in San Francisco on the 

' -'*'"Gernlan''ageSts?"*' ^^^^ °^ November 1917 Hardayal * had planned 
a campaign in America prior to 1911 with 
German agents and Indian revolutionaries in Europe and in pursuance 
of the scheme founded the Ghadr Revolutionary Party in CaUfornia, 
spreading throughout Cahfornia, Oregon and Washington the German 
doctrine that the Fatherland would strike England. 

109. In September 1914 a young Tamil named Chempakaraman 

Pillai, President of a body in Zurich called the 
"^ ^""'^IlaHonaUsts!!'''*" International Pro-India Committee, appHed 

to the German Consul in Zurich to obtain per- 
mission for him to pubhsh anti-British hterature in Germany. In 
October 1914 he left Zurich to work under the German Foreign Office in 
Berhn. He estabhshed there the " Indian National Party " attached 
to the German General Staff. It included among its members Hardayal, 
the founder of the Ghadr, Taraknath Das, Barkatulla, Chandra K. 
Chakrabarti and Heramba Lai Gupta (two of the accused in the German 
Indian conspiracy trial in San Francisco). 

The Germans appear to have employed the members of the Indian 
party at jfirst chiefly in the production of anti-British hterature, which 



* A Hindu ex-student of the Punjab University. See paragraph 130. 

119 



was as far as possible disseminated in all regions where it might he ex- 
pected to do injury to Great Britain. 

At a later stage they were engaged in other duties. Barkatulla was 
detailed to direct a campaign to win Indian prisoners of war captured 
by the Germans from the British ranlcs from their allegiance. Filial 
was at one time trusted with a Berhn Office code, which he made over 
in Amsterdam in 1915 to an agent who was leaving for Bangkok via 
America to start a printing plant and pubhsh war news to be smuggled 
over the Siamese-Burmese frontier. Heramba Lai Gupta was for a 
time Indian agent of Germany in America and arranged with Boehm, 
of whom more will be said, that he should go 1# Siam and train men for 
an attack on Burma. Gupta was.succeeded as German agent in America 
by Chakrabarti under the following letter of the Berhn Foreign Office : — 

"Berlin, February 4th, 1916. 

The German Embassy, Wash. 

In future all Indian affairs are to be exclusively handled by the Committee to be 
formed by Dr. Chakravarty. Birendra Sarkar and Heramba Lai Gupta, which 
latter person has meantime been expelled from Japan, thus cease to be independent 
representatives of the Indian Independence Committee existing here. 

(Sd.) ZaiMEEMAN." 

110. The German General Staf! had definite schemes aimed directly 
• agaiiLst India. It is with such schemes, in so 

India. ^^^ ^^ *^®y depended on co-operation with the 

non-Muhammadan population of India, that 
this chapter is chiefly concerned. 

The scheme which depended on Moslem disaffection was directed 
against the North-Western Frontier, but the other schemes, which rehed 
upon co-operation with the Ghadr pai-ty of San Francisco and the Bengali 
revolutionaries, centred in Bangkok and Batavia. The Bangkok scheme 
depended chiefly on returned Sikhs of the Ghadr party, the Batavian 
scheme upon the Bengalis. Both the schemes were under the general 
direction of the Consul-General for Germany in Shanghai acting under 
orders from the German Embassy at Washington. 

111. In August 1915 the French Police reported that it was generally 

beheved among revolutionary Indians in 

BmSi. '" Europe that a rebelHon would break out in 

India in a short time and that Germany would 

support the movement with all her pover. What giound there was 

for this belief the following recital of facts will show. 

In November 1914 Pingley (a Maratha) and Satyendxa Sen (a Bengah) 
arrived in Calcutta from America by the S.S. Saiamis. Pingley went 
up-country to help to organise a rising the^e.* Satyendra remained in 
Calcutta at No. 159, Bow Bazar. 



* See paragraphs 121 and 13S. 

120 



Towards the close of 19i4 it was reported to the police that the 
partners in a swadesM clotK-shop named the Sramajibi Samabaya, 
viz.. Ram Chandra Mazumdar and Amarendra Chatarji, were scheming 
with Jatindra Mukharji, Atal Ghosh and Narendra Bhattacharji to keep 
arms on a large scale. 

Early in 1915 ceitaii) of the Bengal revolutionaries met and decided 
to organize and put the whole scheme of raising a rebellion in India with 
the help of Germans upon a proper footing, estabhshing co-operation 
between revolutionaries in Siam and other places with Bengal and get- 
ting into touch with the Germans, and that funds should be raised by 
dacoities. 

Thereupon the Garden Reach and Beliaghata dacoities were com- 
-mitted on the I'ith January and 22nd February which brought in 
Rs. 40,000. Bholanath Chatarji had already been sent to Bangkok to 
get in touch with conspirators there.. _Jitendra Nath Lahiri, who arrived 
in Bombay from Europe early in March, brought to the Bengal revolu- 
tionaries offers of German help and invited them to send an agent to 
Batavia to co-operate. A meeting was thereupon held, as a result of 
which Naren Bhattacharji was sent to Batavia to discuss plans with the 
Germans there. "Tie started in April and adopted the pseudonym of 
C. Martin. In the same month another Bengah, Abani Mukharji, was 
sent by the conspirators to Japan, while the. leader, Jatin Mukharji, 
went into hiding at Balasore owing to the poUce investigations in con- 
nection with the Garden Reach and Beliaghata dacoities. In the same 
month the S.S. Maverick, of which more will be told, started on a voyage 
from San Pedro in Cahfornia. 

On his arrival at Batavia " Martin " was introduced by the German 
Consul to Theodor Helfferich, who stated that a cargo of arms and 
ammunition was on its way to Karachi to assist the Indians in a revolu- 
tion. " Martin " then urged that the ship should be diverted to Bengal. 
This was eventually agreed to after reference to the German Consul- 
General in Shanghai. " Martin " then returned to make arrangements 
to receive the cargo of the Maverick, as the ship was called, at Rai Mangal 
in the Sundarbans. The cargo was said to consist of 30,000 rifles with 
400 rounds of ammunition each and 2 lakhs of rupees. Meanwhile 
*' Martin " had telegraphed to Harry & Sons in Calcutta, a bogus firm 
kept by a weU-known revolutionary, that " business was helpful." In 
June Harry & Sons wired to " Martin " for money, and then began a 
series of remittances from Helfferich in Batavia to Harry & Sons in 
Calcutta between June and August, which aggTegated Rs. 43,000, of 
which the revolutionaries received Rs. 33,000 before the authorities 
discovered what was going on. 

" Martin " returned to India in the middle of June, and the con- 
spirators Jatin Mukharji, Jadu Gopal Mukharji, Narendra Bhattacharji 
(" Martin "), Bholanath Chatarji and Atul Ghosh set about making plans 
to receive the Maverick's cargo and employ it to the best advantage. 

121 



tChey decided to divide the arms into three parts, to be sent respecfcively 
to— 

(1) Hatia, for the Eastern Bengal districts, to be worked by the 

members of the Barisal party. 

(2) Calcutta. 

(3) Balasore. 

They considered that they were numerically strong enough to deal with 
the troops in Bengal, but they feared reinforcements from outside. With 
this idea in view they decided to hold up the three main railways into 
Bengal by blowing up the principal bridges. Jatindra was to deal with 
the Madras railway from' Balasore, Bholanath Chatarji was sent to 
Chakradharpur to take charge of the Bengal-Nagpur Railway, while 
Satish Chakrabarti was to go to Ajay and blow up the bridge on the 
East Indian Railway. Naren Chaudhuri and Phanindra Chakrabarti 
were told off to go to Hatia, where a force was to collect, first, to obtain 
control of the Eastern Bengal districts, and then to march on to Calcutta. 
The Calcutta party, under Naren Bhattacharji and Bepin Ganguh, 
were first to take possession of all the arms and arsenals around Calcutta, 
then to take Fort William, and afterwards to sack the town of Calcutta. 
The German officers arriving in the Maverick were to stay in Eastern 
Bengal and raise and train armies. 

In the meantime, the work of taking delivery of the cargo of the 
Maverick was apparently arranged by Jadu Gopal Mukharji who is said 
to have placed himself in communication with a zamindar in the vicinity 
of Rai Mangal, who had promised to provide men, Ughters, etc., for the 
unloading of the vessel. The Maverick would arrive at night and would 
be recognised by a series of lamps hung horizontally. It was hoped 
that the first distribution of arms would take place by the 1st of July 
1915. 

There was no doubt that some men, under instructions from Atul 
Ghosh, actually went down by boat to the neighbourhood of Rai Mangal 
to help in the unloading of the Maverick. They seemed to have stayed 
there about ten days, but by the end of June the Maverick had not 
arrived, nor had any message been received from Batavia to explain 
the delay. 

While the conspirators were waiting for the Maverick a Bengali 
arrived from Bangkok on the 3rd July with a message from Atmaram, 
a Punjabi conspirator there, that the German Consul in Siam was sending 
by boat a consignment of 5,000 rifles and ammunition and 1 lakh of 
rupees to Rai Mangal. The conspirators thinking this was in sub- 
stitution of the Maverick's cargo induced the Bengali messenger to return 
to Bangkok via Batavia and tell Helfferich not to change the original 
plan and that other consignments of arms might be landed at Hatia 
(Sandwip) and Balasore in the Bay of Bengal or Gokarni on the west 
coast of India, south of Karwar. In July Government learnt of the 
projected landing of arms at Rai Mangal and took precautions. 

122 



On the 7tli August the police, on information received, searched the 
premises of Harry & Sons and effected some arrests. 

On the 13th August t one of the conspirators sent from Bombay a 
warning telegram to Helfierich in Java and on the 15th of August 
Narendra Bhattacharji (" Martin ") and another started for Batavia 
to discuss matters with Helfierich. 

On the 4th of September the Universal Emporium at Balasore, a 
branch of Harry &; Sons, was searched, as also a revolutionary retreat at 
Kaptipada 20 miles distant, where a map of the Sunderbans was found 
together with a cutting from a Penang paper about the Maverick. Event- 
ually a gang of five Bengalis was " rounded up," and in the fight which 
ensued Jatin Mukharji, the leader, and Chittapriya Kay Chaudhuri, 
the murderer of Inspector Suresh Chandra Mukharji, were killed. 

During this year nothing more was heard from " Martin " by the 
conspirators and eventually two of them went to Goa to try and tele- 
graph to Batavia. On the 27th December 1915 the following telegram 
was sent to " Martin " at Batavia from Goa : — " How doing — no 
news ; very anxious, B. Chatterton." This led to inquiries in Goa 
and two Bengalis were found one of whom proved to be Bholanath 
Chatarji. He committed suicide in the Poona Jail on the 27th January 
1916. 

112. We will now shortly narrate the story of the Maverick and 

another vessel, the JSenrt^ S., both of which 

'''* Germany! ^ started from America for Eastern waters in 

connection with the German plot, and describe 

certain other schemes entertained by the Germans. 

The S.S. Maverick was an old oil tank steamer of the Standard Oil 
Company, which had been purchased by a German firm, E. Jebsen & 
Co., of San Francisco. She sailed about the 22nd of April 1915 from San 
Pedro in California without cargo. She had a crew of 25 officers and 
men and five so-called Persians, who signed on as waiters. They were 
all Indians and had been shipped by Von Brincken of the German Con- 
sulate at San Francisco and 'Ram Chandra, the successor of Hardayal 
on the Ghadr. One of them, Hari Singh, a Punjabi, had quantities of 
Ghadr literature in trunks. The Maverick went first to San Jose del 
Cabo in Lower California and obtained clearance for Anjer in Java. 
They then sailed for the Island of Socorro^ 600 miles west of Mexico, 
to meet a schooner called tEe Annie Larsen which had a cargo of arms 
and ammunition purchased by a German in New York named Tauscher 
and shipped at San Diego on the Annie Larsen. The master of the 
Maverick had been instructed to stow the rifles in one of the empty oil 
tanks and flood them with oil and stow the ammunition in another 
tank, and in case of urgent necessity to sink the ship. The Annie Larsen 
never efiected a meeting with the Maverick and after some weeks the 
Maverick sailed for Java via Honolulu. In Java she was searched by 
the Dutch authorities and found to be empty. The Annie Larsen 
eventually about the end of June 1915 arrived at Hoquiam in Washington 

123 



territory where her cargo was seized by the United States authorities. 
It was claimed by Count Bernsdorf, the German Ambassador at Washing- 
ton, as belonging to Germany, but the claim was disallowed by the 
American Government. 

Helfterich took care of the crew of the Maverick in Batavia and 
eventually sent them back in her to America, " Martin " being sub- 
stituted for Hari Singh. Thus "Martin" escaped to America. After 
his arrival there he was arrested by the American Government. 

/^ Another v^ss^ which started in pursuance of a German-Indian plot 
was the Henry iS.,a schooner with auxiliary screw. She cleared from 
Manila for Shanghai with a cargo of arms and ammunition which were 
discovered by the Customs authorities v/ho made the master unload 
them before sailing. Her destination was then changed to Pontianak. 
Eventually her motor broke down and she put into a port in the Celebes. 
She had on board two German- Americans, Wehde and Boehm. The 
general intention seems to have been that she should go to Bangkok and 
land some of her arms which were to be concealed in a, tunnel at Pakoh 
on the Siam-Burma frontier while Boehm trained Indians on the frontier 
for the invasion of Burma. Boehm was arrested in Singapore on his way 
from Batavia, which he had reached from the Celebes. He had joined 
the Henry S. at Manila under instructions received from Heramba Lai 
Gupta in Chicago, and was instructed by the German Consul at Manila 
to see that 500 revolvers were landed at Bangkok and the rest of the 
consignment of 5,000 sent on to Chittagong. The arms were said to be 

I revolvers with rifle stocks ; probably therefore they were Mauser pistols. 

There is reason to believe that, when the scheme connected with the 
Maverick failed, the German Consul-General at Shanghai arranged to 
send two other ships with arms to the Bay of Bengal, one to Rai Mangal 
and the other to Balasore. The first was to carry 20,000 rifles, 8,000,000 
cartridges, 2,000 pistols and hand grenades and explosives and two lakhs 
of rupees, the other was to carry 10,000 rifles, a million cartridges and 
grenades and explosives. " Martin," however, pointed out to the German 
Consul at Batavia that Rai Mangal was no longer a safe landing-place 
and suggested Hatia was better. The proposed change of place was 
discussed with Helfferich and eventually the following plan was 
evolved : — 

The steamer for Hatia was to come direct from Shanghai and arrive 
about the end of December. The ship for Balasore was to be a German 
steamer lying in a Dutch port and was to pick up a cargo at sea. A 
third steamer, also a war-bound German vessel, was to sail to the 
Andamans shipping a cargo of arms at sea and raid Port Blair, pick up 
anarchists, convicts and men of the mutinous Singapore regiment, who 
it was thought were interned there, and then proceed to Rangoon and 
raid it. To assist the conspirators in Bengal a Chinaman was sent to 
Helfferich with 66,000 guilders and a letter to be delivered to a Bengali 
at Penang or to One of two addressees in Calcutta : he never delivered his 
message for he was arrested at Singapore with the money on his person. 

124 



A-c the same time tlie Bengali wlio had accompanied " Martin" to 
Batavia was sent to Shanghai to confer with the German Consul- 
General there and to return in the ship destined forHatia. He reached 
Shanghai with some difficulty and was arrested there. 

Meanwhile the Calcutta conspirators, after Jatin Mukharji's death, 
had gone into asylum at Chandernagore. Upon the arrest of the Bengali 
messenger in Shanghai the last scheme of the Germans for landing arms 
in the Bay of Bengal appears to have been abandoned. 

Wehde, Boehm and Heramba Lai Gupta were tried and convicted 
in a State trial at Chicago for their share in the German-Indian plots. 
The San Francisco trial which began in November 1917 resulted in 
further convictions in connection with these plots, but the details have 
not yet reached India. 

113. In October 1915 the Shanghai Municipal Police arrested two 

Chinamen in possession of 129 automatic 
pistols and 20,830 rounds of ammunition which 
they had been instructed by a German named Nielsen to take to Calcutta 
concealed in the centre of bundles of planks. The address to which 
they were to be delivered was Amarendra Chatarji, Sramajibi 
Samabaya, Calcutta. Amarendra was one of the conspirators who 
absconded to Chandernagore. 

The address of Nielsen, namely, 32, Yahgtsepoo Road, which was 
proved in the trial of these Chinamen, appears in a note-book found on 
the person of Abani, the emissary to Japan mentioned in paragraph 5, 
when he was arrested at Singapore on "his homeward voyage. There is 
reason to believe that this or a similar plot was hatched in consultation 
with Rash Behari Basu, who was then living in Nielsen's house, for 
pistols which Rash Behari wished to .send to India were obtained by a 
Chinaman from the MaiTah dispensary, 108, Chao Tung Road, which 
was one of Nielsen's addresses recorded in the note-book. Another 
revolutionary who lived in the same house was Abinash Ray. He had 
been concerned in Shanghai in German schemes for sending arms to 
India and asked Abani to give a message to Mati Lai Ray at Chander- 
nagore saying everything was all right and they must devise some means 
by which Ray could be got safely into India. Abani's note-book con- 
tained the addresses of Mati Lai Ray and several other known revolu- 
tionaries of Chandernagore, Calcutta, Dacca and Comilla. Among other 
addresses was that of Amar Singh, engineer, Pakoh, Siam, the place 
in which it had been arranged that some of the arms on the Henry S. 
should be concealed. Amar Singh was sentenced to death at Mandalay 
and hanged. 

114. Our examination of the German arms schemes suggests that the 

revolutionaries concerned were far too sanguine 
^*'''"h!fofS*^ '"" and that the Germans with whom they got in 
touch were very ignorant of the movement of 
which they attempted to take advantage. 
• 

185 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Revolutionary Crime in Bihar and Orissa. 

• - 

115. Bengal is separated from the centre of Northern India by the 

province of Bihar and Orissa. Formerly both 
The Province ol^Bihar and provinces were united under a Lieutenant- 
Governor ; but after the partition of 1905, 
Bihar and Orissa were incorporated v/ith a new province of Western 
Bengal, and finally they were constituted a separate charge by the Kind's 
Proclamation of December the 12th, 1911. 

The early history of the revolutionary movement in Bengal from the 
years 1906 to 1911 includes the narrative of events in Bihar and Orissa 
but in fact concerned that province little. There are considerable 
differences -of race and language between the inhabitants thereof and 
those of Bengal, although many Bengali settlers and Hindus of Bengali 
descent reside in Bihar and Orissa. Intellectually keener, as a rule, 
than the true natives of the province, these have become prominent in 
Government services, in offices of all kinds and at the Bar. 

116. The first revolutionary . crimes committed in Bihar were the 

Muzaffarpur murders. These, as we have shown 

KvSStioSa^^^^^^^ i^ ^'l^^Pter IV, paragraph 37, were committed 

ment. by two youths deputed by the Calcutta Anusilan 

Samiti. They resulted from the transfer from 
Calcutta to Muzaffarpur of a Magistrate obnoxious to the revolutionaries. 
The subsequent trial of the Afipore con^iracy case disclosed a connec- 
tion between Deoghar, a place in the Santal Parganas of Bihar, and 
some of the conspirators. Deoghar is a health resort and a place of 
pilgrimage. Rajnarayan Basu, who had settled there, was the grand- 
father of Barindra and Arabinda Ghosh, and Barindra himself had been 
largely educated in Deoghar. He had belonged to a Deoghar society 
called the Golden League, the object of which was to forward the boycott 
and swadeiJii agitation. A printer of the Jugantar was a Bengali from 
Patna ; and members of the revolutionary party have visited or worked 
on a farm near Deoghar. During the trial of the Alipore conspirators, 
it appeared that a house at Deoghar, known as Sil's Lodge, had been 
hired and used for the preparation of bombs and training of associates. 
Some bomb material was found here as late as 1915. Exhibit No. 777 
in the Alipore bomb case was a copy of the newspaper Bande Mataram, 
which bore the name of Prafulla Chaki (one of the Muzaffarpur murderers) 
and had been found in Sil's Lodge. 

After the Muzaffarpur tragedy, however, Bihar had a long respite 
from political crime ; and the next incidents that have claimed our 

126 • 



attention were also murders committed by revolutionaries from outside 
the province. The circumstances of these murders were remarkable, 
and show clearly the baneful influence exercised by the Bengal propa- 
ganda of robbery and homicide on youthful minds, outside Bengal. 
They also show how, despite professions of religion and patriotism, those 
bitten with this propaganda could not only ignore all human pity but 
select as a victim an unoffending person belonging to a calling held in 
•Special reverence by Hindus. 

117. Moti Chand and Manik Chand, two Hindu youths, belonging to 

^. „. . the Jain sect which is peculiarly averse to taking 

The Nimez murders. ,.r r i • i j.- £ a-u ^ 

hfe of any kmd, were natives oi bholapur, a 

district in the Bombay Presidency. They had at first studied at home 
and in Poona, but afterwards, with two other Maratha Jains, joined the 
school of a Jain named Arjun Lai Sethi in the State of Jaipur. Accord- 
ing to Manik Chand they had read previously and brought with them to 
Jaipur such books as the Life of Mazzini, The first eight years of Tilak, 
cuttings from such newspapers as the Kal, the BJiola and the Kesari : 
and at the school which they had joined in order to study religion, and 
with it " secure a general education,"* they and their companions 
received visits and lectures from one Bishan Datta, a Brahmin and a 
preacher aged about 40, a native of the Mirzapur district in the United 
Provinces and a resident of Benares. 

Arjun Lai's school was mainly religious, but Bishan Datta's lectures 
were political, " Besides the excellent sentiment that man should serve 
his country he inculcated first the duty of attaining stvaraj (self-govern- 
ment), a boon which .he did not define, though inter alia he wanted a 
parliament with Hindu representatives, and secondly, the view that the 
committing of dacoity was the road to swaraj."1[ To attain swaraj 
dacoities should be taught. They should be committed in order to 
obtain funds wherewith to procure revolvers and pistols whereby to 
facilitate robbery by violence. Bishan Datta would gain followers and 
organize dacoity on a grand scale. He pointed out to the students 
various examples of political woes under which the country suffered. 
He spoke on this topic to the students individually or in twos and threes, 
but never to more than five at a time. He also " praised men like 
Kanai Lai Datta " (the murderer of the informer Narendra Gosain). On 
his third visit to Arjun Lai's school he said to Moti Chand, Manik Chand 
and Jai Chand (another student), " Up to this it has been only theory. It 
isnow time to do something practical," and added, " Are you ready ? " 
His audience well understood him to be asking them to promote swaraj 
by committing a dacoity and consented to his proposal. He proceeded 
to explain that there was an opportunity for dacoity, and offered, if they 
were ready, to take them to the place suited for the purpose. The name 



* See the judgment of the Sessions Judge of Shahabad in the case King-Emperor 
versus Moti Chand and Bishan Datta. 

t We are quoting from the judgment of the Sessions Judge of Shahabad in the case 
of King-Emperor versus Moti Chand and Bishan Datta. 

m 



of this place he did not then disclose. They agreed. Under the guidance of 
Bislian Datta they left the boarding-house two or three days later, were 
joined by a certain. Joravar Sijigh, whom they did not know previously, 
and during an intermediate short stay at far-distant Benares, learnt 
from Bishan Datta that the victim was to be a Hindu Mobant or Abbot 
who resided in and looked after a small temple in Nimez, in Bihar, and 
was believed to be wealthy. After a.preliminary reconnoitre by two q^ 
the associates, Moti Chand, Manik Chand, Jai Chand and Joravar Singh 
started on the expedition, supplied by Bishan Datta with funds for tlie 
journey and with heavy staffs in case of resistance. They carried out 
their enterprise, murdered the Mohant in the most treacherous and 
brutal manner, as well as an unfortunate boy who happened to be acting 
as his servant, but could not find the key of his safe which contained 
cash and property worth about Es. 17,000. Consequently they returned 
to Bishan Datta with nothing but a time-piece and a drinking pot. He 
informed them that they had been fools and had taken a man's life, 
needlessly. 

This abominable crime was perpetrated on the 20th of March 1913 ; 
and it was not till a year later that any clue was obtained to its author- 
ship. Then Arjun Lai Sethi, who had left Jaipur and proceeded to 
Indore to start another school there, fell under the suspicion of the police 
who were enquiring into the Delhi conspiracy case. He had brought 
with him from Jaipur a certain Sheo Narayan, among whose belongings 
objectionable papers were found. On examination Sheo Narayan told 
the poHce that, when he was residing at the boarding-house of Arjun 
Lai's school at Jaipur, there arrived about January 1913 a visitor named 
Bishan Datta. Subsequently three students of the institution named 
Moti Chand, Manik Chand, and Jai Chand left the boarding-housS to- 
gether, ostensibly on pilgrimage, and on their return some 25 days later, 
related, in the presence of himself, Arjun Lai, and some of the other 
young men, how they had killed a sadhu (Hindu ascetic), but had been 
unable to get any of his money, which it was their object to secure. 
This disclosure started a prolonged investigation. Moti Chand was 
convicted and hanged. Bishan Datta was transported for ten years, as 
it was held that he had not instigated the murder but only the dacoity. 
The Sessions Judge found that Arjun Lai " must have been aware of the 
object with which three of his free boarder students took their departure 
on pilgrimage." 

118. We find that in 1913 Sachindra Sanyal, subsecjuently promin^t 
Other incidents ^^ ^^® Benares * conspiracy case, started a 

branch of his Benares Samiti at Bankipur, the 
capital of Bihar, with a view apparently to obtain recruits from the 
college there. One of the successive organizers of this branch was 
Bankim Chandra Mitra, a Bengali student at the Bihar National College 
subsequently convicted in the Benares conspiracy case. Wliile still at 
the college he instilled " love of the country " into the mind of Raglmbir 



♦ See paragraph 121. 



Singh, a Biliari student. The manner in which this was done was thus 
described in Court by a fellow-student : " Bankim Chandra entered the 
Bihar National College. He formed a society where he used to give 
instruction in 1 he works of Vivekananda. I vro.s th(^ master. Xn oath 
was taken on entering the society, by the name of God and priests, not 
to divulge the secrets of the society to any outsider. We were told that 
we should strive against the British Government, that they should be 
driven out of the country. We must make preparations so as to be in a 
position to tiirn them out." Shortly after receiving this instruction, 
Raghubir Singh assisted in the distribution of Liberty leaflets, and sub- 
•sequently migrating to Allahabad, obtained the post of clerk in the depot 
office of the 113th Infantry. While holding that position he was con- 
victed of distributing more Liberty pamphlets containing exhoi-tations to 
rebellion and murder, and was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. 
The next signs of revolutionary activity in Bihar wete the arrivals at 
Bhagalpur of first one and then another member of the Dacca Anusilan 
Samiti for the purpose of corrupting the students of that place. The 
most important of these emissaries was Rebati Nag, since murdered by 
his fellow-conspirators. The method of argument adopted by this man 
will best be appreciated by quotations from the statements of students 
on the subject : — 

(a) From a statement made by a student of the .Tej Narayan 
Jubilee College, Bhagalpur, on the 29th of March 1917 :— ' 

" Rebati frequently talked about the Motherland and told us that we 
(meaning Biharis) are doing nothing for the sake of the Motherland and 
exhorted me to emulate the students of Bengal. He frequently told me 
that there is no strong public opinion in Bihar and there are no political 
leaders. He ahvays told me that we should always be ready to lay 
down our lives for the sake of the Mother-Country. He told me that 
the Bengalis committed dacoities not for personal gain but for the welfare 
of the country. He always advised me to read the accounts of dacoities, 
political arrests, outrages and house-searches and to think over the 
matter. In short, he told me that we Biharis should do the same work 
as is done by the anarchists in Bengal. He pointed out to me that it 
is not possible for Bengalis to work in Bihar. They (Bengalis) ca»i only 
educate and instruct the Biharis. Eebati talked about tho above 
subjects when we were alone. He expressly instructed me not to 
broach upon the above matt^i'rs in presence of anybody." 

(6) We may next quote an extract from a statement made on the 
20th of December 1917 by a pupil of the Barari High English School, 
Bhagalpur : — 

" Rebati impressed upon me that the British had ruined us by ob-- 
structing the growth of nationalism in India and checking the progress 
of education and other good causes which go to build up our nationality. 
Rebati further said that the British were holding a thousand times 
better appointments than the Indians and were taking away all the 
wealth of our Motherland. The British, he said, were tryiiig to keep us 

m 



as a servile natiou all throughout our lives. He quoted several iustances 
of Bengal and said how beautifully the members of the revolutionary 
party were working there and that it was our duty here to raise ourselves 
in the same level with them £:,nd a time would come when we 33 crores 
of Indians by proper unity would free our Motherland and make her free 
from the British nation. He \7ejit on to show that out of 33 crores only 
three crores were getting bread and the rest were starving in India. 

" Rebati further told me that a Government like the tyie held by the 
late Ram Chandra, Dasarathi and Janak of the golden age {Ramayan 
period) with ministers like the saint Biswimitra, should ba established in 
India by thd Indians by expelling the Br.tish. In short, he said that we* 
ought to have a model Government Uke the one in the golden age, when 
there was no famine or sin among the governing body and the people. 
He quoted several passages from the Ramayan to impress me further." 

Rebati Nag obtained some recruits a;id established a retreat for ab- 
sconders, but was subsequently induced ti flee by the arrival of an officer 
from Bengal to arresb him. Propagandism, however, went on after his 
departure, and recrui':s were obtained in several districts. Through the 
activities of the poHce, however, and tiie use of the Defence Act no 
outrages have occurred in Bihar since tha Nimez murders. 

The Cuttack district of Orissa was the scene of a brutal dacoity 
planned anfPtarried out from Calcutta by some revolutionaries on the 
20th of September 1914, with the assistance of an Uriya student ; and 
the Ba'asore district is famous for the fight between the police and the 
party of Jatindra Nath Mukharji mentioned in our paragraphs 70 and 
111. The latter had established a farm or refuge near the Orissa coast 
and contemplated gun-running. 

119. We find that the province of Bihar and Orissa has been slightly 
affected by the revolutionary movement, al- 
Conclusions «gjj|ns Bihar though it has been the scene of two of its worst 
crimes. This province however, has been used , 
and will in all probability continue to be used, both as a seed-bed for 
propaganda and as a harbour for absconders. Hitherto the character 
of the general population and the vigilance of the authorities, assisted by 
the operation of the Defence of India Act, have been able to prevent 
graver mischief. 



m 



CHAPTER IX. 

Revolutionary Efforts in the United Provinces. 

120. The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh are separated from 
Bengal bv Bihar arid Orissa, and are geographi- 

^'thJ'BwarM^c'oT'i?*'**'** ^^^^^ *^^ ^*^^^* °^ ^PP^^ ^^^^^' '^^^^ ^°^" 
case. tain the cities of Benares and Allahabad, 

sacred in the eyes of all Hindus, Agra once 

the centre of the old Moghul Empire, and Lucknow formerly the capital 

of a Moslem kingdom. They were the main battle-field of 1857. 

The first determined and persistent impulse towards a revolutionary 
movement in these now peaceful Provinces came from the establishment 
of the Swarajija (self-government) newspaper in Allahabad in Novem- 
ber 1907, by a certain Shauti Narain, a native of the United Provinces, 
who had formerly been sub-editor of a Punjab newspaper and desired 
to commemorate the release of Lajput Rai and Ajit Singh, the Punjab 
deportees.* The tone of this paper was hostile tc Governmen!^ from the 
first and gradually intensified in virulence. Finally ShaiNtn arain was 
condemned to a long term of imprisonment for objectionable articles 
on the Muzaffarpur murders. The Sivarajya, howeve r, proceeded on 
its way under eight successive editors, three of whom were prosecuted 
and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for objectionabe publica- 
tions. Seven of these editors came from the Punjab. The paper was 
only suppressed when the new Indian Press Act of 1910 came into force. 
Of its offending articles one was a panegyric on Ehudiram Basu, the 
Muzaffarpur murderer, others related to such subjects a.s " Bomb or 
Boycott," " Tyrant and oppressor." Norwithstanding tho perseverance 
with which the paper waged war on the Government, it produced no 
visible effect in the Provinces. The Karmayogin, a paper of similar 
tendencies published late in 1909, also at Allahabad, and f^iippressed 
in 1910, was equally ineffective. 

In 1908 a certan Hoti Lai Vaima, a JaV who had dabbled in Punjab 
journalism and was then correspondent at Aligarh of the Calcutta pa- 
per Bcmde Mataram, edited by Arabinda Ghosh and some av-^sociates, 
distinguished himself by revolutionary propagandism and was sentenced 
to ten years' transportation. He had travelled in the Far East and 
in Europe, and had come under pernicious influences. He was found 
in possession of portions of a bombii^g manual exactly similar to that 
compiled by the Calcutta Anusilan Samiti and had endeavoured to 



♦ See paragraph 128. 

13J 



k2 



preach sedition to the youtli of Aligarh. an important educational centre, 
but had attained no success. His trial attracted no local interest. 

J 21. We now come to the story of the Benares conspiracy case. 

The famous city of Bcjiares possesses many 

The Benares^conspiracy ..^.i^oois ^^^j ^^^^ important colleges. A large 

proportion of its standing population is Bengali ; 
and Bengalis frequently resort there, as do Hindu pilgrims from all 
parts of India. It was inevitable that sooner or later the poisonous 
influences potent elsewhere should penetrate in some measure to Benares. 

In the year 1908 a young Bengali named Sachindra Nath Sanyal, 
then studying in the highest class of the Bengalitola High School, together 
with other youths, started a club called the Anusilan Samiti. The 
title was borrowed from the then flourishing Dacca Anusilan Samiti. 
But when that association became the object of criminal proceedings, 
the Benares Samiti assiuned the title of " Young Men's Association." 
It is remarkable that to this body belonged all but one of the residents, 
of Benares subsequently accused in the conspiracy case, and the one 
exception was a member of a kindred organisation, the " Students' 
Union League." The ostensible object of the original samiti wa^ the 
moral, intellectual and physical improvement of its members, but in the 
words of the Commissioners who tried the Benares conspiracy case * . 
" There is no doubt that Sachindra aimed at making the society an 
instrument for the spread of sedition. As Deb Narayan Mukharji, a 
former member, has told us, the members used to express themselves 
vehemently against the action of the Government. According to 
Bibhuti the society contained an inner ( ircle consisting of those who 
were fully initiated into its real objects, and the teaching of sedition 
was mainly effected through a so-called moral class at which BJiagavad 
Gita was so interpreted as to form a justification even for assassination. 
At the performance of the annual Kali 'puja the sacrifice of a white 
pumpkin — a usual accompaniment of the ceremony which has in itself 
no sinister significance — was made to symbolise the white race for whose 
expulsion a special prayer was offered. " There is evidence that, before 
the formation of this Anusilan Samiti, Benares had been visited by 
persons concerned in the Bengal revolutionary movement ; and it is cer- 
tain that Sachindra and his associates, who were then mere boys, and 
mainly Bengalis, were instigated by one or other of these persons. 

The club contmued to erist from 1909 to 1913, but not without 
dissension. First it lost some members who revolted from its political 
activities and from its hostility to Government. Then it lost its most 
violent members, including Sachindra himself. These were bitten by a 
desire to turn theory into practice, talk into action. Tl ey formed a 
new party which wished to work in close concert with the Bengal samitis. 
According to an approver who gave evidence at the subsequent trial, 
Sachindra visited Calcutta from time to time, was introduced to Sasanka 



♦ See judgment, Benares conspiracy case. 

182 



Motan Hazra atias Amrita Hazra, of Raja Bazar celebrity,* and obtained 
both funds and bombs. In the autumn of 1913 his associates distribu- 
ted a niunber of seditious leaflets among Benares schools and colleges, 
and disseminated other leaflets by post. According to Bibhuti, the 
approver, they also used to make excursions into the country and give 
lectures to villagers. "' The subject of the lecture," said this witness, 
" would be turning out the Europeans or to improve our condition. 
We openly preached the turning out of the Europeans and improving our 
condition in that way." Early in 1914 the notorious Rash Behari 
Basu, of the Delhi and Lahore conspiracy cases, arrived in Benares 
and practically took charge of the movement. x4.1though a reward 
had been offered for his arest, and his photograph had been widely circu- 
lated, he succeeded in residing in Benares throughout the greater part 
of the year 1914, apparently without the knowledge of the police. 
Benares is a cosmopolitan city, and the various communities tend to 
lead separate lives in the densely crowded streets of particular quarters. 
Bengalitola, the Bengali special quarter, isiiargely self-contained. Thus 
it is very dijB&cult for up-country police, Avho do not speak Bengali, to 
keep in touch with doings and arrivals in that neighbourhood. Rash 
Behari lived near Bengalitola and generally took outdoor exercise at 
night. He was visited by various members of the Sachindra gang, 
and on one occasion gave a demonstration of the use of Ijombs and revol- 
vers. While he was examining two bomb caps on the uiglit of Novem- 
ber the 18th, 1914, they exploded and injured both him and fSachiudra. 
After that, he shifted his residence to a house in Bengalitola. There 
he was visited by a young Maratha named Vishnu Ganesh Pingley, 
who belonged to the Poona district of Bombay. Pingley had been in 
America and had returned to India in November 1914, in the company 
of some Silihs of the Ghadr party.| '* He said that four thousand men 
had come from America for the purpose of rebellion and that there were 
twenty thousand more there who would come when the rebellion broke 
out. He said that there were fifteen thousand men at Calcutta who 
would come when rebellion broke out. " Rash Behari had despatched 
Sachindra to the Punjab to see what could be done there. >Sachindra 
performed his mission, informed certain of the Ghadr revolutionaries 
there who desired instruction in making bombs that this instruction was 
easily available, and promised Bengali assistance. 

In January 1915, Sachindra returnea to Beiiares \\h\i Pingley 
and after their arrival. Rash Behari, who had again shifted his residence 
held in their presence an important meeting of the gaiig. He announced 
that a general rebellion was impending, aiid iiifoimed his audience that 
they must be prepared to die for their coimtry. A s^ hoohnaster named 
Damodar Sarup ^^as to be leader at Allahabad. Rash Behari himself 
Was going to Lahore \^ ith Sachindra and Pingley. Two men were assigned 



* Evidence of approver Bihbuti. See too paragrapL 61. Amiits Hazia \vft3 con- 
victed in the Raja Bazar case, 
t See paragraphs 132-138 

1«3 



.to bring bombs and arms from Bengal, and two others, one a Maratha 
SUJ- named Viiiayak Rao Kapile,* to convey bombs to the Punjab. Another 
^)\ couple, Bibhuti and Priya Nath, vrere to seduce the troops at Benares, • 

^ while a Bengali named Nalini was to do the same at Jabalpur in the 

Central Provmces. Arrangements were made for executing these plans ; 
Rash^eliari and Sachindra departed for Lahore and Delhi, but Sachin- 
dra returned directly to take command at Benares. On February the Idth 
Mani Lai, afterwards an approver, and Vinayak Rao Kapile, both 
natives of Western India, left Benares for Lahore with a parcel contain- 
mg material for eighteen bombs. In order to protect the parcel from 
accidental contact, as the train was crowded, they travelled intermediate 
from Lucknow and paid excess fares, both at Luckuow and Moradabad. 
Thej'^ had originally taken third class fares. On arrival at Lahore, Mani 
Lai was informed by Rash Behari that the date for simultaneous armed 
rebellion would be on the 21st of the month. Intimation of this date was 
conveyed to Beiiares ; but afterwards it was changed because the Lahore 
plotters had reason to susg^ct that one of their number had informed 
the police. The conspirators, however, left behind at Benares under 
Sachindra never learnt of the change, and waited on the parade ground 
on the evening of the 21st expecting a rising. In the meantime, events 
at Lahore had exploded the conspiracy, and many arrests had been 
made. Rash Behari and Pingley returned to Benares, but only for some 
days, and the latter took bombs with him to Meerut, where he was arrest- 
ed on the 23rd of March in the lines of the 12th Indian Cavalry with a 
box in his possession containing ten bombs, " sufficient to annihilate half 
a regiment :'' he was afterwards convicted of participation in the Lahore 
conspiracy and sentenced to death. The bombs which were fgund in his 
possession had, according to the approver Bibhuti, been brought to 
Benares from Calcutta and left in store there. When discovered with 
Pingley they were in a tin trunk. Five had their caps on, and there 
were two separate caps with gmicotton inside. 

Rash Behari left the country after a final interview with a few of 
his Benares disciples at Calcutta, in the course of which he informed 
them that he was going to " some hills " and would not be back for two 
years. They were, however, to continue organization and distribu- 
tion of seditious literature during his absence under the leadership of 
Sachindra and Nagendra Nath Datta alias Girija Babu, of Eastern 
Bengal, a veteran asso'ciate of the Dacca Anusilau Samiti whose name 
appears in a note-book belonging to Abani Mukharji, a Bengali arrested 
at Singapore, in connection with the Beugal-Germaji gun-running plot.f 
Sachindra, Girija Babu, and other members of the gang were subse- 
quently arrested and tried by a Court constituted under the Defence 
of India Act. Several turned approvers ; ten were sentenced to long 
terms of imprisonment, and Sachindra Nath Sanyal was transported 
for life. Evidence given at the trial established charges of various 



* Lately murdered at Luckuow. 
t See iiaragrapb 111. 

184 



attempts to tamper with troops and distribution of seditious leaflets, 
as well as the incidents above narrated. 

During the police investigation Bibhuti, one of the informers alleged 
that he and his accomplices had stopped at the house of one Suresh 
Babu in Chandernagore. This house was promptly raided ; and an 
armoury of weapons was di&covered, a -450 sjy. -chambered revolver, 
a tin of cartridges for the same; a breech-loe ding rifle, a double-barrelled 
•500 Express rifle, a double-barrelled gun, seventeen daggers, a number 
of cartridges, and a packet of gunpowder, several Swadhm Bliarat and 
Liberty leaflets. The house had not previously come under suspicion. 
In the possession of Sachindra Nath Sanyal were found copies of the old 
Jugantar and photographs of political murderers. At the very moment 
of his arrest he was preparing seditious leaflets for the post ; and in the 
house of the accused Bankim Chandra of Patna was discovered a Life 
of Mazzini annotated by Sachindra and bearing his name. " * On page 
34 there were underlined sentences, with a pencil note on the margin 
'Education through writings.'" The underlined sentences were 
" Its writings, smuggled into every corner of tht. land, moved many a 
young thinker to a passionate resolve that bore fruit in after time. " 
Another underlined sentence wlis " Here are we," said Jacopo Rufl&ni 
to his fellow-conspirators at Genoa, " five very young men, with but 
limited meg ns, and we are called on to do nothing less than overthrow 
an established government." 

Of the Benares convicts only one belonged by race to the United 
Provinces. Most were Bengalis and all were Hindus. Reviewing the 
whole circumstances of the c£.se, it may be said that the associates, re- 
ceiving their original inspiration from Bengal, gradually became cor- 
rupted until, under the direction of Eash Behari, they formed an import- 
ant link in the chain of a big revolutionary plot which i ame within an 
ace of causing widespread bloodshed at a highly critical time. 

122. Shortly after the failure of the great Gliadr plo"-, including 

Tt - - ■ u e. .- the Benares conspircy, Harnam Singh, a Jat 

The case of Harnam Singh, a•^ \ t i.i. t> • if i, ij • j-i 

Sikh from the Punjab, once a havildar m the 

9th Bhopal Infantry and subsequently " chaudhri " oi the regimental 
bazar, was arrested at Fyza-iad in Oudh on a charge of complicity in 
the plans of the conspirators. It was proved that he had be n corrupt :d 
by revolutionary pamphlets received from a student of Ludhiana in the 
Punjab named Sucha Smgh, an emi'rsa.y from Rash Behari; that he 
had afterwards visited the Punjab, and had distributed leaflets ; that 
he had taken over a revolutionary flag and a copy of the Ailan-i-Jang 
(an appeal to the peoples of India to rise and murder or drive out all 
the Europeans in the country). This book was found m hi^ house. 
His operations, however, were inefiective. He was convicted and 
sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. 

* Judgment, Benaies conspiracy case. 

1S5 



J 23. In November 1916 two Bengali youths were convicted by tlie 
"Jugantar" leaflets. District Magistrate of Benares of posting up 
Juganiar leaflets of the usual type in the city. 
One Narayan Ohandra De, was aged only twenty-four.. l3ut had already 
been active in corrupting youth, and had thrown a bomb at a train in 
Bengal. He had been a master at a Benares school called the Oriental 
Seminary, and a teacher by profession. , The other was a youth of nine- 
teen, who was already serving a term of imprisonment, having been 
convicted of coining for political purposes. In this nefarious pastime 
lie had been working under a certain Surnath Bhaduri, a Benares Bengali 
of notorious antecedents. 

12 1. These incidents show clearly that so far the revolutionary 
Other incidents movement has not taken hold of any section 

of the people of the United Provinces, but 
that the position and cii-cumstances of Benares will always render that 
city a point of peculiar peril. They prove that when contagion per-' 
meated, it spread gradually and secretly, through poisonous literature 
and teaching among uncritical and impressionable youths ; that within 
these narrow limits it worked unchecked for years, and finally developed 
a conspiracy which almost achieved a horrible tragedy. Since judg- 
ment was passed on the Benares convicts, Juganiar leaflets have been 
posted up in public places of that city, and Bengal suspects have been 
arrested there. On three occasions students admitted to colleges in the 
United Provinces have been found either to have met, or to be in cipher 
correspondence with, I^ngal revolutionaries ; and on the night of Feb- 
ruary the 9th, 1918, Vinayak Rao Kapile, absconder in the Benares 
conspiracy case, was shot dead in Lucknow, it is believed, by some of 
his fellow-revolutionaries. He was certainly killed by a Mauser pistol 
bullet. During the subsequent police investigation a Bengali suspect- 
was arrested in a house in which were discovered two -450 revolvers 
and 219 rounds of Mauser pistol ammunition belonging apparently to 
the stolen Rodda consignment. Formulae were also found for prepara- 
tion of the tobacco tin bomb, together with picric acid and gun-cotton. 
After these discoveries leaflets of the usual type were posted in various 
towns of the provinces, apparently in order to frighten the authorities. 
These postings 'were probably the work of " post-box '' youths. 



iS6 



CHAPTER X. 

The connection between the Jentral Provinces and the 
Revolutionary Movement. 

125. Two resolutions passed at the Calcutta sessions ol the Indian 

I ^A«, «« National Congress in December 1906 composed 
Nagpur in 1907-08. , , .^ 4^1, jvcc if 

for a snort space the dinerences between 

Moderates and Extremists. The iii'st of these was " havijig regard 
to the fact that the people of this country have little or no voice in 
its administration and that their representations to the Government 
do not receive due consideration, this Congi-ess is of opinion that the 
boycott movement inaugurated in Bengal by way of protest against 
the partition of that province was and is legitimate." The second ran 
as follows, that " this Congress is of opinion that the system of govern- 
ment obtaining in the self-governing British colonies should Ijc extended 
to India ; and as steps leading to it, urges that the folloAving reforms 
should be immediately carried out." The proposed reforms were 
detailed, and at the close of the Congress proceedings, it was announced 
that the Congress of 1907 would be held at Nagpur, the capital of 
the Central Provinces, once the seat of a Maratha kingdom. 

Throughout 1907, however, there was continual friction between 
the Moderates and Extremists of Nagpur. The tone of the local Extre- 
mist press became more and more hostile to^ Governmejit andj its 
influence on schoolboys and students grew more pronounced. A new 
journal, tlie Hindi Kesari appeared on the 1st of May with the object 
of spreading among Hindi-speaking people, as well as among Marathas, 
the views expressed by Tilak's Marathi Kesari published at Poona. 
In the first nine months of circulation, the issues of the Hindi Ke.mri 
reached a weekly figiu:e of 3,000, and its articles were considered so 
pernicious that circulation of the paper among soldiers was prohibited 
by the military authoritie-s. Another prominent journal of the same 
character was the De^ha Sevak, to which we shall refer later on. 

But the tactics vi the Nagpur JExtremists were stoutly opposed by 
the Moderates, and so sharp was the contention that Smat in the Bombay 
Presidency was substituted for Nagpur as a place for the December 
sessions of the Congress. How seriously the latter city had been affected 
by the Extremist campaign is apparent from the following passages 
in a letter fi'om the Chief Commissioner to the Inspector-General of 
Police, dated the 22nd of October 1907 : — " I am not satisfied,'' wrote 
Ml'. Craddock, " with the manner in which the police are dealing with 
student rowdiness in Nagpur. If things go on as they are going, all 

187 



our respectable public men will be frightened away from IN'agpur. For 
the future I am determined that rowdiness shall be put down. , 
I have asked the Commissioner to convene a meeting of Principals 
and Head Masters to discuss the question of enforcing discipline, but the 
police must catch the rowdy students before we can deal with them 
properly. N''gpur is being disgraced in the public press by continued 
incidents of this kind, and they must cease. . . . It is time that 
Nagpur ceased to be a bear-garden of students moved by seditious 
agitators." Remedial measures were adopted, but things were not 
improved by v isit from Arabinda Ghosh, of Bengal notoriety, who 
arrived on the 22nd of December on his way to the Surat Congress, and 
lectured in support of boycott and swadeshi. On his way home after 
the Congress, he halted at Nagpur and lectured again on the same subject. 
He also vindicated the conduct and policy of Tilak and the Extremists 
at Sm-at. Bengalis and Marathas, he said, were children of the same 
parents and should continue to share each other's sorrow and joy. 
Sivadeshi and boycott flourished nowhere as they did in Bengal. No 
one -in India had suffered as bravely for his country as the latter-day 
Bengalis; for instance the editor of the Jugantar. 

Under such influences the tone- of the Nagpur Extremist press intensi- 
fied in the bitterest hostility to Government. Soon after the Muzaffar- 
pur bomb outrages, the Deslia Sevak of the 11th of May 1908 indulged 
in the following remarkable passages. It stated that among many 
shameful defects that had crept into the Indian nation through contact 
with the' English was ignorance of bomb-making. Properly speaking, 
every respectable citizen ought to possess a good knowledge of the use 
of weapons, the preparation of bombs, etc. " The contact of 
the English," it went on, " has rendered the condition of India so pitiful 
that people are wonderstruck at the most ordinary insignificant deeds. 
The whole place from Simla to Ceylon is filled with amazement at the 
taking of two or three lives by young Bengalis by means of a bomb. 
But the making of a bomb is such an easy matter that none should 
be surprised at all. It is a natm-al right of man to use weapons or to 
make bombs. If human laws prohibit this it is meet for us to submit, 
but this should not fill us with surprise for bombs. ... If the 
fact that these bombs were actually prepared at Calcutta is true, then 
we are greatly delighted. It is best that none should commit crime, 
but if the people are prompted to do wicked deeds they should be such 
as would become a man. To rob ornaments by deceit, to forge docu- 
ments, to take false oaths or to burn people'ti houses at night are mean 
and feminine crimes. We think the action of Khudiram Basu in 
attempting to take the life of Mr. Kingsford is certainly very mean, 
and none should follow his example. We therefore express om- loudest 
protest against such crimes and the making of bombs at Calcutta for 
this purpose. True that we should kno.v how to make bombs, but 
we must ask and get this right from Government. To prepare bombs 
by breaking the laws is detestable. To murder the bureaucrats is not 
the way to regenerate the nation and it is not necessary to subvert the 

Ids 



British Govsrnmeut for this purpose. To gain complete and unqualified 
independence, which is the ultimate objcjfc of our nation, this is not 
essential. We feel indignant at our Bengali brethren for not keeping 
this in mind. We must also congratulate Mr. Kingsford for escaping 
fi'om Khudiram Basu's aim. Mr. King; lord's doings as Presidency 
Magistrate, Calcutta, were both outrageous and satanic."* 

The Hindi Kesari of the 16th of May 1908 observed that, although 
the present editor of the Jugantar was undergoing trial, and in spite 
of the Maniktala arrests, the Jugantar was still appearing. Referring 
to the bomb conspiracy, the Jugantar stated that it was an attempt 
to become independent. The English are not the King of India, To 
wage war against dacoits, thieves and rascals could not be called con- 
spiracy. 

But in spite of these inflammatory utterances, the Maniktala f trial, 
the arrest of Tilak, and the firm attitude of the local Government induced 
sober reflection. Demonstrations which were held on Tilak's birthday, 
July the 18th, passed ofi quietly, and were shunned by Muhammadans, 
although a Mr. Haidar Raza arrived from Delhi and spoke of Tilak 
as the political guru or preceptor of the whole of India. Efiorts were 
made to start riots on the conviction of Tilak ; but these Avere quickly 
suppressed, and a meeting called to express sympathy with Tilak was 
prohibited. Some half a dozen persons were convicted of rioting and 
sentenced to be imprisoned or pay fines ; seditious editors of news- 
papers were prosecuted and punished ; and instruc ions were issued 
by the local Government for the taking of secmity under the Giiminal 
Procedure Code from itinerant seditious orators for abstinence fi'om 
action likely to disturb the public tranquillity. Dming the later months 
of 1908 seditious activity confined its energies to the tarring ancl mutila- 
tion of a statue of Queen Victoria. On November^ths 26th local " acts 
of violence " were ascribed by a leading Extremist poHtician in con- 
versation with the Inspector-General of Police as due simply to '' wrong 
individual impulse." He considered the Jugantar the only paper, 
" likely to develop such wrong individual impulses." In fact the move- 
ment had spent its force, and a state of affairs which had once seemed 
likely to sesult in revolutionary developments compleLely subsided. 

126, The Central Provinces did not, so far as we are aware, again 
Incidents of 1915 come into contact with dangerous movements 

until in February 1915 Nalini Mohan Mukharji, 
one of the Benares conspirators, was deputed by Rash Behari to induce 
the troops at Jabalpur to join the rising planned by the Ghadr party 
for that month. Nalini failed to achieve success and was afterwards 
tried aq|l convicted ^ in the Benares conspiracy case. Subsequently 
Nalini Kanta Ghosh of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti, vrho is by reputa- 



* Mr, Kingsford had tried and convicted persons connected with seditious news- 
papers. He had also sentenced a boy named Sushil to receive fifteen stripes for resisting 
a police search of the Bande Mataram press, 

t A Nagpur college student was among the Alipore aocased. 

130 



tidn connected \^^th various Bengal outrages and has recently been 
arrested at Gauhati, Assam, in sensational circumstances, was found 
to have been touring through the Central Provinces ; and at the end 
of 1915 an absconding Benares conspirator, Vinayak Rao Kapile, paid 
visits to Jabalpur in order to provide a refuge and estabhsh a connection. 
He formed a knot of seven persons, namely, two students, two makers 
at a high school, a pleader, a clerk and a tailor. The tailor and one of 
the students were found to be mere post-boxes, and, though arrested, 
were discharged. The other five were interned and Vinayak's organiza- 
tion was nipped in the bud. He hunself disappeared from the province 
and has since been murdered.* 

The incident is a neat illustration of "the way in which a revolutionary 
from outside sows evil seed in a place free from indigenous disaffection 
and also of the way in which, by firm action taken in time, mischief 
can be arrested. 



^ee paragraph 124. 

140 



CHAPTER XI. 

Revolutionary Movements in the Punjab. 

127. The North- Western Frontier Province and the Punjab divide 

_^ ^ ^. . ,„^, India from Afghanistan and Central Asia. 

The troubles of 1907. m^. -n ■ -i. x. % i. ufi-v j. 

The Punjab has for years been by far the most 

fruitful recruiting ground for the Indian Army and to-day enjoys the 
same proud pre-eminence. Of its population, 55 per cent, is Muham- 
madan, 33 per cent, is Hindu, and 11 per cent, is Sikh. But the most 
martial section is the Sikh, which during the present war, with less than 
one-hundredth of the population, has supplied about one-sixth of the 
fighting forces of the Indian Empire. The Punjab, however, has by no 
means escaped revolutionary contagion, and our brief narrative must 
commence with the early months of the year 1907 when, as was noted 
at the time by Sir Denzil Ibbetson, then Lieutenant-Governor, every- 
where people were sensible of a change, of a " new air " which was 
blowing through men's minds, and were waiting to see what would 
c ome of it. It will be remembered that at this time the Jugantar and 
similar pubUcations were daily pouring forth their poison among 
tiousands in Bengal, while the Alipore and Dacca conspirators were 
laying their plans, recruiting their ranks and collecting their weapons. 
It is not surprising that simultaneously new ideas should be fermenting 
elsewhere in India. 

128. The situation in the Punjab at the end of April 1907 was clearly 
depicted in a minute by Sir Denzil Ibbetson from which which we may 
quote some passages. His Honour stated that in the east and west of 

•the province the new ideas were confined to the educated classes, and 
among them, in the main, to the pleaders, clerks and students. " As 
the centre of the province is approached, however," he wrote, " the 
feeling in the towns grows stronger, and there are greater signs of activity 
and unrest. In the cities of Amritsar and Ferozepore there has been an 
attempt on the part of the Lahoreagita tors to arouse feelings of disloyalty 
which has apparently met with considerable success in Ferozepore 
though it has not been so successful in Amritsar. In the towns of 
Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Lyallpur an active anti-E nghsh propaganda is 
being openly and sedulously preached. In Lahore, the capital of the 
province, the propaganda is virulent and has resulted in a more or less 
general state of serious unrest." Sir Denzil noted that in this place, on 
two recent occasions Europeans had been insulted as such ; that rioting 
had taken place over sentences passed on the proprietor and editor of 
a newspaper ; that the educated extremist agitators were carrying on 
a campaign by means of public meetings and were pushing a definite 



anti-Englisli propciganda in the villages of the Chenab Canal Colony and 
Bari Doab. Among these villages there was dissatisfaction with legisla- 
tion proposing modifications of Canal Colony tenures and with a pro- 
jected raising of canal-rates in the Bari Doab. His Honour observed 
that pains were taken to turn this to the utmost account possible, and to 
inflame the passions of the Sikhs, that the police were being pilloried as 
traitors to their fellow-countrymen in connection with the agitation, 
and were advised to quit the service of Government, while the same 
invitation was addressed to Indian soldiers. A minor sign of the times 
was that, when, a couple of weeks before, the menial staff on that portion 
of the North-Western State Eailway which traverses the Chenab Colony 
went on strike, r»ublic meetings were convened to express sympathy 
with them, and substantial sums of money were subscribed for their 
support. The Li iutenant-Gqvernor held that some of the leaders looked 
to driving the British out of the country, or at any rate from power, 
either by force or by the passive resistance of the people as a whole, and 
that the method by which they had set themselves to bring the Govern- 
ment machine to a standstill was by endeavouring to stir up a strong 
feeling of racial hc\tred. He considered the whole situation " exceedingly 
dangerous and urgently demanding remedy." 

The remedy adopted was the arrest and deportation of Lajpat Rai 
and A jit Singh, the Hindu and Sikh leaders of the movement, under 
the provisions of Regulation III of 1818. The proposed Canal Colony 
legislation too was vetoed by the Government of India ; but the sugges- 
tion that the root of the trouble was agrarian was not accepted by the 
Secretary of State, Lord (then Mr.) Morley. Speaking in the House 
of Commons on Jime 6th, 1907, he said : " There were twenty-eight 
meetings known to have been held by the leading agitators in the Punjab 
between 1st March and 1st May. Of these five only related, even 
ostensibly, to agricultural grievances : the remaining twenty-three were 
all purely political." 

On the 1st of the following November the Viceroy thus summed up 
the leading characteristics of the year when the new Bill for preventing 
seditious meetings was before his Legislative Council : " We cannot 
afford to forget the events of the early spring, the riots at Lahore and 
gratuitous insults to Europeans, the Pindi riots, the serious view of the 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab on the state of his province, the 
consequent arrest of Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh, and the promulgation 
of the Ordinance, and, contemporaneously with all this, a daily story 
from Eastern Bengal of assault, of looting, of boycotting and general 
lawlessness, encouraged by agitators, who with an utter disregard for 
consequences, no matter how terrible, have by public addresses, by 
seditious newspapers, by seditious leaflets, by itinerant secret agents, 
lost no opportunity of inflaming the worst passions of racial feeling." 

129. After the deportations all was quiet for some time ; but m 
1909 a stream of seditious literature issuing 
* ' from Lahore necessitated preventive measures/^ 

Ajit Singh, whose deportation had only lasted six months, was the 

148 



principal offender and fled to Persia ; but his brother and a certain Lai 
Chand Falak, recently again prominent in a similar connection, were 
convicted of exciting disaffection and were sentenced to imprisonment. 
In the same year a certain Bhai Parmanand, subsequently one of the 
Lahore conspirators, and sentenced to transportation for life, was pro- 
secuted under the Criminal Procedure Code and bound over to be of 
good behaviour. A copy of the bomb-manual used by the Alipore 
conspirators, as well as other documents, including two remarkable 
letters from Lajpat Rai, had been found in his possession. These letters 
had been written during the troubles of 1907 to Parmanand, then in 
England. The first was dated the 28th February 1907, and another 
was dated the 11th of April following. Both were addressed from 
Lahore. In the first Lajpat Rai requested the recipient to ask the 
notorious Krishnavarma * to " employ a little of his money in sendinof 
out a number of books containing true ideas on politics to the student 
community here."- He also asked Parmanand to sound Krishnavarma 
as to the placing " at our disposal of a portion of his gift of Rs. 10,000 
for political missionaries." 

In the second letter Lajpat Rai wrote : " The people are in sullen 
mood. Even the agricultural classes' have begun to agitate. My only 
fear is that the bursting out may not be premature." "When the case 
against Parmanand came into Court, Lajpat Rai stated that by the 
above expression he meant nothing more " than that agriculturists, 
not being accustomed to a political agitation, might not be able to carry 
on their agitation peacefally " He was not " at that stage in favour 
of a political agitation among the agricultural population." He further 
said that the books which he asked for were of the description mentioned 
in another letter produced that day and containing a list of standard 
publications, including " revolutionary, political or historical novels." 
He added the words : " Till after my return from deportation, I never 
knew that Shyamaji Krishnavarma had views about political violence 
or crime as are now expressed by him. After that I had nothing to do 
with him." 

130. The next outward sign of revolutionary activity was the Delhi 
The De:h]C»nsp:ra:y case, bomb outrage of December 1912, wheu His 
Excellency Lord Hardmge s life was attempted 
and one of his attendants was killed. The perpetrator of this 
outrage was not discovered, and five months later an Indian orderly was 
murdered by a bomb at Lahore. This led eventually to a remarkable 
trial and some curious disclosures. 

It was shown that a certain Hardayal, once a resident of Delhi and 
a Hindu student of the Punjab University, had proceeded to England in 
1905 to complete his education at Oxford, holding a State scholarship. 
He had surreadered this scholarship and sacrificed the last instalment 
>f his emoluments therefrom, stating that he disapproved of the English 

* Sae paragraphs 6.7 

143 



system of education in India. He had returned to India and had in 
1908 held a class in Lahore, i)ieaching the bringhig to an end of the 
British Govorumcnt by a gcnnral boycott con^bined with passive resistance 
i>r every kind. Among his puj)ils were iwo youths, J. N. Chatarji, a 
Bengali, and Dina Nath, an up-country Hindu. He left India and has 
since become notoiious as the organizer of the Ghadr (Mutiny) party in 
America, After his departure Chatarji informed Dina Nath that 
Amir Chand of Delhi, a schoolmaster, lately employed in the Cambridge 
Mission High School, would continue his political education. Dina 
Nath went to Delhi and was received by Amir Chand, but was reclaimed 
by his father and returned to Lahore. It is noteworthy that Chatarji" s 
father too had ordered him home on discovering that he was staying 
with Hardayal in the house of Lajpat Rai. 

After returning to Lahore Dina Nath kept up connection with Chatarji.. 
and before the latter went to England to become a barrister wa? 
introduced by him to the notorious Rash Behari,* a Bengali, then Head 
Clerk of the Forest Research Institute of Dehra Dun. Rash Behari 
further educated Dina Nath as well as two other young Hindus, Abad 
Behari and Balmokand, and arranged lor the dissemination of seditious 
literature and throwing of bombs, introducing to the society his servant, 
a young Bengali named Basanta Kumar Biswas. Abad Behari attended 
the Lahore Central Training College, but lived at Delhi and was an 
intimate friend of Amir Chand, mentioned above. Amir Chand joined 
the conspiracy. He was subsequently described by the Sessions Judge 
of Delhi as " one who spent his life in fmthering murderous schemes 
which he was too timid to carry out himself." It is unnecessary to 
detail the doings of the conspirators It was subsequently proved 
that they disseminated widely among students and others a leaflet 
extolling the attempt on Lord Hardinge's life in such terms as these : 
" The Gita, the Fe^/fls and the Kman all enjoin us to kill all the enemie.'* 

of our Motherland, irrespective of caste, creed or colour 

Leaving other great and small things, the special manifestation of the 
Divine force at Delhi in December last has proved beyond doubt that 
the destiny of India is being moitlded by God himself." The evidence 
produced at their trial inspires a strong suspicion that they themselves 
contrived the Delhi outrage and proves that they distributed other 
violently inflammatory leaflets received from Calcutta and printed at 
the press tised by the Raja Bazar conspirators. f It was also established 
that, in pursuance of the plans of the conspirators, Basanta Kumar 
Biswas had placed a bomb on a road in the LaAMence Gardens at 
Lahore on the evening of May the 17th, 1913, with the intention of 
killing or injuring some Europeans. The bomb, however, killed no one 
but an unfortunate Indian orderly, Avho ran over it in the dark on hi>i 
bicycle. Dina Nath turned approver. Amir Chand, Abad Behari. 
Balmokand and Basanta Kumar Biswas were convicted and hanged, 



• See paragraph 121. 
t Soe paragraph 6, 

W4 



but Rash Behari escaped, to contrive other murdeiWis plots. So fai 
his associates were few and his doings had received no measure of 
popular support. 

131. The next period which concerns us is the period which 

immediately followed the outbreak of the 
Muhammadan estrange- ^^j.. So far all the trouble had been Hindu 

but the war between Turkey and Italy and 
the apparent indifference of Great Britain throughout the Balkan War 
bitterly annoved some Muhammadans of the Punjab. Certain utter- 
ances of British statesmen were interpreted as indicating that Britaic 
favoured a combination against Turkey. Subscriptions were raised foi 
a medical mission and for the Turkish Eed Crescent funds ; and in 
the winter of 1912 a certain Zafar Ali Khan, editor of the Zamind'a-'y & 
Lahore Muhammadan paper, visited Constantinople to present to the 
Grand Vizier some of the money collected. In September 1913 it was 
found necessary to confiscate the security deposited for the good 
behaviour of this man's journal in consequence of disloyal and in- 
flammatory articles therein published regarding a religious riot at 
Cawnpore in the neighbouring United Provinces, and early in 1914 
Khalil Khalid Bey, the Turkish Consul-General, came to Lahore to 
present to the Badshahi Mosque a carpet sent by order of the Sultan 
as a token of gratitude for pecuniary sympathy recently shown to 
Turkey. The Consul-General was followed a fortnight later by two 
Turkish doctors of the Red Crescent Society. Through influences of 
this kind the outbreak of war found a small section of Punjab Muslims 
out of humour with the British Government. But no fruits of this 
circumstance were immediately visible, and the most noteworthy Punjab 
events which followed August 1914 concerned the Sikhs. 

At first all went well, and a foolish agitation, which had recently 
been fomented by a Sikh named Harchand Singh over the straightening 
of the boundary wall of an old Sikh temple at Delhi, gradually subsided. 
Then appeared a new and powerful element of disturbance. 

132. We have already referred to Hardayal. This man had arrived 

in San Francisco in 1911, imbued with passionate 
" Ghadr^" movement Anglophobia and determined to inspire with 

his own spirit as many as possible of his fellow- 
countrymen. He addressed meetings at various places in the United 
States, and organized associations sworn to destroy British rule in India. 
He started a newspaper called the Ghadr. With his followers he decided 
to distribute the Ghadr freely in India.* Their press was called the 
" Jugantar Asram " (the school of the new era). Their paper was 
printed in more than one Indian language. It was widely distributed 
among Indians in America and was forwarded to India. It was of a 
violent anti-British natme, playing on every passion which it could 
possibly excite, preaching murder and mutiny in every sentence, and 
urging all Indians to go to India with the express object of committing 



• These details are taken from the records of the Lahore conspiracy case. 

146 



muraer, causin^^evolution and expelling the British Government by 
any and every means. It constantly preached the formation of secret 
associations. It " held up to admiration, and as examples to follow, 
every seditionist and murderer who sprang into temporary notoriety,"* 
Hardayal and his followers addressed numerous meetings, and at one 
held at Sacramento on the 31st of December 1913 f " portraits of famous 
seditionists and murderers were displayed on the screen and revolutionary 
mottoes were exhibited. Finally Hardayal told the audience that 
Germany was preparing to go to war with England, and that it was time 
to get ready to go to India for the coming revolution," He was assisted 
in these operations by various lieutenants, notably by a Hindu named 
Eam Chandra, who had bten editor of two seditious papers in India, 
and by a Muhammadan named Barkatulla.J The speeches which 
Hardayal delivered attracted attention from the United States author- 
ities ; and on the 16th of March 1914, he was arrested with a view to 
his deportation as an undesirable alien. He was released on bail and 
absconded to Switzerland, leaving Ram Chandra to manage the 
" Jugantar Asram " and publish the Ghadr newspaper, Hardayal is 
now believed to be at Berlin, Before he left America he and his associates 
had created a formidable organization, eager to bring about rebellion 
and bloodshed in India, Hardayal himself, ""while inducing his dupes 
to go to a certain fate, has carefully kept himself and his leading lieuten- 
ants out of danger, "f 

The doctrines which he preached and circulated had reached the 
Sikhs and other Indians resident in British Columbia. At a meeting 
in Vancouver in December 1913 a poem from the Ghadr newspaper 
was read, in which the Hindus were urged to expel the British from 
India, The main grievance of the Vancouver Indians was the Canadian 
immigration law under which every intending Asiatic immigrant, with 
a few particular exceptions, has to satisfy the Canadian authorities 
that he is in possession of 200 dollars and has travelled by a continuous 
journey on a through ticket from his native country to Canada, In 
1913 three Sikh delegates visited the Punjab. They had come from 
America and were members of the Ghadr party who had come to recon- 
noitre the position. Their real purpose was recognized after their 
departure. They addressed meetings at various towns on the subject 
of the grievances of Indians in Canada and caused resolutions of protest 
to be passed in which all communities joined. But the subject was 
academic to the majorities among their audiences. In September 
1914, however, it suddenly acquired a vivid interest. 

133. On the 19th of that month occurred the disastrous Budge- 

The Budge-Budge riot. ^^^§® "^*- "^^^ circumstances which led up 

to and produced this affair exercised some 

influence on after-events and must therefore be clearly understood. 



♦ These details are taken from the resords of the Lahore consijiracy case. 
t See the judgment in the first Lahore conspiracy case, 
j See paragraph 109. 

146 



The central figure in the narrative is a certain Gur dit Sin gh, a Sikh 
of the Amritsar district in the Punjab, who had emigrated from India 
15 years before, and had for some time carried on business as a con- 
tractor in Singapore and the Malay States. There is reason to believe 
that he returned to this country about 1909. He was certainly absent 
from Singapore for a space ; and when he returned there, going on to 
Hong Kong, he interested himself in chartering a ship for the convey- 
ance of Punjabis to Canada. Punjabis, and especially Sikhs, frequently 
seek employment in the Far East, and have for some time been tempted 
by the higher wages procurable in Canada. But their admission to 
that country is to some extent impeded by the immigration laws which 
we have described already. 

There were already in Canada about 4,000 Indians, chiefly Punjabis. 
Some of these were revolutionaries of the Hardayal school, some were 
loyal, and some had migrated from the United States on account of 
labour differences there. The Committer of Enquiry, which subse- 
quently investigated the whole affair, considered that Gurdit Singh's 
action had been much influenced by advice and encouragement re- 
ceived from Indian residents in Canada. At any rate, after failing to 
secure a ship at Calcutta, ht chartered a Japanese vessel named the 
Komagata Maru through a German agent at Hong Kong. He issued 
tickets and took in passengers at that port, at Shanghai, at Moji and 
at Yokohama. He certainly knew what the Canadian law was, but 
perhaps hoped to evade it by means of some appeal to the courts or 
by exercising political pressure. It is equally certain that many of 
his passengers had no clear comprehension of their prospects. The 
Tribunal that subsequently tried the first batch of Lahore conspira- 
tors held that probably Gurdit Singh's main object was to cause an 
inflammatory episode, as one of the witnesses stated that Gurdit Singh 
told his followers that should they be refused admission, they would 
return to India to expel the British. On April the 4th, 1914, the Koma- 
gata Maru sailed from Hong Kong. At intermediate ports consign- 
ments of the Ghadr newspapers were received on board, and at Yoko- 
hama two Indian revolutionaries from the United States visited the 
ship. On the 23rd of May the Komagata Maru arrived at Vancouver 
with 351 Sikhs and 21 Punjabi Muhammadans on board. The local 
authorities refused to allow landing except in a very few cases, as the 
immigrants had not complied with the requirements of the law. Pro- 
tests were made, and, while negotiations were proceeding, a balance 
of 22,000 dollars still due for the hire of the ship was paid by Vancouver 
Indians, and the charter was transferred to two prominent malcontents. 
Eevolutionary literature of a violent character was introduced and 
circulated on board. A body of police was sent to enforce the orders 
of the Canadian Government that the vessel should leave ; but with 
the assistance of firearms, the police were beaten off, and it was only 
when a Government vessel was requisitioned with armed force that 
the Komagata Maru passengers, who had prevented their Captain from 
weighing anchor or getting up steam, were brought to terms. On the 

147 

l2 

2-3 ;' 



23rd of July they started on their return journey with an ample stock 
of provisions allowed them by the Canadian Government. They were 
by this time in a very bad temper as many had staked all their posses- 
sions on this venture, and had started in the full belief that the 
British Government would assure and guarantee their admission to a 
land of plenty. This temper had been greatly aggravated by direct 
revolutionary influences. The revolutionary party too had endeavoured 
to smuggle arms on board at A^ancouver. 

During the return voyage the War broke out. On hearing at Yoko- 
hama that his ship's company would not be allowed to land at Hong 
Kong, Gurdit Singh replied that they were perfectly willing to go to 
any port in India if provisions were supplied. The British Consul at 
Yokohama declined to meet his demands, which were exorbitant ; but 
the Consul at Kobe was more compliant, and after telegraphic communi- 
cation between Japan and India, the Komagata Maru started for 
Calcutta. At neither Hong Kong nor Singapore were the passengers 
allowed to land. This added to their annoyance, as, according to the 
findings of the Committee, many had not wished to return to India at 
all. ^ 

/"" The Komagata Maru arrived at the mouth of the Hooghly on the 
27th September 1914 and was moored at Budge-Budge at 11 a.m. on 
the 29th. There a special train was waiting to convey the passengers^ 
free of charge to the Punjab. The Government was acting under the 
provisions of the recently enacted Ingress into India Ordinance, which 
empowered it to restrict the liberty of any person entering India after 
the 5th September 1914, if such action were necessary for the protec- 
tion of the Statg^ ' Information had been received regarding the temper 
and attitude of Gurdit Singh and his followers. It was justified by 
events. The Sikhs refused to enter the train and tried to march on 
Calcutta in a body. They were forcibly turned back ; and a riot en- 
sued with loss of life on both sides. Many of the Sikhs were armed 
with American revolvers. Only 60 passengers in all, including the 
17 Muhammadans on board, were got ofi in the train that evening, 
Eighteen Sikhs were killed in the riot ; many were arrested either then 
o[ subsequently ; and 29, including Gurdit Singh, disappeared. Of 
those who were arrested, the majority were allowed to go to their homes 
in the following January. Thirty-one were interned in jail. 

The Committee found that most of the passengers were disposed 
to blame the Government of India for all their misfortunes. " It is 
well known," states the report, " that the average Indian makes no 
distinction between the Government of the United Kingdom, that of 
Canada, that of British India, or that of any colony. To him these 
authorities are all one and the same." And this view of the whole 
Komagata Marv business was by no means confined to the passengers 
on the ship. It inspired some Sikhs of the Punjab with the idea that 
the Government was biassed against them ; and it strengthened the 
hands of the Ghadr revolutionaries who were urging Sikhs abroad to 

148 



h 



return to India, and join the mutiny which, they asserted, was about 
to begin. Numbers of emigrants Hstened to such calls and hastened 
back to India from Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Hong 
Kong and China. 

134. The Government of India had already on the 29th of August 

Preventive measures. P^^^^^ ^ Foreigners Ordinance in order to 
prevent the entry mto India oi undesirable 
aliens. On the 5th of September they followed up this measure by 
an Ingress Ordinance designed to control the movements of returning 
emigrants of the Ghadr persuasion. The Budge-Budge riot warned all 
■coDcerned that serious consequences would certainly ensue from half- 
hearted employment of such precautions, and, as subsequently other 
emigrants arrived, they were carefully inspected, and, if considered 
•dangerous, either interned in jail or forbidden to reside elsewhere than 
in their native villages. But thousands were returning ; accurate dis- 
crimination was impossible ; and few of the emigrants had been in- 
dividually incriminated by any news as yet received. It was not long 
before the emigrants who were not interned made their presence felt 
in the Punjab ; and only the precautionary measures adopted prevented 
an early outbreak on a considerable scale. As it was, the situation 
developed gradually ^ 

135. On the night of the 16th October 1914 the Chauki Man railway 

♦ I rf station on the Ferozepore-Ludhiana line was 

^gerous^'situation. *"" attacked by three or more persons, armed with 
a revolver. All persons unconnected with the 
staff were ordered to leave, and fire was opened on the Station Master, 
who was hit in the stomach, an unfortunate water-carrier being simul- 
taneously wounded in the thigh. The ruffians then helped themselves 
to the station cash and departed. It transpired afterwards that the 
emigrants had been expecting a consignment of arms at this station. 
J" " On the 29th of October the ship Tosa Maru arrived at Calcutta 
with 173 Indian passengers, mostly Sikhs, from America, Manila, Shan- 
ghai and Hong Kong. Eeliable information from Hong Kong and 
Rangoon had preceded the vessel, to the effect that her passengers 
had talked openly of starting rebellion on arriving in India. One 
hundred of these men were interned in jail. Of those who were not 
interned, 6 were afterwards hanged for murderous outrages in the 
Punjab, 6 were convicted in various conspiracy cases, 6 were subse- 
quently arrested and interned on account of their mischievous activities, 
2 were chief leaders of the subsequent revolutionary movement and 
were admitted as approvers. Of the men originally interned in jail, 
6 were prosecuted in the first conspiracy case for criminal acts of con- 
spiracy abroad, and were transported for life. Of all the October, 
November and December shiploads of returning emigrants, the Tosa 
Maru was the most dangerous. It contained malcontents who had 
divided themselves into sections each of which was to work under a 
leader in a particular area of the Punjab. But the internment of the 

149 



majority of the passengers disorganized these elaborate arrangements. 
In November the Provincial Government reported to the Government 
of India that some of the recently interned emigrants were moving 
about the country but were generally regarded with indifference. 
Village headmen had reported to the local authorities cases in which 
these persons were indulging in dangerous or inflammatory language. 
Secret meetings were being held, emissaries were visiting villages and 
gangs were being formed. On the 27th of November one of these gangs, 
consisting of 15 men, while on its way to loot the Moga subdivislonal 
treasury in the Ferozepore district, met by accident a Police Sub- 
Inspector and a zaildar (village notable), who challenged them. These, 
after a brief parley, they shot dead with revolvers. Afterwards they 
were pursued and surrounded by police and villagers. Two were 
killed ; seven were captured, and the rest escaped. All the captured 
men had recently returned from the Far East or America. On the 
28th of November another gang collected at the Jhar Sahib, a Sikh 
temple, on an isolated spot' in the Amritsar district. They were feasted 
there by a certain Lai Singh and his relations and, while making arrange- 
ments for the perpetration of outrages, were alarmed and dispersed by 
the advent of police followed by cavalry. 

Arrest was ordered of one Prithi Rajput, of Laru in the Ambala 
district, who had been active in spreading sedition since his return 
to India. On the 8th of December he tried to murder the police officer 
sent to apprehend him and nearly succeeded in doing so. 

On the night of the 17th December at Pipli village, in the Dalwali 
police circle of the Hissar district, the house of a^rahman was robbed 
of booty worth Pts. 22,000 by a gang suspected to consist of returned 
emigrants. Two were reported to have been armed with guns. 

136. In the middle of December the Punjab Government reported , 
to the Government of India that the doings 
^"SIs b'y fhi^plniS"" °^ *^® returned Sikh emigrants had more than 
'Government. anything else engaged official attention, that 

the majority of these had returned expecting 
to find India in a state of accute unrest and meaning to convert this 
unrest into revolution. On the 19th of the same month the Provincial 
Government forwarded, for consideration and orders by the Imperial 
Government, a draft Ordinance dealing with the prosecution and sup- 
pression of violent crime. They asked for the very early promulga- 
tion oXJ3his Ordinance throughout the province. . 

r Their letter summarized the situation in clear and forcible terms » 
V It did not suggest that the stability of Government would be seriously 
' endangered by the emigrants, but expressed the apprehension that the 
attempts of these men to create disorder might lead to feelings of in- 
security and alarm and thus disturb the peace of the province. Within 
the past few months several violent crimes, the -robbery of mail bags, 
attempts to derail trains, had been committed by returned emigrants 
and their local adherents. Government was also in possession of in- 

150 



formation which showed that some of these persons had endeavoured 
to seduce troops from their allegiance and contemplated an extensive 
programme of violence and terrorism. The Lieutenant-Governor con- 
sidered that "it is most undesirable at the present time to allow trials 
of any of these revolutionaries or other seditionmongers who have been 
or may be arrested in the commission of crime or while endeavouring 
to stir up trouble to be protracted by the ingenuity of Counsel and 
drawn out to inordinate length by thB- committal and appeal procedure 
which the criminal law provides. [^ His Honour therefore submitted for 
approval a draft Ordinance which provided, subject to the sanction of 
the Local Government to its application in these cases, (a) for the elimi- 
nation of committal procedure in the case of offences of a political or 
quasi-political nature ; (6) for the elimination of appeal in such cases ; 
(c) for the taking of security from persons of the class afiected by a 
more rapid procedure than that prescribed by the ordinary law ; (d) for 
the prompt punishment of village officers and the finding of villagers 
colluding with and harbouring revolutionary criminals. The Ordinance 
created one substantive offence, " the carrying dt~a;rfiis in suspicious 
circumstances." This provision had been borrowed from the Frontier 
Tribes Regulations. The Pimjab letter ended with the following pass- 
ages : — " The object of the Ordinance is to provide for the prompt sup- 
pression and, as far as possible, prevention of the type of crime in which 
the revolutionary and seditious sections of the population are most 
likely to indulge. The bulk of the people are well disposed, but the 
war has created a situation which the enemies of Government consider 
favourable for the propagation of lawlessness and defiance of cpn- 
stituted authority. Any delay or weakness in dealing with such mani- 
festation is certain to encourage these tendencies and to draw to the 
revolutionary gangs a large number of lawless and desperate characters, 
who would be influenced not so much by political objects as by the 
prospect of plunder. With these influences at work, while famine 
prices are prevailing, there is danger of organized attacks on property 
on a large scale leading to a general feeling of insecurity and alarm. 
Hence the Lieutenant-Governor has includ^ various offences against 
property, in addition to seditious offences and acts punishable under 
the Arms and Explosives Act, within the scope of the Ordinance." 
The measure was exceptional and intended to cope with a temporary 
emergency. It would have the support of all loyal and law-abiding 
people in the province. 

137. This letter had no sooner been des- -/" 
the situation. patched than the situation began to develop 

far more rapidly. 

The Ghadr booklet GJiadr-i-ganj (Echo of mutiny) enjoins : " We 
should commit dacoity on the Government and awake the whole of the 
Punjab." " Rob Europeans of their money and bring it to your own 
use." And Nawab Khan, the first important Ghadr approver, stated 
in Court that one of the resolutions passed on the Tosa Maru was that 
loyal Punjabis of substance should be looted. The judgment of the 

151 



first Lahore Tribunal recites five notable cases in which these inten- 
tions were carried out. But besides these cases the following other 
outrages were committed by turbulent men, believed or suspected to 
be mainly returned, emigrants, during the months of December 1914 
and January and February 1915 : — 

(a) Dacoities at Pharala and Karnama in the Jullundur district 

on the 24th and 25th of December, 

(b) Two robberies in the Ferozepore district on the same dates. 

(c) A dacoity at Chowrian, Gurdaspore district, on the 27th Decern- , 

ber. 

(d) Dacoities on the 1st and 4th of January in the Hoshiarpur 

and Jullundur districts. One of these was accompanied by 
the murder of a village watchman. 

(e) An attack by eight Sikhs on the house of a Canal Sub-overseer 

in the Montgomery district. The owner's arm was broken 
by a revolver bullet. 

(/) A dacoity at Sri Gobindpur in the Gurdaspore district on the 
16th of the same month. 

(g) The plundering of some Hindu shops on the 21st of January 
at a town in the Kapurthala State. Some of the gang 
were* subsequently arrested with some seditious literature, 
245 rounds of ammunition and a revolver. 

We now come to the " political " dacoities proved in Court : — 

(a) The first of these was perpetrated on the 23rd of January, 
Ornaments were taken from the family of a Hindu shop- 
keeper at Sahnewal in the Ludhiana district. The unfor- 
tunate man, his wife and daughter-in-law were beaten. 
He died of his injuries. The booty obtained was small. 

(6) On the 27th of January 10 or 15 dacoits attacked the house of 
a Hindu in the Mansuran village of the same district. They 
took away a large amount of booty which was converted 
to revolutionary purposes. They assaulted a woman and 
a boy, proclaiming to the assembled villagers that they 
were collecting money to turn out the British and would 
be assisted by the Germans. Villagers who opposed the 
robbers were fired at and bombed. Some students from 
Ludhiana were implicated in this outrage. 

(c) On the 29th of January a money-lender's house at Jhanir in 

; the. Maler Kotla State was plundered and the owner was 

; ; made to show the robbers the way to another house, which 

-^ y wSiS also rifled. A Special Tribunal subsequently found 

■_• I that this crime too was committed by a gang of revolu- 

,_■ ^ J i;^ tionaries for the purpose of securing funds for the prosecu- 

, , ^ I tion of their seditious objects. • 

152 



(d) On the 2nd of February, for the same purpose, revohitionaries 

robbed a house at Chabba in the Amritsar district. They 
were armed with bombs, pistols and clubs. They murdered 
the owner of the house, but were attacked by a group of 
villagers who captured one, drove off the rest, and only 
desisted from pursuit when some had been injured and 
mutilated for life by the dacoits. In this enterprise the 
revolutionaries were assisted by local bad characters ; and 
then it was that the police authorities began to get into 
touch, through a spy, with the whole organization, and 
discovered that an enterprise far larger than any yet under- 
taken was in process of incubation. But before coming 
to this we should mention — 

(e) a dacoity at Rabon Unchi in the Ludhiana district on the 3rd 

of February, where a woman was robbed of property worth 
Rs. 4,198 which was devoted to revolutionary purposes. 

There had too been attempts at derailing trains on the 3rd, 6th, 
7th, 15th, 18th anr" 21st of January, Moreover, on the 12th of February 
a police guard consisting of one Head Constable and four constables 
stationed on a railway bridge in the Amritsar district were menaced 
by a gang of eight or ten men. 

138. It was subsequently established in Court, and is manifest 

Ti.« ■ -I.-.* —o-: . from this recital, that the original disappoint- 

The Lahore conspiracy. , ^ ' V i i 

ment and disorgamzation of the returned 

emigrant conspirators had given way to the utmost confidence and 
activity. Many of the interned Komagata Maru passengers, had been 
released early in January ; letters were reaching India from Indian 
residents in America full of rancour, abuse of the English, and confident 
hope of a German victory ; and the authorities had been warned by 
one of the emigrant leaders that his associates were in touch with the 
Eengal revolutionary party and with local seditionists. It was moreover 
proved that in December 1914 a young Maratha Brahmin named 
Vishnu Ganesh Pingley had arrived in the Punjab promising Bengali 
co-operation with the malcontent emigrants. Pingley, a native of 
the Poona district, had emigrated young, and had returned from 
America with various Sikh Ghadr proselytes. After his arrival in the 
Punjab a meeting was held at which revolution, the plundering of 
Government treasuries, the seduction of Indian troops, the collection 
of arms, the preparation of bombs and the commission of dacoities 
were all discussed. Pingley's ofier to introduce a Bengali bomb expert 
was accepted, and emissaries were despatched to collect materials for 
making bombs. The assistance of some Ludhiana students was enlisted 
in this collection work and Rash Behari Basu, of Delhi conspiracy 
notoriety, arrived from Benares, where he had been living in retire- 
ment.* A house was procured for him in Amritsar, where he Lived 



* See paragraph 121 

153 



with other Bengalis till the beginning of February 1915. There he 
worked in concert with the leading Sikh revolutionaries. Early in 
February he arranged for a general rising on the 21st of February of 
which Lahore was to be the headquarters. He went there and sent 
out emissaries to various cantonments in Upper India to procure mihtary 
aid for the appointed day. He also tried to organize the collection 
of gangs of villagers to take part in the rebellion. Bombs were pre- 
pared ; arms were got together ; flags were made ready ; a declaration 
of war was drawn up ; instruments were collected for destroying rail- 
ways and telegraph wires. In the meantime, however, in order to 
raise funds for the financing of the enterprise, some Punjab revolu- 
tionaries had committed various dacoities. Information of the pro- 
jected rising had been received through a spy. ■ Rash Behari's head- 
quarters were raided on the 19th of February, and seven returned 
emigrants were foimd there, in possession of a revolver, bombs and 
the component parts of other bombs, as well as four revolutionary flags. 
Two more conspirators were arrested on the following day. Thirteen 
in all were taken and four houses were searched. Twelve bombs were 
seized, five of which were loaded bombs of the Bengal pattern. The 
report by the Chemical Examiner showed that two of the latter were 
apparently old and the other two of recent make. Fragments of similar 
bombs had been found in connection with former revolutionary outrages 
in India. National flags too were discovered. It became manifest 
that the plotters had designed simultaneous outbreaks at Lahore, 
Ferozepore and Rawalpindi ; and later it appeared that their operations 
were intended to cover a far wider area. Not only were these to extend 
to such places as Benares and Jabalpur ; but we are satisfied from 
evidence which we regard as conclusive that at least two or three revolu- 
tionaries in Eastern Bengal were on the 8th of February aware of what 
was in contemplation, and were arranging for a rising at Dacca if the 
Sikh revolt materialized. 

Rash Behari and Pingley escaped, the latter only for a time as he 
was arrested a m'onth later in the Lines of the 12th Cavalry at Meerut 
with bombs in his possession. On the 20th of February, the day after 
the first captures, a Head Constable was killed and a Police Sub-Inspector 
was wounded by a party of returned emigrants, whom they had asked 
to come to the pohce-station. And on the 14th and 20th of February 
dacoities were committed in the Faridkot State and Lyallpur district. 

139. The Punjab Government had endeavoured to meet a state 
of serious disorder by the resources of the 

^Se^yX'pu*;jL°b"' «^d.i^^^y 1^^ ^^d by arranging patrols of 
Government. police and cavalry. But these measures were 

inadequate, and on the 25th of February they 
addressed the Government of India, in continuation of their December 
letter, appending an account of the dacoities and violent crimes which 
had been committed by the returned emigrants and their adherents. 
They enumerated 45 cases in all, the figure for the past five months,^ 
and once more asked for extraordinary legislation. They reported 

164 



that the situation had rapidly developed in a dangerous manner, and 
that the rural population in the central districts had been adversely 
afiected by the campaign of violence and sedition waged by the Ghadr 
party and supported increasingly by the lawless section of the people. 
Rural notables and village officials were being terrorized. The revolu- 
tionaries were using every endeavour to tamper with the loyalty of 
the troops. The objective of the conspiracy frustrated on the 19th 
had been an attack on the magazine and armoury of a regiment. On 
the same date forty men had arrived by train at Ferozepore, some 
armed, presumably to attack magazines and armed depUs, but had 
been thwarted by precautions taken by the military. Fifteen Muham- 
madan students had gone off to join the Hindustani fanatics on the 
frontier. Patrolling by troops and police was steadily practised, but 
the situation in the Punjab could not be allowed to drift any further. 
It was necessary that effective power should be given, as soon as possible, 
to the local Government to deal with violence and political trouble. 
The spread of revolutionary propaganda must be checked forthwith ; 
violent and seditious crimes must be promptly punished ; the men 
behind them must be removed and interned ; the mischievous activities 
of newspapers must be curtailed ; and every precaution must be taken 
to ensure that the poisonous teaching of open rebellion was kept both 
from the army and from the people from which the army was. 
recruited. 

In a subsequent letter dated February the 28th the Punjab Govern- 
ment reported that the Sikh conspirators arrested at Lahore appeared 
to be mainly " ignorant Sikh peasants who have been indoctrinated 
with crude ideas of equality and democracy in America and led to 
believe by Hardayal and his co-workers that India can be made into a 
Utopia in which all will be equal, and plague and famine cease to exist 
by the simple expedient of driving out the British." On the 16th of 
March the Lieutenant-Governor reported the arrest of three returned 
emigrants of the Ghadr persuasion while attempting to tamper with 
troops, the seizure of six bombs in the Ludhiana district and the outbreak 
of violent dacoities in the Western Punjab, where at one place shops 
and houses were looted for four successive nights and in another tract 
robberies were organized by criminals who announced that Govern- 
ment was in difficulties and that the Germans were coming. It is 
probable that these last-named outbreaks were caused not by returned 
emigrants, but by a general contagion of lawlessness. They were irt 
fact the organized attacks on property on a large scale foreshadowed 
by His Honour's letter of December the 19th, 1914. In this same 
letter of the 16th of March 1915 he stated that, so far, of 3,125 
emigrants who had passed through the hands of the police at 
Calcutta and Ludhiana, 189 had been interned, 704 had been restricted 
to their villages, and 2,211 had so far been subjected to no restrictions. 
He reported the appointment of standing district committees of Sikhs 
to assist the local authorities in dealing with emigrants, and more epeci- 
ally in advising as to internments. Results so far indicated that these 

155 



■committees would recommend the internment of many emigrants still 
at large. 

140. The Government of India was reluctant to supersede in any 

Passing of the Defence of ^^^^^^ *^^ "^"^'^^^ ^J"^ processes of ordinary 
India Act. law. But both m the Punjab and in Bengal 

Subsequent improvement the situation was rapidly deepening in gravity. 
of conditions. rj^^^ Defence of India Act, which substantially 

embodied the main provisions of the originally proposed draft Ordinance, 
was passed quickly through the Imperial Legislative Council. Its 
most important provisions were the appointment of Special Tribunals 
for the trial of revolutionary crimes. It allowed neither commitment 
proceedings to these Tribunals nor judicial appeal from their decisions. 
A letter from the Punjab Government dated the 31st of March 1915 
■describes its salutary effect ; and there can be no doubt that in subse- 
•quent months a highly dangerous situation rapidly improved. The 
degree of assistance derived from the new Act and the regulations 
Iramed thereunder may be appreciated through the following 
extract from a letter addressed to the Government of India by the 
Punjab Government on the 30th September 1915 : " Action has been 
taken against twenty-five persons during the past fortnight under rule 
"5 framed under section 12 of the Defence of India Act. Nineteen 
■of these are followers of one Mani Singh, from whose possession a 
quantity of seditious papers were recovered on the 26th of June in the 
■Jhind State. These -papers, which were written by Mani Singh, 
purported to be revelations of God, and the most recent were of a very 
objectionable nature, gloatmg over the success of the German arms and 
predicting the downfall of the British. Action has been taken against 
19 of Mani Singh's following in British territory who appear to have 
laeen engaged in intrigue and in circulating false rumours about the 
war." 

. , . . , 141. The only other revolutionary offences 

A few remaining outrages. , . , n . • - 

w^hich we need mention are — 

(a) The discovery of arms and seditious literature at Thikriwala, 
Gurdaspore, on the 3rd of April 1915. 

(&) The murder of a loyal zaildar, Chanda Singh, in the Hoshiarpur 
district on the 25th of the same month. Two returned 
emigrants were hanged for this. 

(c) A loyal gentleman named Sardar Bahadur Acchar Singh was 
murdered in Amritsar district on the 4th of June 1915 by 
two returned emigrants, who were caught and hanged. 

id) On the 12th of the same month an attack was made on a 
military guard posted at a railway bridge in the same district 
by a gang of revolutionaries. The non-commissioned ofl&cer 
in charge of the guard and the sentry were killed. Four 
sepoys were wounded and all the rifles and ammunition 
were carried off. The gang was promptly arrested and 
the arms were recovered. - ' 

156 



(e) On the 3rd of August 1915 one Kapur Singh, who had given 
evidence in the Lahore conspiracy case, was murdered. 

142. On the 16th of July 1915 a deputation of the leading Sikhs of 

... ^ . the Amritsar district waited upon the Deputy 
order completely restored. ^^^^-^^-^^^^ ^-^^ the object of devising 

means to remove the stigma which the conduct of the returned emigrants 
had attached to their nation, and this incident probably expressed a 
widespread feeling, for the Ghadr movement in the Punjab was then 
rapidly subsiding. 

On the 31st of January 1916 the Punjab Government wrote : " The 
returned emigrants among the Sikhs are reported to be setthng down, 
and the feeUng among the Sikhs generally is reported to be more satis- 
factory than at any time for some years. The gallant behaviour of 
Sikh regiments at the front has done much to restore the amour propre 
of the community, which was apprehensive that its good name would 
suffer from the crimes of the returned emigrants. There could be no 
better proof of the confidence of the people in the stability of the 
Government than the fact that 15,000 acres of Government waste land 
were sold on the 20th and 21st January at Montgomery at a rate of 
Rs. 180 per acre. Many of the purchasers were Sikh sardars or peasant 
proprietors." 

143. Nine batches of conspirators were tried by Special Tribunals 

, . ._•,„.„ ♦,:., constituted under the Defence of India Act. 

Lahore conspiracy trials. ^ . ,. .^ . -, . 

in one of these cases 61 accused were beiore 

the court, there were 404 prosecution witnesses, and 228 persons were 
called as witnesses by the defence. In another the accused numbered 
74, the prosecution witnesses 365, and the defence witnesses 1,042. 
In a third the figures were 12, 86 and 44. As a result of all the cases, 
28 persons were hanged, 29 were acquitted, and the rest were sentenced 
to transportation or imprisonment. Some mutinous soldiers of two- 
regiments were tried by court-martial, and a, few murderers, dacoits 
and train-wreckers were dealt with by the ordinary courts. 

We have already narrated the main facts elicited by the con- 
spiracy trials. The first Tribunal observed in their judgment that " a 
wave of sedition had been ebbing and flowing in the Punjab since 1907."^ 
They recited the doings of Hardayal in America, the arrival of the 
emigrants in the Punjab, the coming of Ganesh Pingley, the principal 
crimes committed by the revolutionaries, the arrangements made by 
Rash Behari and his associates for a general rising. Among other 
things a declaration of war had been drawn up ; instruments had beert 
collected for destroying railways and telegraph wires. The Tribunal 
commented on minor dacoities and on attempts which had failed either 
from lack of courage in the robbers because there were armed pensioned 
soldiers living in the village which was to be the object of attack, or 
because the police had been warned, or for some othrr reason. They 
observed that the Ghadr newspaper had placed the seouction of troops 
in the forefront of its objectives and that various efforts with this object 

157 



■were made by some of the associates, both at ports on the way to India 
and in this country. Rash Behari was prominent in co-ordinating 
the latter, and employed Pingley, a Ludhiana student named 
Sacha Singh,* and other persons as his instruments. Ghadr 
literature was used. Indian soldiers were approached " at 
Meerut, Cawnpore, Allahabad, Benares, Fyzabad, Lucknow, in the 
United Provinces. The success attained was extremely small, but 
the seed sown must have caused some tragedies had not the^ plan for 
a concerted rising on the 21st of February been nipped in the bud. The 
conspirators attached great importance to the propagation of seditious 
literature and to the manufacture of bombs. As regards the first the 
judgment states : " There is no doubt the establishment of a press 
in India was one of the methods they intended to further their designs. 
The success in seducing people which the Ghadr had attained 
in America was sufficient encouragement for this course to be adopted 
in India ; and it is common knowledge that Indians are easily swayed 
by that which is in print." The bombing material collected in Amritsar 
and the establishment of a bomb factory in Jhabewal, a village near 
Ludhiana, are described in the judgment of the Tribunal. A village 
named Lohatbadi was also made a bomb centre. 

/ The issue of the Ghadr dated the 13th January 1914 had advised 
Indians to go abroad, learn how to make rifles, bring boxes full of them 
into the Punjab and " rain over the province a sweet shower of guns." 
Some pistols and ammunition were brought from America, and Rash 
Eehari contributed four revolvers. Other weapons too were collected, 
but most fortunately for the public the procurement of sufl&cient arms 
was a serious difficulty, and the plans for attacking the Ferozepore 
and Mian Mir arsenals collapsed. 

The men tried in the first case were the organizers and leaders ; 
those who plotted and tried to overthrow Government by murder, 
massacre and rapine. But the men tried in the second case were, with 
few exceptions, the implements for occasional outrages who dropped 
out of the movement soon after taking part in particular crime. Among 
the first batch of convicts was Bhai Parmanand, of 1909 notoriety. 

This man left India for a time, but had returned from America via 
England in December 1913. In America he had associated with 
Hardayal. He had written and published after the outbreak of war 
a history of India the purpose of which, the Tribunal found, was " to 
bring His Majesty's Government in India into hatred and contempt 
and to further the general objects of the Ghadr conspiracy." He was 
found to be a leader in the plots of the conspirators. Another convict 
was Pingley, the Maratha, already alluded to. 

, 144. The judgment in the second case gives further details of the 
return of the revolutionary emigrants from America. It states that 
sedition was actively preached in villages ; and among regiments men 



♦ See paragraph 122. 

158 



were instructed to hold themselves in readiness to rise and massacre 
when the signal was given. Even after the February failure efforts 
continued, and a place called Dhudile was made a rendezvous of revo- 
lutionaries. The aid of the local schoolmaster was enlisted and his 
school became a house of call for the confederates. A detachment 
from a regiment on guard at a railway bridge was attacked on the 11th 
of June 1915 ; two men thereof were murdered ; and the murderers, on 
their way home, killed two other men. Five of the gang, however, 
wej>-s6on arrested and hanged. 

The judgment recites evidence which show that it was mainly 
want of arms that prevented a large rising in December 1914. The 
Tribunal found that the seduction of students was carried out on all 
possible occasions, such inducements being offered as that " studies 
should be dropped as they taught only slavery ; all who helped (the 
rebellion) were to be given high office ; the rising would be inaugurated 
by the arrival of leaders from foreign countries in aeroplanes ; and the 
State would crown Hardayal as King." Villagers too were enlisted, 
some influenced by fanatical excitement, some by cupidity and hopes 
of loot ; and possibly some fearing that, if they did not, they would 
be left behind when the revolutionaries succeeded in their objects. 
Advantage had been taken of the Delhi temple wall incident to persuade 
some fanatical Sikhs that their religion was threatened. 

The judgment states that the " Ghadr newspaper and its progeny 
(verses, leaflets, etc.) were distributed in every place where the revolu- 
tionaries hoped to gain adherents, and particularly among troops." 

The Tribunal concluded that not only had the crimes recited in the 
original case been committed, but that other murders had been com- 
mitted or projected. 

Evidence given in the third Lahore conspiracy case supported the 
finding of the Mandalay Special Tribunal that certain revolutionaries, 
three at least from Canada, collected in Bangkok and engaged in a 
plot to invade India by way of Burma. The Punjab Tribunal wrote : 
" We have clear evidence that this design did exist, and that it was 
part and parcel of the Ghadr movement in which German agents were 
concerned. . . , It is quite clear that some scheme for causing 
trouble to the British Government, to be developed in Siam, had 
been hatched by the leader of the Ghadr movement in San Francisco 
in conjunction with Germans." Later on the judgment runs : '' We 
have seen that the 'Jugantar Asram ' (at San Francisco) was placarded 
with a sheet : ' Do not fight the Germans. They are our friends ; ' 
and this was clearly the Ghadr motto after war {sic). We have seen 
that the literature printed at the Ghadr offices was taken away personally 
by the German Consul for distribution among Indians everywhere ; we 
have seen that Germany paid for Indian agents to be sent to Afghanis- 
tan, Siam, Manila, Thibet and Turkey from America, to stir up trouble 
against Britain ; that the German Consu l in San Francisco was in close 
connection with Ram Chandra ; and that the Consul-General in New 

159 



York was forwarding Indian revolutionaries at his own expense to 
Germany to help in such ways as they could." The judgment goes 
on to refer to the evidence of a witness once a paid agent of Germany, 
his association at the India House with Hardayal, and at Rio Janeiro 
with Ajit Singh, " the revolutionists oi 1907, £tt whose instigation he 
set out to Berlin for revolutionary work." He reached Berlin in March 
1915, and there met Hardayal and other\ well-known Indian revolu- 
tionaries, " who were the leaders of an Indian Revolutionary Society 
in Berlin. This society, which aimed at establishing a republic in India, 
held constant meetings attended by Turks, Egyptians, German officials, 
and most noteworthy of all, German ex-professors and ex-missionaries 
who, in their time, had received the hospitality of the British Govern- 
ment in India. Hardayal and Chattopadhyaya were in daily communi- 
cation with the German Foreign Office. To carry out the revolution 
in India, there was an Oriental Bureau for translating and disseminat- 
ing inflammatory literature to the Indian prisoners of war in Germany. 
Inflammatory letters, drafted by the German Government and addressed 
to Indian Princes as from the German authorities, were translated and 
printed, and meetings were held in which the common objects of India 
and Germany were dilated upon, these meetings being sometimes pre- 
sided over by highly placed German officials." The witness was sent back 
to America, " reported his arrival to the German Consul, who 
put him in communication with Gupta and one Wehde, a German, 
whose particular mission was to convey 20,000 dollars of German monejr 
to the revolutionaries in India, In America he met other Germans, 
Boehm, Jacobson and Sterneck, and his connection with these men and 
th« Siamese expedition we have already discussed." 

The other cases call for no special notice here. In one Lai Chand 
Falak, of 1909 celebrity, was convicted f conspiracy to wage war upon, 
the King and of sedition. He was transported for ten years. 

145. Under the Defence of India Act 30 persons were interned in 

jail, 113 were restricted to their villages, 25 

^** Defenw "oMndia *'*'' ^^^^ restricted to other villages. Under the 

'Regulations. Ingress into India Ordinance 331 persons were 

interned between October 1914 and December 

1917, of whom 224 are accounted for by the period October 1914 to 

April 1915. Two hundred and forty-two of the 331 have been released. 

Of the emigrant revolutionaries, 2,576 in all have been restricted tO' 

their villages. We are informed that so valuable has been the work 

of the Sikh advisory committees in regard to restrictions, internments,. 

relaxations and releases, so strong has been their influence on the side- 

of law and order, that although a considerable number of suspects 

contmued to arrive in the Punjab after the troubled period, especially 

from the Far East, at the end of 1917 the total o': persons restricted 

in any way under the Ingress Ordinance was only 914, while the number 

of these at first restricted and then released from restriction had risen 

to 1,513, and releases were steadily progressing. There is, however, 

sound admonition in the following words of a Sikh official witness who* 

IGO 



appeared before lis : " There are thousands of persons who have returned 
to India with revohitionary ideas and only those against whom we had 
definite information were interned or restricted. The majority have 
perfect liberty." The Government of the Punjab have informed us 
that they have also taken the following precautions : — 

(a) They have by order prevented four newspaper editors from 
publishing pro-German or alarmist matters. They have 
ordered the pre-censorship of a newspaper which Zafar Ali 
Khan, of the Zamindar, has been permitted to start. 

(6) They have prohibited Messrs. Tilak and Bepin Chandra Pal* 
from entering the province. Information had been received 
that these two gentlemen proposed a lecturing tour to spread 
the Home Rule propaganda. " The Ghadr conspiracy," 
the local Government considers, " has shown how the illiter- 
ate classes are apt to interpret a demand for Home Rule 
which to educated persons may seem justifiable. Further, 
when the province was being called upon to supply the 
largest possible number of recruits for the Indian Army, 
it was unquestionable that any political excitement such 
as these gentlemen proposed to create would be prejudicial 
to jj^lic safety and would have a bad effect on recruiting. 
Orders were issued, accordingly, prohibiting them from 
entering the Punjab. These are still in force." 

146. It is evident that the Ghadr movement in the Punjab came 
within an ace of causing widespread bloodshed; 
Conclusions. ^-^j^ ^^^ high-spirited and adventurous Sikhs 
the interva l betwee n thought and action_is_sliQit. If captured by 
inflaniniatory appealsTtEey' are prone to act with all possible celerity 
and in a fashion dangerous to the whole fabric of order and constitu- 
tional rule. Few persons, reviewing the history which we have 
summarized, will not be disposed to endorse the considered opinion of 
the Punjab authorities that " had not Government been armed with 
extensive powers under the Defence of India Act and the Ingress 
Ordinance, the Ghadr movement could not have been suppressed so 
rapidly"; and delay of preventive action and retribution in such a case 
wouldfhave increased yet more the amount of disorder to be coped 
with." 



i* 



^ See paragraph 147. 

161 



CHAPTER XII. 

Revolutionary Crime in Madras. 



147. In 1907 people in the Madras Presidency were excited by a 

series of lectures delivered by Bepin Chandra 

Bepin C^handra^Pamectur- p^^^ ^ Bengali journalist and lecturer. He 

commenced a tour through the East Coast cities 
in April and arrived at Madras on the 1st of May. The subjects on which 
he spoke were " Swaraj, " " Swadeshi " and " Boycott. " His visit 
to Rajamundry had been followed on the 24th of April by a strike of stu- 
dents at the Government College there. On the 2nd of May in a speech 
at Madras he is reported to have said that, while the British desired to 
make the Government in India popular without ceasing in any sense 
to be essentially British, the Indians desired to make it autonomous, 
absolutely free of the British Parliament. The British administration 
was based upon ynaya or illusion and in the recognition of the magic 
character of the British power lay the strength of the new movement. 

The news of Lajpat Rai's deportation from the Punjab brought 
Bepin Chandra's tour to a close. A crowd had assembled to hear him 
speak on the 10th of May, but he did not appear and leaflets were distri- 
buted which stated that " as a mark of sorrow at Lajpat Rai's arrest and 
deportation Mr. Pal's lecture announced for this evening is abandoned. " 
Bepin Chandra left next day for Calcutta and the arrangements made 
to receive him in districts south of Madras were cancelled. On the 25th 
of May he addressed a meeting at a Sakti celebration in a house in Cal- 
cutta at which, according' to a report which appeared in his own paper 
New India, on June 6th, 1907, he recommended the organization of Kali 
'puja (worship) in every important village every new moon day. Not 
worship of the ordinary Kali, but of Raksha Kali that is worshipped in 
times of trouble. Raksha Kali was not black but white, the symbol 
not of darkness but of light. The sacrifices acceptable to Raksha Kali 
were white goats and not black ones. It would not be a bad thing 
if they could organize public Raksha Kali jpujas at the present juncture, 
where large crowds could be collected and 108 goats sacrificed. It would 
put courage into drooping hearts. 

According to a report <^ the meeting in the Bande Mataram news- 
paper of May 27th, 1907, Bepin Chandra had been followed by " a 
Madras! gentleman, " who declared that they ought to go abroad and 
learn the manufacturing of bombs and other destructive weapons and 
how to wield them (even the Czar of all the Russias trembled at bombs), 
and return to their country to sacrifice every Amavasya (new moon) 



night 108 whites (not white lambs but those who were their enemies) 
and there the bright prospect of the whole nation lay in the future. 

148. An outburst of seditious activity followed upon the visit of 
Bepin Chandra and resulted in various trials 
^"^''"''actlJity?'"*""" in 1908. Early in that year also several copies 
of a pamphlet describing the secret organiza- 
tion of the Russians were found in the possession of students in the 
Public Works Engineering workshops. The judgments of the High 
Court in criminal appeals Nos. 491 and 503 of 1908 show that Subramania 
Siva and Chidambaram Pillai conspired together to excite disaffection 
towards the Government by the delivery of speeches in Tuticorin on 
the 23rd and 25th of February and the 5th of March 1908 advocating 
absolute swaraj. The last of these speeches was connected with Bepin 
Chandra Pal, whose release from jail was expected on the 9th of March 
after a term of six months' imprisonment for refusing to give evidence 
in connection with charges against Arabinda Ghosh, as editor of the 
Bande Mataram. He was called in the speech the " Lion of Swaraj, " 
and it was suggested that the flag of swaraj should be hoisted on the 
occasion. On the 9th of March Chidambaram Pillai delivered a speech in 
Tinnevelly eulogizing Bepin Chandra and calling on the people to boycott 
everything foreign and assuring them that in three months they would 
obtain swaraj. The two conspirators were arrested on the 12th of March 
and on the 13th a serious riot broke out in Tinnevelly. It was marked 
by wholesale and deliberate destruction of Government property in open , 
defiance to constituted authority. Every public building in Tinnevelly 
town except the Sub-Registrar's office was attacked. The furniture and 
records of these buildings were set on fire as well as portions of the 
buildings themselves ; the Municipal office was gutted. Twenty-seven 
persons were convicted and sentenced for participation in the riot. 

On the 17th of March 1908 one Krishnaswami made a speech at a 
public meeting in Karur in the Coimbatore district, saying that in Tuti- 
corin Swadeshi effort was so great that they had demolished the pardesi 
(foreign) courts of the Collector, Munsif and Police ; why should not they 
(of Karur) do the like ? There was ar low-paid regiment : why should 
they not exert themselves for the swadeshi cause and to help their mother 
use their guns to shoot the white faces ? If they did so, could they 
not get swaraj ? The speaker was tried, convicted and punished. 

In connection with the release of Bepin Chandra a paper in Telugu 
styled Swaraj, or the Nationalist Telugu weekly, was revived in Bezwada 
in the Kistna district. On the 26th of March a violent article appeared 
on the arrest of Chidambaram Pillai, of which the conclusion was 
" Halloo ! Feringhi, cruel tiger ! You have devoured simultaneously 
three inoffensive Indians in a moment without cause. You have been 
transgressing your own laws too. You fear-stricken man ; it is natural 
for men blinded by arrogance to entertain such perverted thoughts. 
You yourself have exposed your secret. You have declared that 
the arbitrary Feringhi rule is drying up at the mere breeze of the ' 

163 

^2 



development of Indian nationality. " For this article the printer and 
proprietor were tried, convicted and punished. 

149. On the 23rd of May, the 27th of May and the 27th of June 1908 

seditious articles were published in Madras 

The " India " and its staff. .^^ ^-^^ rp^^^jj ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ j^^-^ ^-^^^^ resulted 

in the conviction in the High Court of the printer and publisher, Srinivas 
lyencyar, on the 13th November 1908. The India Press was then 
closed in Madras and removed to Pondicherry. where the paper was 
restarted on more seditious lines than before. One of the staff was 
M. P. Tirumal A.charya. This young man left Pondicherry for Europe 
in 1908 and lived for a time at the India TTouse in London. In 1909 
he went to Paris. In September 1910 he wrote from Paris to a member 
of the staff of the India in Pondicherry a letter in which he said if 
they could not do or did not care to risk doing things worth doing at 
Pondicherry, the next best thing was to put their plans into practice at 
some safe and suitable place and he expected them to do something of 
the sort soon. 

150. At the time when Acharya wrote his letter of September a con- 
spiracy against the British Government was 
Incubation of murder. being "worked up in the Madras Presidency 
by Nilakanta Brahmachari (the first accused in the Tinnevelly con- 
spiracy ca^e of 1911). He had been going round Southern India both 
in 1910 and in previous years in company with Shankar Krishna 
• Aiyar, preaching swadeshi and sedition, and induced various persons 
in the Presidency to take a blood oath of association for the purpose of 
obtaining swaraj. In June 1910 Shankar introduced Nilakanta to his 
brother-in-law, Vanchi Aiyar, a clerk in the Travancore Forest Depart- 
ment. Early in December 1910 V. V. S. Aiyar, who had been the 
right-hand man of Vinayak Savarkar at the India House and had subse- 
quently gone to Paris and associated with Shyamaji Krishnavarma, 
Madame Cama and other plotters there, arrived in Pondicherry and 
started revolver practice for young Indians in certain gardens and 
preached the necessity of violence and assignations to free the country. 
On the 9th of January 1911 Vanchi Aiyar took three months' leave and 
visited Pondicherry, where he associated with V. V. S. Aiyar and indulged 
in revolver practice under his instructions. Evidence was given in the 
Tinnevelly conspiracy case that Vanchi had told one of the witnesses 
that English rule was ruining the country, that it could only be removed 
if all white men were killed, and suggested that Mr. Ashe should be first 
killed as being the head of the Tinnevelly district and an ofl&cer who had 
taken a leading part in the events of 1908. Vanchi also said that arms 
could be obtained from Pondicherry at the proper time. 

In searches of the houses of the accused conspirators in the Tinnevelly 
case, two pamphlets were found both of which purported to have been 
printed at the " Feringhi Destroyer Press. " One entitled " A word of 
Advice to the Aryans " said : " Swear in the presence of God that you will 
remove this sinner of a Feringhi from our country and firmly establish 

164 



swaraj therein. Take an oath that as long as the Feringhi exercises 
authority in our land of Bharata you will regard life as worthless. Beat 
the white English Ferivghi you get hold of, even as you beat a dog, and 
kill him with a knife, a stick, a stone or even by the hand given by God. " 
The other pamphlet was called " The Oath of admission into the Abhinav 
Bharat Society. " The evidence showed that ten copies of each pamphlet 
had been sent by post by one of the staff of the Dharma paper in Pondi- 
cherry to a person who had distributed and discussed them with the 
accused. 

151. Mr. Ashe, the District Magistrate of Tinnevelly, was shot on 

„ ^ ... . ^ the 17th of June 1911 by Vanchi Aiyar in a 

Murder of Mr. Ashe. ., 4. • Z- .n, m- n 

railway carriage at a junction m the Imnevelly 

district. The assassin was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Shankar 

Krishna Aiyar, already mentioned, who was subsequently arrested 

and punished. Upon the body of the murderer was found a letter in 

the Tamil language which stated that every Indian was trying to drive 

out the English and restore swarajya and the Sanatan Dharma. Rama, 

Sivaji, Krishna, G-uru Govind and Arjun ruled over the land protecting 

all religion, but now the English were preparing to crown in India George 

V, a Mlechha, who ate the flesh of cows. Three thousand Madrasis 

had taken a vow to kill George V, as soon as he landed in the comitry. 

To make known their intention to others, he, Vanchi, the least in the 

company, had done that deed that day. 

152. In the April number of Madame Cama's paper called Bande 

Mataram which was published in Paris about 

^"""'^ailwchlst?. ''^"^ *^« ^^^ o^ ^^5"' *^®^^ ^^« «^^® indication in 
one of the articles that a crime of this nature was 
in contemplation. It concluded with these words : . " In a meeting or 
in a bungalow, on the railway or in a carriage, in a shop or in a church, 
in a garden or at a fair, wherever an opportunity comes. Englishmen ought 
to be killed. No distinction should be made between officers and private 
people. The great Nana Sahib understood this, and om* friends the Ben- 
galis have also begun to understand. Blest be their efforts, long be their 
arm, now indeed we may say to the Englishman, ' Don't shout till 
you are out of the wood.' " In a subsequent article dated July 1911, 
Madame Cama tried to show that the recent assassinations were in 
accordance with the teachings of the Bhagwad Gida, stating : " When 
the gilded slaves from Hindustan were parading the streets of London as 
performers in the royal circus and were prostrating themselves like so 
many cows at the feet of the King of England, two young and brave 
countrymen of ours proved by their daring deeds at Tinnevelly and at 
Mymensingh that Hindustan is not sleeping." (Sub-Inspector Rajkuraer 
Ray had been murdered on the 19th of June at Mymensingh — see 
paragraph 52.) 

This article and the letter found on the murderer seem to show 
that the murder was designed to take place on the day of the Royal 
Coronation ceremonies. 

166 



153. The result of the Tinnevelly conspiracy trial was that nine 
Conclusions accused persons belonging to different castes 

and grades of society were found guilty of 
conspiracy against the State, but were not found to be guilty of abetment 
of the murder of Mr, Ashe. It was pointed out by the Court how the 
binding nature of the oath taken by the conspirators had overcome 
the caste prejudices which are often a bar to intimate association in 
Southern India. 

Since the trial of the Tinnevelly conspirators there does not appear 
to have been any trouble from criminal revolutionary conspiracy in the 
Madras Presidency. We do not consider that there was any indigenous 
revolutionary movement in Madras, and but for the influence of Bepin 
Chandra Pal and the revolutionaries plotting in Paris and Pondicherry 
there would have been no trouble in Southern India. 



'tm 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Revolutionary Conspiracy in Burma. 

154. The province of Burma presents many features which difier- 

entiate it from the other provinces of the 
Special features of Burma, j^^^-^^^ Empire. For our present inquiry we 

are chiefly concerned with the composition of its population. It con- 
tains a total population of upwards of 12 million people, of whom 8 
millions are Burmese, 3 millions belong to frontier tribes, such as Shans, 
Karens and Kachins, while the other million is composed of immigrants, 
400,000 Hindus, rather more than 400,000 Muhammadans and 120,000 . 
Chinese. The chief city of Burma, Rangoon, contains a population of 
nearly 300,000, of whom upwards of 100,000 are Hindus, upwards of 
50,000 Muhammadans (mostly from Gujerathi-speaking races of Western 
India), 15,000 Chinese, while 88,000 are Burme'se. There do not appear 
to have been any indigenous conspiracies in Burma connected with the 
Indian revolutionary movement, though the province has had its native 
conspiracies, for there have been plots fomented by petty chieftains 
who hoped to obtain some form of kingship and that the British rule 
would in some mysterious manner come to an end : none of them have 
giv^en any serious trouble to the authorities. 

155. Burma, however, has not been altogether free from criminal 

conspiracy connected with the Indian revolu- 
Imported conspiracy. ^^^^^^^ movement. It has been the scene of 

determined efforts to stir up mutiny among the military forces and to 
overthrow the British Government. Such efforts have originated in 
America, have been • concentrated in Bangkok and thence, with the 
assistance of Germans, have been directed from the Siamese frontier 
against Burma. 

The existence of a conspiracy in America and its development in 
Bangkok were investigated in the two Burma conspiracy cases tried by 
Special Tribunals in Mandalay in 1916. The following passage from the 
judgment in the first conspiracy case describes the American conspiracy 
according to the evidence recorded by the Tribunal : — 

" As to the existence of a conspiracy Counsel have not thought it possible to deny 
it and no argument was addressed to us as to it. Two approvers, Nawab Khan and 
Mula Singh, gave evidence as to it. They tell us of the wanderings of men like 
Hardayal, Parmanand and BarkatuUa, who called meetings and made seditious 
speeches inflaming the minds of Indians in America and Canada. A meeting at 
Astoria is described at which Hardayal took the chair and it was decided to form an 
Association to be called the Hindu Association of the Pacific Coast with local 
branches, and how office bearers for local centres were appointed. It was resolved 
to collect subscriptions and to start a paper to be called the Ghadr or ' Mutiny,' 

167 



!4':^ 



wkich was to be sent gratis to all Indians, and a press to be called the Jugantar 
Asram or ' Hermitage of the New Era.' The headquarters were to be at San 
Francisco and there the press v/as started. The paper was first issued on the 1st 
November 1913. 

The objects of the Association or ' Qhadr ' party are deposed to by the witnesses 
and clearly set out in the party organ. Each issue- contains an article entitled, 'A 
rough account of the British P^aj.' It gives fourteen heads of charges against 
British rule. It will be sufficient to cite a few of them. ' 1. The English are drag- 
ging away 50 crores of rupees every year from India to England. 3. For the edu- 
cation of 24 crores of persons the expenses are 7^ crores and for sanitation two 
crores, but for the army 292 crores are spent. 4. Famines are increasing and 
within the last ten years two crores of men, women and children have died from 
hunger. II. Expeditions have been sent against Afghanistan, Burma, Egypt, 
Persia and China with the money of India and at the sacrifice of the lives of Indians 
only. 14. Fifty-seven years have passed since the mutiny of 1857 and another is 
urgently needed now.' 

The paper is frankly seditious and it urges preparations for mutiny and the free- 
dom of India by expelling the English. Again — ' This is the time to prepare your- 
selves for mutiny while this war is raging in Europe. Oh, brave people ! Hurry up 
and stop all these taxes by mutinying.' ' Wanted : — Brave soldiers to stir up 
Qhadr in India Pay — death ; prize — martyrdom ; pension — ^liberty ; field of 
battle — India.' 

' Get up, and open your eyes. Accumulate bags of money for the Ghadr and 
proceed to India. Sacrifice your lives to obtain liberty.' 

The issue presses everyone to return to India for Ghadr to free the country from 
British rule. 

The theme of all these issues is the same, namely, to go to India and stir up Ghadr 
to defeat the English and take the government of the country from them. 

A book of inflammatory poems was also issued called the ' Ghadr-i-ganj.' The 
nineteenth poem is in praise of Tilak, Liyakat Plusain, BarkatuUa, Suki, A jit Singh, 
Savarkar, Arabinda Ghosh, Krishnavarma, Hardayal and others and of the Ghadr 
newspaper. ' They have raised the flag of mutiny — Sikhs, Hindus and Muham- 
madans all have joined. . . Let us go to our country to fight, this is our final 
order.' 

it tells of the arrest of Hardayal at San Francisco on the 25th of March 1914. 

In the issue of the 18th August 1914, the Ghadr gives instructions for those 
actively working in the cause. They should distribute Ghadr literature, encourage 
passive resistance, break up railways, induce people to withdraw their money from 
banks, give notice to the native regiments to get ready to ' raze down these Franks,' 
and so on. 

******* 

There can be no doubt that a conspiracy was started in 1912, and that it had for 
its object the freedom of India from the British Raj by mutiny, whereby the English 
were to be driven out of India and the country governed by the people themselves. 

The GJuidr newspaper was sent out broadcast to all places where there were 
Indians, and it was admittedly received in Bangkok. It is proved that more copies 
than one of each issue were sent to various persons, and the paper contains a request 
that the spare copies should be distributed to others and passed on (Exhibits M 1 
and M 2). A roll of 50 copies was sent to ' Arya Prince Charlie at Bangkok,' and 
it is obvious that so great a number can only have been sent for distribution. The 
paper was sent gratis and no request for it was necessary, so that the mere act of 
receipt cannot prove much, but the fact must be considered." 

Before the outbreak of war the only issues of the Ghadr which came 
into the hands of the Burmese authorities were a few which reached 
persons loyally disposed to the British Government, but that a 

168 



considerable number of copies were reaciiing Burma might fairly be 
inferred from the fact that as soon as censorship was introduced for postal 
communications, large quantities were seized. As many as 104 covers 
containing copies of the Ghadr, pubhshed on the 24th January 1915, 
were intercepted. They contained 220 Gujerathi, 10 Hindi and 3 Urdu 
issues of the paper. The .Gujerathi editions were found to have been 
prepared by one Khem Chand Damji, who for some time had been 
resident in Rangoon and had afterwards gone to America and found 
employment with the Ghadr Press in San Francisco. 

156. Among the 104 covers above referred to, were found six issues 

„ of a Turkish paper known as Jahan-i-lslam. 
The Janan-i-!slam. rpj^-^ ^^^ ^ newspaper containing articles in 

Arabic, Turkish and Hindi, which was started in Constantinople about 
May 1914, The Urdu portion of it was prepared by Abu Saiyad, a native 
of the Punjab, who until 1912 had been employed as a teacher and some- 
times as a clerk in Rangoon and had left for Egypt about the time of 
the outbreak of the Turko-Italian war. Copies of this paper were at 
first freely obtainable both in Lahore and in Calcutta, but owing to its 
violently anti-Christian tone its importation into India was prohibited 

], under the Sea Customs Act in August 1914. After the declaration of 
^ \ war the Urdu section of the paper contained a leading article by Hardayal, • 

/' the originator of the Ghadr, and virulently anti-British articles by the 
Egyptian Nationahst leaders, Farid Bey and Mansur Arifat. In the 
issue of the 20th November 1914 a speech of Enver Pasha was reported, 
in which, among other things, he said : " This is the time that the Ghadr 
should be declared in India, the magazines of the Enghsh should be 
plundered, their weapons looted and they should be killed therewith. 
The Indians number 32 crores at the best and the English are only 
2 lakhs ; they should be murdered : they have no army. The Suez 
Canal will shortly be closed by the Turks, but he who will die and hberate 
the country and his native land will hve for ever. Hindus and Muham 
madans, you are both soldiers of the army and you are brothers, and 
this low degraded English is your enemy ; you should become ghazis by 
declaring jihad, and by combining with your brothers murder the 
English and Hberate India," 

The reference to Ghadr in this issue of the paper was probably due to 
the inspiration of Hardayal, who during his visit to Constantinople in 
September 1914 stayed with Abu Saiyad and wrote the article for the 
paper which has already been referred to. 

157. The despatch of copies of the Jihan-i-Islam in bundles of the 

Ghadr newspaper seems to have been no acci- 
dent. It has been ascertained that, at the 
suggestion of Abu Saiyid, Tewfik Bey, a prominent member of the 
Young Turk party, came to Rangoon in 1913 and ofEered the post 
of Turkish Consul to Ahmad Mullah Daud, a member of the Muhani- 
madan trading community in Rangoon. At the time of the outbreak 
of the war Ahmad Mullah Daud held the ofHce of Turkish Consul. 

169 



After Turkey had entered the war two Indian Muhammadans came 
to Rangoon who had been in Turkey as members of the Red Crescent 
Society which had gone from India to afEord medical reHef'to the Turkish 
army in the Balkan War. One of these persons was Hakim Faim Ali, 
who was sent out in December 1914 from Constantinople as an emissary 
of the Young Turk party. The other was Ali Ahmad Sadiqi, who also 
arrived about the end of 1914. 

Some of the Muhammadans at Rangoon were at this time in a 
disaffected state. In the month of November the 130th Baluchis had 
arrived from Bombay, having been transferred^to Rangoon as a punish- 
ment for murdering one of their officers. The regiment consisted chiefly 
of Muhammadans. Soon after their arrival Muhammadans at Rangoon 
had contaminated the men with the tenets of the Ghadr newspaper and 
by January 1915 the regiment was thoroughly disafiected and ready for 
mutiny. The rising was, however, nipped in the bud on the 21st Jan- 
uary by timely and drastic action on the part of the military authorities 
who punished 200 of the plotters. 

About the 28th of December 1914, letters were intercepted from one 
Kasim Mansur, a Gujerathi Muhammadan of Singapore, to his son in 
Rangoon. One of these letters forwarded an appeal to the Turkish 
Consul, Ahmad Mullah Daud, from the Malay States Guides, one of the 
two regiments in Singapore, informing him that the regiment was pre- 
pared to mutiny against the British Government and fight for the Turks, 
and requesting that a Turkish warship might be sent to Singapore. 
Information of this correspondence was given to the authorities at Singa- 
pore in time to enable them to transfer the Malay States Guides to an- 
other place before any mutiny occurred. The authorities were not, 
however, able to prevent a serious mutiny of the other Singapore regi- 
ment, the 5th Infantry, who had undoubtedly been contaminated by 
Muhammadan and Hindu conspirators belonging to the American Ghadr 
party. Some of these plotters soon after the Singapore mutiny found 
their way to Rangoon. Among them was one Mujtaba Husain alias 
Mul Chand, who had been a zilladar in the Court of Wards at Cawnpore 
and had absconded after having misappropriated Rs. 2,000. He then 
appears to have found his way to Manila, where he came in touch with 
the Ghadr party and then came to Singapore and helped to promote 
the mutiny. 

158. Meanwhile, AH Ahmad and Faim Ah had been forming a secret 
society among Muhammadans, whose object 
A secret society. ^^^g ^^ assis't in subverting British rule. They 

collected subscriptions amounting to Rs. 15,000, enhsted the services 
of the Head Master of the Memon Muhammadan School, employed a 
well-known smuggler to collect pistols and had rules framed with the 
object of preserving the secrets of their society. About the same time, 
i.e., early in 1915, certain members of the Ghadr party, named Hasan 
Khan and Sohan Lai Pathak, who had come from Bangkok into Burma 
over the Siamese frontier, rented a house, No. 16, Dufferin Street, 

170 



Rangoon, as the headquarters of their party and hired a post-box, No. 
340, for their correspondence in Rangoon. 

Information of the existence of a Ghadr plot in Rangoon was first 
obtained in April 1915, when a letter was intercepted in Singapore from 
Mujtaba Husain giving the number of the post-box. No. 340, in Rangoon. 
In the month of June a large batch of Ghadr hterature was found at 
Myawaddy in Burma, near the Siamese frontier, together with two 
letters addressed to Ali Ahmad and Faim Ah in Rangoon. 

The close connection between the Muhammadan and the Ghadr 
plotters thus becomes apparent. 

It is evident that at this time attempts were being made to tamper 
with the Military Police of Burma, a formidable force which numbers 
15,000 men and is recruited chiefly horn Sikhs and Punjabi Muham- 
madans. One of the letters found at No. 16, Dufierin Street, was 
addressed to a notorious Sikh Ghadrite from British Columbia, named 
Harnam Singh, under the fictitious name of Ishar Das, from the military 
Police Sikh temple in Moulmein asking Ishar Das for money. 

The Ghadr hterature seized at Myawaddy in June contained a leaflet 
reproduced locally by a Chinese process entitled " A Message of Love to 
Mihtary brethren," in which the native officers of the Mihtary Pohce 
were invited not to be tempted by medals and badges of slavery but to 
throw them away, wash out the old stains of servitude and adorn their 
breasts with the insignia of freedom. 

159. In the month of August, Sohan Lai Pathak, who was a direct 
emissary from the Ghadr headquarters in San 
"Ghadr" attempts to cause prancisco, met some men of the Mountain 
Battery stationed at Maymyo and harangued 
them on the folly of serving Government and endeavoured to seduce 
them from their allegiance. The men, however, proved loyal and their 
jemadar succeeded in capturing Sohan Lai, who had on his person three 
automatic pistols and 270 cartridges. He had with him also papers 
which included an article by the notorious Hardayal, a copy of the Jahan- 
i-Islam, several copies of a Fatwa appealing to the Faithful to destroy 
unbelievers, elaborate formulse for making explosives and a copy of the 
Ghadr paper. Five days later Narayan Singh, who had been travelhng 
with Sohan Lai, was captured in Maymyo with a fully loaded pistol, 
which he attempted to use against the police, a quantity of ammunition, 
copies of the Turkish Fatwa and a copy of the Ghadr. Narayan Singh 
had been employed on a railway in Siam and had come across the frontier 
from that State. 

This was not an isolated case of attempt to introduce mutiny and 
rebellion from the Siamese frontier. There is ample evidence that the 
Ghadr party in America, in conjunction with the Germans, intended 
to train Sikhs returning to India to the use of arms in places along the 
railway which was being built in Northern Siam in the direction of 
Burma largely by German engineers and Punjabi workmen, and to invade 
Burma and foment rebelhon by Indian troops and the Mihtary PoHce. 

171 



The story of these schemes and of their failure was investigated in the 
first conspiracy case in Mandalay, a number of conspirators were brought 
to justice and ptinished and fresh evidence was afforded of the activity 
of the Germans and the Ghadrites in Bangkok, indications of which 
had become apparent also in connection with other German schemes in 
the Far East. 

Shib Dayal Kapur, a Sikh returning from America by way of Shang- 
hai, was sent on to Bangkok by a German in Shanghai and put in touch 
with the German Consul at Bangkok, from whom he received money 
to finance the Sikhs entering Burma from Siam. He also received money 
for a Bengah lawyer of Bangkok to enable the latter to go to Calcutta 
and get in touch with the Bengah revolutionists in that place who were 
expecting to receive a large consignment of German arms somewhere 
in the Bay of Bengal. There is reason to beheve that 5,000 revolvers 
were expected. 

The Muhammadan Ghadr party at Rangoon are known to have 
planned a rising on the occasion of the Bahr-Id in October 1915, when 
Enghsh were to be killed " instead of goats and cows." The rising was, 
however, postponed until the 25th of December as their arrangements 
were not complete. During November a Ghadr plot in the Mihtary Pohce 
battahon at Pyawbwe was discovered and revolvers, dynamite and other 
things to be used in the mutiny were seized. Action was then taken 
under the rules under the Defence of India Act and the chief conspirators, 
including Muhammadans, were interned. Since then there has been no 
trouble in Burma. 



172 



CHAPTER XIV. 
A Muhammadan Current. 



160. Tlie Census figures of 1911 show tliat in India, on an average, 
of every ten persons seven are Hindus, two are 
Indian Muhamm^adans and Muhammadans, and one is a follower of some 
other religion. The Muhammadans are, how- 
ever, unevenly distributed ; in the North- West Frontier Province and 
in Baluchistan nine men out of every ten are Muslims, in the Punjab 
and Bengal every second man, in Bombay one man out of five, and in 
the United Provinces one man out of seven. British rule, however, 
followed closely on the decay of Muslim sovereignty ; and the political 
importance of Indian Muslims has always outweighed their actual num- 
bers. But in the early years of the new dispensation they were slow 
to appreciate the advantages of Western learning ; and when at last 
they realized that under Western administration this must be neces- 
sarily the way to ofifice and power they had lost considerable ground. 
Much of this ground, however, they succeeded in recovering ; and when 
the Morley Minto reforms of 1908 were carried into effect, representative 
Muhammadans took a distinguished place in the councils of the Indian 
Empire. 

Very few Muhammadans were in any degree concerned in any of the 
conspiracies described in our previous chapters ; and the 'only recent 
movement towards the forcible subversion of British rule which can be 
termed Muhammadan was isolated, weakly supported, and mainly due 
to the remarkable circumstances of present times. 

The sympathy of Indian Muslims with Turkey was noticeable as long 
ago as the Crimean War ; and, before the outbreak of the present gigan- 
tic struggle, had strengthened with improved communications f-and a 
wider interest in the world outside India. The feeling had been fanned 
by pan-Islamic influences to some of which we have referred in our 
chapter on the Punjab, by the war between Italy and Turkey, and by 
the events of the Balkan War. The British agreement with Russia 
regarding Persia was much disliked, and British inaction during the 
Balkan War was contrasted with Britain's championship of Turkey 
in former days. It was said by some that, unless the Imperial policy 
altered, the Muslim status in Asia and Europe would be permanently 
abased. The worst interpretation possible was placed by certain Muslim 
newspapers on all occurrences in or out of India which could be adduced 
in support of this theory. 

173 



When these things are remembered, it is evident that the choice 
which confronted zealous Muhammadans in November 1914 was one 
of some complexity. The declaration of war cdme from Turkey. But 
that pan-Isl^mism should find no expression in after events, that it 
should contribute no trouble of any kind could perhaps hardly be expect- 
ed. In the mass, Indian Muslims may justly claim credit for the part 
which they have played. This part has been prompted in some measure 
by the declaration which immediately followed the news of Turkey's 
entry into the arena, that the holy cities of Arabia and sacred shrines 
of Mesopotamia would not be attacked by Britain and her allies, so long 
as Indian pilgrims remained unmolested. And the loyal manifesto 
simultaneously published by His Exalted Highness the Nizam of Hydera- 
bad, premier ruling Chief of India, set a valuable example to his co- 
religionists. 

But among a small and vaguely defined group of fanatical Muham- 
madans there has been a desire to assist or join the enemies of England, 
a wish to substitute a new Islamic Empire for present British rule in 
India. This wish has borne fruit in proceedings which we will now 
describe. 

161. In independent territory across the border of the North- West 

Tu u- J .1 .. c *•— Frontier Province there is a small colony of 

The Hindustan fanatics. tt- t . • r ,- i ^ ,-, ^ c 

Hmdustam fanatics, who go by the name oi 

Mujahidin. The colony was founded by Saiyid Ahmad Shah, a native 
of Rai Bareli in Oudh and a fervent apostle in India of the Wahabi 
sect. Wahabis are an advanced division of the Sunnis, believers in 
the doctrines of Abdul Wahab, an Arab reformer of the eighteenth 
century, who taught literal interpretation of the Koran and rejection 
of all priestly forms, ceremonies and glosses on the Holy Writ. Saiyid 
Ahmad, who had begun life as a soldier of fortune, adopted Wahabi 
doctrines, visited Mecca in 1822, returned to India, where he acquired 
a following at various places in the Gangetic plain, and in 1824 appeared 
among the mountain tribes on the Peshawar border preaching a jihad 
or war against the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab. Together with hfe 
adherents, he founded a colony which, although small, has survived 
many vicissitudes and remains until now. It has frequently been assisted 
by recruits and funds from co-religionists in this country many of 
whom have lent their support to this colony as a purely religious institu- 
tion without enquiring into its political tendencies. Its members regard 
India as a land not governed by Muslims and therefore unfit for Muslim 
habitation, a land of the enemy (dar-id-Jiarb). They have always 
preached jihad. They have always kept in touch with, and drawn 
support from, a secret organization of friends in India. During the 
troubles of 1857 they w^ere joined by a number of mutineers and 
endeavoured unsuccessfully to bring about a general frontier attack. 
Later on they took part in various border wars, and in 1915 were con- 
cerned in the rising which led up to the engagements at Rustam and 
Shabkadr. Twelve of their number, dressed in the customary black 
robes, were found dead on the field after the latter. 

174 



162. In our chapter on the Punjab we mentioned that in February 
1915 fifteen Lahore students left their colleges 

"^"^ "Ifudelitl'!* ^^^^'^ ^^^ joi^e^ ^^^ Mujahidin, subsequently pro- 
ceeding to Kabul, where they were first placed 
in strict detention and afterwards released and allowed some freedom 
of movement under surveillance. Two have returned to India. Three 
were captured by the Eussians and made over to the British authorities. 
They expressed contrition for their behaviour and have received condi- 
tional pardon. The whole fifteen have been called by their admirers 
the Muhajirin (the persons who, following the example of the prophet 
Muhammad, have fled from their homes under oppression). We have 
read the statements of two of those who have returned. One was 
impressed by a printed tract with the idea that the Sultan of Turkey 
had proclaimed that it was feared that the British might attack and 
dishonour Mecca and Medina. Indian Muhammadans should there- 
fore rise and proceed to an Islamic country. They must unite in jihad 
against non-Muslims. The other student was equally stirred by the 
Sultan's proclamation and was offended by a picture in an English 
newspaper which he considered obnoxious to Islamic sentiment. Both 
had conceived the false idea that the Muhammadan religion was insulted 
and oppressed in India. 

16'''. Times like the present bring to the surface secret and long for- 
. . gotten currents. The flight of the fifteen students 

'^ ' ' from Lahore was a visible sign that there are 

in this country, as there were fifty years ago, a few Muhammadans who 
teach that the way of salvation lies in waging war against the infidel 
Government of India either personally or by recruiting for or sending 
money to the Mujahidin. This fact has been established by other 
evidence. In January 1917 it was discovered that a party of eight 
Muhammadans had joined the Mujahidin from the districts of Rangpur 
and Dacca in Eastern Bengal. In March 1917 two Bengali Muham- 
madans were arrested in the North-West Frontier Province with 
Rs. 8,000 in their possession which they were conveying to the fanatical 
colony. These two men had been for some time themselves Mujahidin 
and had been sent down to their native districts to collect subscriptions. 
The ground is prepared for such persons and their work is facilitated by 
false allegations of British oppression. They have helpers of a type that 
is not new but has for many years been generally lost to official sight. 
Various State trials of such helpers took place between the years 1864 
and 1872. In 1868 some Wahabi conspirators were interned under the 
provisions of Act III of 1818. The following passages from a book 
named " Our Indian Musalmans," published by the late Sir WilHam 
(then Mr.) Hunter of the Indian Civil Service, explain the circumstances 
of these internments : — " There can be no little doubt that had this Act 
been applied to the confederacy which the campaign of 1858 and the 
subsequent enquiries disclosed, British India would have been spared 
the Frontier War of 1863. A few well-aimed arrests would have saved 
us nearly a thousand soldiers killed or wounded in the Ambeyla Pass, 

1.76 



and many hundred thousand pounds. Even after that war, if the 
conspiracy which the State trial of 1864 brought to light had been broken 
up by a vigorous use of the power of arrest by the Executive, we should 
in all probability have been spared the campaign on the Black Moun- 
tain in 1868. . . . Costly wars on our Frontier, severe judicial 
sentences within our territory, had alike failed to put down the fanatical 
confederacy ; and in 1868 the Government at length resolved to vigor- 
ously enforce its power of arresting offenders. This measure could be 
carried out without risk of injury to the innocent. . . . Lists 
of the leading traitors^had for several years been in the hands of the 
authorities. The most conspicuous preachers of treason were appre- 
hended ; the spell which they had exerted on their followers was broken ; 
and by degrees a phalanx of testimony was gathered together against 
those more secret and meaner, although richer, traitors who managed the 
remittances, and who, Uke the Army contractors in the trial of 1864, 
carried on a profitable business as underwriters of treasonable risks." 
We find that the recorded proceedings of the Bengal Government for 
the year 1869 contain the abstracts of charges and grounds of detention 
in regard to each of these old internees. We quote a specimen extract. 
It relates to a certain Nazir Sirdar of the Malda district and discloses 
practices which are now rare but have not ceased to exist. The warrant 
for the detention of this man was issued on the 10th oi November 1868. 
The grounds for its issue were these : — " It was found that contributions 
were openly made in several villages contiguous to Kalleea Chuk in 
Maldah for a jihad or religious war against the English, with the intention 
of restoring the Muhammadan rule and driving the Kafir (English) from 
the country ; several persons were arrested, and witnesses were exam- 
ined by the Magistrate. The evidence showed that Nazir Sirdar was 
the leader of this movement ; that he had taken an active and prominent 
part for several years ; that he had induced several men to proceed on 
jihad to join the Hindustanees at Malka and Sittana ;' and that he and 
his agents had levied contributions from all Musalmans on account of 
jihad. The evidence also showed that Ibrahim Mandal was the head 
centre to whom Nazir sent all sums collected by him and his agents, 
and who received those contributions, avowedly to remit the same to 
the fanatics across the frontier." 

164. Favourers of the Mujahidin are few in number, but supply an 

essential link in a chain of communication which 

SDirators*' *'*"" *^® persons whom we shall here designate the 

" Silk Letter " conspirators have sought to 

establish with the MusHms of India. 

In August 1916 the plot known to Government as the " Silk Letters " 
case was discovered. This was a project hatched in India with the object 
of destroying British rule by means of an attack on the North-West 
Frontier, supplemented by a Muhammadan rising in this country. For 
the purpose of instigating and executing this plan a certain Maulvi 
Obeidulla crossed the North- West Frontier early in August 1915 with 
three companions, Abdulla, Fateh Muhammad and Muhammad Ali, 

179 



Obeidulla is a converted Sikh and had been trained a3 a Maulvi in the 
Muslim religious school at Deoband in the Saharanpur district of the 
United Provinces. There he infected some of the stafi and students 
with his own militant and anti-British ideas, and the principal person 
whom he influenced was Maulana Mahmud Hassan, who had long been 
head Maulvi in the school. Obeidulla wished to spread over India a 
pan-Islamic and anti-British movement through the agency of Maulvis 
trained in the famous Deoband school. But his plans were thwarted 
by the Manager and Committee, who dismissed him and some of his 
chief associates. There is evidence too that he got into trouble over 
some accounts. Maulana Mahmud Hassan, however, remained and 
continued to receive visits from Obeidulla. Secret meetings were held 
at the Maulana's house and it was reported that men from the frontier 
had been received there. On September the 18th, 1915, Mahmud 
Hassan, with a certain Muhammad Mian and other friends, followed 
Obeidulla's example by leaving India, not however for the North, but 
for the Hedjaz tract of Arabia. 

Before departing, Obeidulh had started a school in Delhi, and had 
put two books into circulation preaching militant fanaticism to Indian 
Muhammadans and impressing on them the supreme duty of jihad. 
The common object of this man and his friends, including the Maulana, 
was to promote a great Muslim attack on India which should synchronize 
with a MusHm rebellion. We shall see how each endeavoured to accom- 
plish his purpose. 

Obeidulla and his friends first visited the Hindustani fanatics and 
afterwards proceeded to Kabul. There he met the members of a Turco- 
German Mission with whom he fraternized ; and after some time he 
was joined by his Deoband friend, Maulvi Muhammad Mian Ansari. 
This man had accompanied Maulana Mahmud Hassan to Arabia and 
returned in 1916 with a declaration of jihad received by the Maulana 
from the hand of Ghahbpasha, then Turkish Mihtary Governor of the 
Hedjaz. While on his* way, Muhammad Mian distributed copies of 
this document, known as the "Ghalibnama," both in India and among 
the frontier tribes. Obeidulla and his fellow conspirators had devised 
a scheme for the provisional government of India after the overthrow 
of British power.* A certain Mahendra Pratap was to be President. 
This man is a Hindu of good family and eccentric character, who, at 
the end of 1914, was granted a passport to travel in Italy, Switzerland 
and France. He had gone straight to Geneva, had there met the notorious 
Hardayal and had been by Hardayal introduced to the German Consul. 
*He had then proceeded to Berlin and had thence been despatched on a 
'special mission, having apparently impressed the Germans with an 
exaggerated idea of his importance. 



* OboiduUa has thus been described by one who knew him well : " He was an extra- 
ordinary man for drawing up schemes, so that one would imagine he was ruler of a great 
empire, but when there was real work to be done he was lazy and indilTorent about doing 
anything himself." 

477 



OboiduUa himself was to be Minister of India, and BarkatuUa, a 
friend of Krishnavarma's and a member of tlie American Ghadr party, 
who had also travelled to Kabul via Berhn, was to be Prime Minister. 
Son of a servant of the Bhopal State, he had visited England, America 
and Japan. He had been appointed Professor of Hindustani at Tokio. 
He had there edited a bitter anti-British paper called " The Islamic 
Fraternity," which was suppressed by the Japanese authorities. He 
had later been dismissed from his appointment and had then joined his 
Ghadr friends in America. 

The Germans of the Mission, faihng to achieve their object, left 
Afghanistan early in 1916 ; but the Indians remained and the " Provi- 
sional Government " despatched letters to both the Governor of Russian 
Turkestan and the then Czar of Russia inviting Russia to throw over 
her alhance with Great Britain and assist in the overthrow of British 
iiile in India. These were signed by Mahendra Pratap and subsequently 
fell into British hands. The letter to the Czar was on a gold plate, 
a photograph of which has been shown to us. 

The " Provisional Government " also proposed to form an alliance 
with the Turkish Government, and in order to accomplish this object 
Obeidulla addressed a letter to his old friend, Maulana Mahmud Hassan 
This together with another letter dated the 8th Ramzan (9th July 1916), 
written by Muhammad Mian Ansari, he forwarded under a covering 
note addressed to Sheikh Abdur Rahim of Hyderabad, Sind, a person 
who has since absconded. Sheikh Abdur Rahim was requested in the 
note to send on the enclosures by the hand of some rehable hadji (pilgrim) 
to Mahmud Hassan at Mecca, or even to convey them himself if no 
trustworthy messenger were obtainable. We have ourselves seen the 
letters to Mahmud Hassan which came into British hands. They are 
neatly and clearly written on yellow silk. Muhammad Mian's letter 
mentioned the previous arrival of the German and Turkish missions, 
the return of the Germans, the staying on of the Turks, " but without 
work," the runaway students, the circulation of the " Ghahbnama/' 
the " Provisional Government," and the projected formation of an 
" army of God." This army was to draw recruits from India and to 
bring about an alliance among Islamic rules. Mahmud Hassan was 
to convey all these particulars to the Ottoman Government. 
Obeidulla's letter contained a tabular statement of the " army of God. " 
Its headquarters were^ to be at Medina, and Mahmud Hassan himself 
was to be general-in-chief . Secondary headquarters under local generals 
were to be established at Constantinople, Teheran and Kabul. The 
general at Kabul would be Obeidulla himself. The table contains the 
names of tliree patrons, 12 field marshals, and many other high mihtary 
officers. Of the Lahore students, one was to be a major-general, one a 
colonel, and six lieutenant-colonels. Most of the persons designated 
for these high commands cannot have been consulted as to their appoint- 
ments. But the whole information conveyed by the silk letters has 
rendered certain precautions advisable, and these have been taken. 

i78 



In December 1916 Maulana Malimud Hassan and four of his compan- 
ions fell into British hands. They are now prisoners of war interned in a 
British possession. Gihalib Pasha, the signer of the " Ghalibnama," 
is also a prisoner of war and has admitted signing a paper put before him 
by the Mahmud Hassan party. A translation of its prominent passages 
runs as follows : — " The Muhammadans in Asia, Europe and Africa 
adorned themselves with all sorts of arms and rushed to join the jihad 
in the path of God. Thanks to Almighty God that the Turkish Army 
and the Mujahidin have overcome the enemies of Islam. . '. . Oh 
Moslems, therefore attack the tyrannical Christian government under 
whose bondage you are. . Hasten to put all your efforts, with strong 
resolution, to strangle the enemy to death and show your hatred and 
enmity for them. It may also be known to you that Maulvi Mahmud 
Hassan Effendi (formerly at the Deoband Madrassa, India) came to 
us and sought our counsel. We agreed with him in 'this respect and 
gave him necessary instructions. You should trust him if he comes 
to you and help him with men, money and whatever he requires. 

165. The facts narrated in this chapter establish clearly the anxiety 
Conclusion ^^ some Muhammadan fanatics to provoke 

first sedition and then rebeUion in India. For 
the purpose of accomphshing their objects they seek to co-operate with 
the enemies of Britain. Their methods of waging war range from 
subterranean intrigue and propaganda to open defection. Sometimes 
they send recruits or collect and remit money. Sometimes they go 
themselves. Always they preach sedition. Against their designs the 
loyalty of the general Muslim community and the effective power of the 
Government are the only safeguards, 



t79 

n2 



CHAPTER XV. 
Summary of Conclusions. 



166. We have now investigatd all the conspiracies connected with 
the revolutionary movement. In Bombay they 

contpiracitt. TheS'fa/lure! ^^^^ ^^^^ purely Brahmin and mostly Chit- 
pa van. In Bengal the conspirators have been 
young men belonging to the educated middle classes. Their propaganda 
has been elaborate, persistent and ingenious. In their own province it 
has produced a long series of murders and robberies. In Bihar and 
Orissa, the United Provinces, the Central Provinces and Madras, it took 
no root, but occasionally led to crime or disorder. In the Punjab the 
return of emigrants from America, bent on revolution and bloodshed, 
produced numerous outrages and the Ghadr conspiracy of 1915. In 
Burma, too, the Ghadr movement was active, but was arrested. 

Finally came a Muhammadan conspiracy confined to a small clique 
of fanatics and designed to overthrow British rule with foreign aid. 

All these plots have been directed towards one and the same objective,, 
the overthrow by force of British rule in India. Sometimes they have 
been isolated ; sometimes they have been interconnected ; sometimes they 
have been encouraged and supported by German influence. All have 
been successfully encountered with the support of Indian loyalty. But 
it is not surprising that, in dealing with conspiracies so elusive and 
carefully contrived. Government has been compelled to resort to extra- 
ordinary legislation. In our next chapter we shall show why codes and 
procedure devised in less difficult times failed to meet the necessities 
of the situation created by some of the conspiracies which we have 
described. 



134 



y 



/ 



PART II 

Difficulties 

and 

Suggestions 



CHAPTER XVI. 

The difficulties that have arisen in dealing with the 
conspiracies. 

167. We have now to examine as regards India as a mIioIc the diffi- 
culties which have arisen in dealing with the 
Ss"e1f«VoSipowe«! conspiracies which we have described. This is 
not the same thing as examining the failure of 
the courts of justice in the punishment of crime, because the forces at 
the command of the Government have not b een limited to those provided 
and regulated by the Criminal Law. The powers conferred by Regula- 
tion III of 1818 have been in force throughout the whole existence of 
these conspiracies. Since March 1915 there hav^been the Defence of 
India Act and the Rules under it. The Foreigners Ordinance, 1914, 
and the Ingress into India Ordinance, 1914, were enacted early in the 
autumn of the preceding year. 

These powers have been largely used. In the Punjab a threatening 
situation was terminated in 1907 by the deportation under Regidation 
III of Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh. The much more ominous plots and 
disturbances connected with the returning Sikhs in 1914 and 1915 were 
crushed by extra-judicial measures and the ringleaders in outrage were 
tried and convicted under the Defence of India Act procedure. In a 
sense, therefore, difficulty has not been experienced in dealing with those 
conspiracies. The difficulties with reference to which we have to report 
are, however, those which would have arisen in the absence of such 
measures. They would have been grave indeed. 

In Bengal the revolutionary movement (which began earlier, was 
more fully organised and worked in soil better prepared than in the 
Punjab) increased and flourished continuously from 1907 to 1916. 
Though Pulin Behari Das was deported in December 1908 he was released 
in 1910 and for the next five or six years practically no extra-judicial 
methods were employed. Even after the enactment of the Defence of 
India Act in 1915, its provisions were at first but slightly used. The 
murder on the 30th June 1916 of Deputy Superintendent Basanta 
Chatarji marked the end of this policy. By this crime the revolutionaries 
were brought within sight of the reahsation of one of their prelmiinary 
objects, namely, the demoralisation of the poHce. The necessity of 
extraordinary measures could now no longer be denied, xlrrests and 
searches under the Defence of India Act and the confessions and revela- 
tions thereby obtained enabled the police to get inside the movement 
and the members of it have been gradually consigned to custody. In 

181 

/ 



this sense, therefore, the difficulty experienced in dealing with the con- 
spiracy in Bfengal has been from the middle of 1916 overcome. The 
preceding period of approximately ten years stands, however, as a period 
over which it is possible to study, unconfused by collateral influences, 
the contest between this class of crime and the criminal law of the Courts. 
•Still the period since June 1916 must not be wholly neglected. There 
have been outrages since that time, though they have diminished pro- 
gressively, but the Courts cannot be appealed to for want of evidence. 
One trial has, however, been proceeding at Alipore during our sittings 
and it will be hereafter again referred to. 

168. Since the year 1906 revolutionary outrages in Bengal have 

numbered 210 and attempts at committing such 
conviction in Benga!. outrages have amounted to 101. Definite in- 
formation is in the handn of the police of the 
complicity of no less than 1,038 persons in these offences. But of these, 
only 84 persons have been convicted of specified crimes in 39 prosecu- ^ 
tions, and of these persons, 30 were tried by tribunals constituted under 
the Defence of India Act. Ten attempts have been made to strike at 
revolutionary conspiracies by means of prosecutions directed against 
groups or branches. In these prosecutions 192 persons were involved, 
63 of whom were convicted.* Eighty-two revolutionaries have rendered 
themselves liable to be bound over to be of good behaviour under the 
preventive sections of the Criminal Procedure Code. In regaril to 51 
of these, there is direct evidence of complicity in outrages. There have 
moreover, been 59 prosecutions under the Arms and Explosives Acts 
which have resulted in convictions of 58 persons. 

169. The main reason why it has not been possible by the ordinary 

machinery of the criminal law to convict and 

Reasons for failure of ordi- imprison on a larger scale those guilty of out- 
nary machinery in Bengal. ^ , , ° . . P .-^ . , 
(a) Want of evidence. rages and so put down crime is simply want oi 

sufficient evidence. There have been 91 dacoi- 

ties since 1907, of which 16 were accompanied by murder, and from 

January 1st, 1915, to June 30th, 1916, there were 14 murders, 8 of them 

being of police officers, for which it has not been possible to put anyone 

upon trial. This difficulty in obtaining legal evidence has been no 

doubt greatly enhanced by terrorism, as we shall show. But apart 

from that, the inherent difficulties are formidable. With regard to 

the country districts, it is necessary to bear in mind that in spite of 

some increases the constabulary is still practically limited to what was 

found necessary to maintain order among peaceable peasantry. The 

organisation is briefly as follows : — 

For the purpose of the investigation of crime the geographical unit 
(b) Paucity of police. ^^^^ ^® taken to be the police-station. A police- 
station in Bengal has an average area of 110 
square miles, but many of them have more than 250 square miles and 

* See AttUQxur e (2) 



some as many as 500. There is sometimes only one investigating officer 
attached to a police-station, though in most cases he has two or more 
additional officers to assist. The investigating officers hold the rank of 
Sub- Inspector and are Indians. 

There is a stgifit of constables, numbering generally from 6 to 18 
attached to each police-station. These men are almost all illiterate and 
are not employed in investigation work. Their duties are merely routine, 
confined to such work as the execution of warrants, patrol, and escort 
of prisoners. 

Besides the regular police there is in each village a local watchman, 
known as " chaukidar," paid for by the villagers. He is not a whole- 
time servant, is usually a cultivator, and wholly illiterate. His primary 
function is to keep watch and ward and report matters of interest occur- 
ring in his village to the officer in charge of the police-station. His 
remuneration averages from Rs. 4 to Rs. 5 per mensem. In some districts 
he is subordinate to the District Magistrate, and in others to the Superin- 
tendent of Police. Groups of chaukidars, numbering about 15, work 
under a dafadar, who is supposed generally to superintend their 
work. 

It is to be remembered that the districts in which the police above 
described have to do their work consist of 
(C) aci ^^?^jj^|"J°^* y scattered villages often accessible during the 
rains in Eastern Bengal by water only. An 
armed band coming from a distance suddenly attacks a house or houses 
in one of these villages. The members of the gang have their faces 
covered with masks. They make a reckless use of firearms to keep the 
villagers at a distance and then depart. They have generally cut the 
telegraph wires, if any. When perhaps after many hours or even several 
days an officer of experience reaches the spot he can collect no evidence 
satisfactorily identifying anyone as involved in the crime, and, unless 
one of the gang has been wounded and captured or it has been possible 
to cut them ofi in their retreat, no clue is obtained. As a rule the dacoits 
easily make their way by twos and threes to the centre from which they 
set out. 

With regard to outrages in towns the character of the irregular 
streets with their open-fronted shops and dwelhngs must be borne in 
mind. And it must be realised that the Bengali dress with the loose 
shawl thrown over the shoulders and coming down over the hands in 
front makes it easy to carry imdetected even a heavy pistol like a Mauser 
in a way that would be impossible to a man in European clothes. 

Another difficulty is this. Where incriminating articles such as 

arms or docmnents are found it is often hard 

possession of '"arms? etc. ^^ ^^j^ ^^me the possession to any particul&r 

individuals. This occurs where the same 

premises are occupied jointly by undivided familes, or even where a 

house or garden i& used as a mess or meeting place for a number of youths, 

m 



The latter difficulty is illustrated by the following passages from the 
judguieut of the Sessions Judge of Dacca in the Adabari arms affair: — 

'' 1 hold it safe to infer that there was a close connection between the young 
men seen running away and the arms found, and that the garden was used as a 
meeting place for young men banded together for an illegal purpose. I also think 
it safe to infer that the appellants were members of thLs band. But I do not think 
it safe to infer that every member of the band had control of the arms and ammuni- 
tion concealed in the garden. Unless this inference can be drawn the charge against 
the appellants has not been established. . . . There is no evidenoe of the 
appellants being leading members of the band. . . . From Lakhan chaukidar's 
evidence it appears that the teacher called Sarada was their captain, who used to 
teach them lathi play For the reasons stated I hold that it had not been proved 
that the appellants had the revolvers and ammunition in their possession or under 
their control." 

It is also true that evidence as to identity has in practice to be over- 
whelming. Having regard to the difficulties 
(e) Distrust of evidence, to which we have adverted, it is possible 
that the principle is a sound one. The same may perhaps be said of 
the feeling which seems to pervade these trials that there is but a slight 
presumption that a Avitness, how^ever serious his testimony, is telling 
the truth. Indeed, even where a prisoner has confessed before a Magis- 
trate in a way that makes his statement evidence under the Indian 
Evidence Act, it is common for his advocate at the trial formally and 
seriously to " retract " the statement for him. This is treated as making 
some difference. Even this may be a sound practice. But if it is, it 
only shows how difficult it is to establish anything. 

In many of the cases where no one has been brought to justice we 

think the information now before us shows 

(?) Confessions largely beyond any reasonable moral doubt at least 

some of the guilty parties. This is because w^e 

ha\c now so many converging though independent indications. Yet 

we recognise that a prosecution would probably fail. The position 

is a curious one. Confessions made to the police are not evidence. 

As a corollary to this there is no objection to the police questioning 

8U8})ects mthout a caution, nor any disadvantage in answering. The 

result is that the facts are known because they cannot be proved. 

170. To illustrate the difficulty of obtaining reliable legal evidence 
even where the story of the crime is from a 
ASan"'street*dacoity! P^^^^ical point of view known to a certainty, 
we will examme the case oi the Armenian 
Street dacoity committed in Calcutta at about 9 p.m. on the 7th May 
1917. This case possesses many features favouring the discovery of 
the, crime and its ruthless cruelty should make it probable that any who 
could assist the police would come forward to do so. It will be remem- 
bered that five eye-witnesses of the occurrence survive, namely, the 
two servants (both wounded) of the proprietors, who were both killed, 
and two women and one Muhammadan who were in the shop as customers 

184 



i'urfclier, the dacoifcs went away in a taxi-cab, from which after going 
some distance they took out one of their number who had been badly 
wounded, shot him and left his body upon the ground. These are, 
therefore, important clues. Now we have carefully examined the 
materials collected by the police, and the following is what is available. 
The murdered dacoit has been independently identified by a neighbour 
from his own village. !From papers and statements obtained by the 
police in searches in connection with their investigations of a previous 
crime, 'it was known that he belonged to a certain gang, but these docu- 
ments and statements cannot be made legal evidence against the indivi- 
duals in the gang on a charge of committing this dacoity. Ten members 
of this gang have by degrees been arrested, and all except three have 
admitted their guilt to police officers of standing. Two of those who 
have made no statements have, however, wounds upon them described 
by other prisoners as received by them in the com'se of the dacoity. 
The taxi-cab driver came forward but, though he admits witnessing the 
murder of the dacoit and washing blood from the car, he said nothing 
about it for a week, and spoke only when he thought he might be found 
out. His story varies and he obviously was an accomplice. He has 
identified as one of the dacoits one of the prisoners in custody who, as 
above mentioned, has made no statement, but at the same time he 
identified as another dacoit a perfectly innocent member of the public 
brought in for the purpose of the identification parade. 

The taxi-cab was engaged by a man who has also been found. This 
man was on the car throughout and is also an accomplice, though he 
did not take part in the actual dacoity. He says he recognises the 
photograph of the murdered dacoit and also that of another of the gang. 
He was employed to hire the car by another man, who has also been 
found, and admits that he procured the engagement of the car knowing 
it was for a dacoity. The two wounded servants at the shop and the 
three customers say they could not identify any of the dacoits. It 
will be remembered that two of the customers fled, the other, a woman, 
hid under a bench and the two servants fell wounded at the commence- 
ment of the attack. One of the servants, however, thinks he recognises 
the photograph of the murdered dacoit as that of a youth who was 
loitering near the shop earlier in the day. 

The upshot of the whole matter is that there is no untainted evidence 
against any one. 

Another illustration that may be given is the Bhowanipore murder. 

This is the outrage of the 30th June 1916, 

(S) Th« Bhowanipore mur- ^j^^^^^ mentioned as finally demonstrating 

the necessity of recourse to exceptional measures. 

A senior Deputy Superintendent of Police and his orderly, a head 
constable, were proceeding home on bicycles near the Presidency Hospital, 
when five youths armed with pistols attacked them in broad daylight. 

185 



At that time in the evening the roads of that neighbourhood are filled 
with trafl&c, although the particular cross-road of about a quarter of 
a mile in length on which the murder was actually committed carries 
comparatively little. On one side of this cross-road is an open plot of 
land on which a crowd of Bengali youths were playing football. The 
scene of the crime is only about 100 yards from one of the main thorough- 
fares. 

The Deputy Superintendent was shot dead with nine wounds on 
his person, one of which was in the head. The head constable was 
seriously wounded and subsequently succumbed to his injuries in hos- 
pital. Both the Deputy Superintendent and his orderly were armed, 
but the suddenness of the attack afforded them no opportunity of using 
their weapons as they were cycling at the time. 

After the outrage, the culprits escaped in the direction of a main 
thoroughfare to the east of the scene. They were challenged by a 
constable on point duty in the vicinity and fired at him. They then 
escaped through a small bye-lane into a thickly populated Indian quarter. 
They were dressed in ordinary clothes as worn by average Bengalis 
of that class and there was therefore nothing by which to identify them 
after they had got clear away from the iinmediate vicinity of the crime. 

The police investigation on the spot gave no hope of identifying 
the culprits. The only evidence available was that of the wounded 
head constable who stated in hospital that he would be able to identify 
two of the 3^ouths, whom he described as wearing respectively a white 
Bhirt and a striped coat. 

The nature of the crime itself provided no clue as to the particular 
section of the revolutionary party responsible, as many sections were 
knewn to have conspired or attempted to murder this officer previously* 

The general statements of individuals arrested in Bengal shortly 
after the outrage showed clearly that this crime w^s the work of the 
Dacca Anusilan Samiti, without however indicating the particular 
persons responsible for it. 



lad 



*• ♦ 



♦ ♦ ♦ * 



If the above synopsis is closely followed, it will be seen that of five 
persons captured at different times each states that he and the other 
four were the actual murderers and there is a good deal of concurrent 
information as to some at any rate of their confederates. Still there is 
no evidence justifying a prosecution. 

The two crimes we have just dealt with|^ occurred in 1916 and 1917, 
respectively, when the police had the experience of ten years behind . 
them. Both crimes were committed in the streets of Calcutta. 

171. We have endeavoured to set forth some of the difficulties attend- 
ing the enforcement of the criminal law in these 
Terrorism. cases. They have been enhanced by other 

causes and chiefly by terrorism. This began with the murder of Narendra 
Gosain, than which it would be hard to imagine a more telling act of 
vengeance. The murder of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy in April 1908 was 
the first great blow struck by these revolutionaries. The Alipore prosecu- 
J,ion was the reply, and the approver in that proseaution was killed 
before the trial, and killed even in the gaol. A leaflet of the SwadJmi 
Bharat series thus comments upon this achievement : — 

" When, coming to know of the weakness of Narendra, who, roused by a new 
impulse, had lost his self-control, our crooked-minded merchant rulers were pre- 
paring to hurl a terrible thunderbolt upon the whole country, and when the great 
hero Kanailal, after having achieved success in the effort to acquire strength, in 
order to give an exhibition of India's unexpected strength, wielding the terrible 
thunderbolt of the great magician, and making every chamber in the Alipore Jail 
quake, drew blood from the breast of the traitor to his country, safe in a British 
prison, in iron chains, surrounded by the walls of a prison, then indeed the English 
realised that the flame which had been lit in Bengal had at its root a wonderful 
strength in store. . . .'' 

A newspaper, the Bande Matarmn, openly sold, said this in its issue 
of the 12th September 1908 :— 

*' Kanai has killed Narendra. No more shall the wretch of an Indian who 
kisses the hands of his companions reckon himself safe from the avenging hand. 
The first of the Avenger's history shall write of Kanai and from the moment he 
fired the fatal shot the spaces of his country's heaven have been ringing with the 
echo of the voice ' Beware of the traitor's fate.' " 

It is not necessary to recapitulate the further murders and attempted' 
murders of officers, witnesses and suspected backsliders which have 
been already narrated as occurring in the succeeding years. The terro- 
ristic influences at work were recognised by Magistrates and Judges, 
as can be shown from recorded cases. 

(a) The commitment order in the Nangla conspiracy case dated 

June 2nd, 1910, contains the following sent- 

(a) Nangla case. ^j^^^g ._<c rpj^^ ^^^^ ^j^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ majority 

of the witnesses was one of the notable features of the case. It was 
obvious that many of them only spoke with reluctance, while a consider- 
able number showed such extreme nervousness at the sight of the accused 
when shown them for identification, that they made not the faintest 
effort to identify any of them, and exhibited only a great anxiety to 

188 



escape at the earliest possible moment. The demeanour of the witnesses 
was a striking testimony to the terror which the gang had inspired," 

(b) In the Barisal conspiracy case, the District Magistrate recorded 

the following order on the 27th of June 1913 : — 
(D) Barisal case. u ^ week or so before the commencement of 

the case, I decided, in consultation with Mr. AVebb, the Additional 
Superintendent of Police, to separate from the other political under- 
trials as many of the ringleaders as we could find accommodation for 
elsewhere. Our object was to lessen the chances of the under-trials 
conspiring against the lives of the two confessing accused. . 
It is well known that some of the accused would gladly assassinate 
Girindra and Kajani if they could, and' some of them have even made 
open signs to the informers indicating a desire to shoot them." 

(c) Baman Chandra Chakrabarti, an accused in the Madaripur con- 

spiracy case, appealed to the High Court 
(c) Madaripur case. against a conviction of criminal intimidation 
under section 506, Indian Penal Code, and an order binding him over 
to keep the peace. This appeal was dismissed with the following observa- 
tions from the Judges : — "The offence of criminal intimidation has been 
amply proved by evidence wtoch cannot be doubted. The only thing 
that we have to consider is the sentence. . . . It is common 
knowledge that many assassinations, murders and bomb-throwing 
Outrages have taken place and are still taking place, and that the victims 
generally have been persons assisting in Crown prosecutions, for instance, 
enquiring officers and approvers. In the present case the complainant 
was a witness who had come to give evidence against the present accused 
and his co-accused, and he was threatened in the manner already stated. 
. We have been informed by the learned Deputy Legal 
Remembrancer that the Faridpur conspiracy failed becanse of the 
reluctance of witnesses to give evidence on behalf of the prosecution. 
Mercy cannot be shown to persons who threaten witnesses who have come 
forward to state what they knew. Assassinations and murders must 
be put down with a strong hand. For these reasons we decline to 
interfere." 

(d) On the 18th of September 1915, the Special Pommissioners 

., who tried the case of King-Emperor versus 

(d) Ganguiiscase. g-^-^ ^^^^^^ GanguU under section 395 of the 

Penal Code (dacoity) remarked in their judgment : — '' It should be 
observed that during the investigation of the case Murari Mitra, whose 
son, Prabash, is an important witness and who himself is said to have 
rendered active assistance to the police was murdered in his house on 
the 25th of August. This, no doubt, is responsible for the fact that 
several witnesses have resiled from the statements which they made 
before the police, and in our opinion must add considerable value to the 
evidence of those witnesses who have had the courage to adhere to their 
statements." 

m 



{e) A letter exhibited in the Barsal conspiracy case and accepted 

by the Court indicates the methods employed 

(•) Barisal case aeain. ^^ ^^^ terrorists. We may quote a "few 

extracts : — " To one crowned with victory — The notice, etc., asked for 
by you will soon be sent. You should preach to the best of your abilities 
the idea among the students so that they may not waste to no purpose 
their time during the vacation. . . . You should first win over 
by sweet words the boy of your place about whose character you have 
written and keep him neutral, and if he proves a particular source of 
harm extreme measures should be adopted in his case so as to leave 
no clue." 

(/) The Commissionei's who tried the Sibpur dacoity case, in their 
judgment delivered on the 15th February 

(I) Sibpur dacoity. -^^^g^ observe: 'lln cases of this description 

of a so-called political character, the bulk of the witnesses are reluctant 
to assist the police by coming forward and stating what they know." 

{g) Mr. N. Gupta, a Counsel of considerable experience in-trials of 

revolutionary offences, in a memorandum fur- 

(g) IVIr. Gupta^s memoran- ^^^-^^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^^^ . u j ^^^^ ^^^^^i noticed 

that in several cases the witnesses have been 
seized with trembling when they went up to the dock to identify the 
accused persons." 

172. The opportunity for exercising terrorism is increased by the 
remarkable length of trials in India. All 

Length Of tria . conspiracy cases are necessarily long, as a 

large number of people have to be separately connected with the offence 
charged and each overt act has t5 be proved as a separate case. A 
large number of witnesses must therefore be called. The defences of 
the individuals may be all separate. But all cases in India seem to 
be protracted by the multitude of points taken and by the cross-examina- 
tion upon every sort of collateral matter 'of every witness, however 
unimportant, to a degree unknown in England. A few instances may 
indicate the time it takes to dispose of a criminal case, though it is right 
to add that many of the cases to be cited would have been much more 
speedily dealt with had the prosecution not included more prisoners 
than were ultimately convicted, and extended their evidence to collateral 
matters really outside the course of proof. We may here point out 
that the preparation of a complicated criminal case demands very careful 
consideration by experienced lawyers. In England such cases absorb 
the energies of a large and able staff. In Bengal there is nothing to 
compare with it and it is no reflection upon the officers who have to do 
this work without the necessary training to say that the cases are not 
always presented as they should be. 

In the Alipore conspiracy case, arrests were made on the 2nd, 
3rd, 5th and 10th of May 1908. Proceedings \Yere instituted in the 

190 



Magistrate's Court on the 18th of the same month. He framed charges 
on the 19th of August. The trial before the Sessions Judge lasted 
from the 19th of October 1908 to the 4th of March 1909, and judgment 
was deHvered on the 6th of May 1909. 

In the Nangla conspiracy case arrests were made on the 11th of 
April 1910 ; proceedings commenced before the Magistrate on the 14th 
idem. The accused were committed to a special Bench of the High Couri 
under Act XIV of 1908, and judgment was delivered on the 30th of August 
1910. 

In the Howrah conspiracy case proceedings commenced before the 
Magistrate on the 23rd of March 1910, the accused were committea 
to the High Court on the 20th of July 1910, and judgment was dehvered 
on the 19th of April 1911. 

In the Dacca conspiracy case the case opened before the Magistrate 
on the 1st of August 1910. It was committed to the Sessions on the 
22nd of November 1910, and judgment was deUvered by the Sessions 
Court on the 7th of August 1911. 

In the Barisal supplementary conspiracy case the accused were 
first produced before the Magistrate on the 20th of September 1914 
His commitment order is dated March the 25th, 1915, and the Sessions 
Court dehvered judgment on the 29th of November 1915. 

In the Raja Bazar bomb case the accused were produced before a 
Magistrate on the 19th of December 1913, and judgment was dehvered 
by the Sessions Court on June the 4th, 1914. 

As a final illustration of what can be achieved in the protraction of 
proceedings we will refer to a trial which began at AUpore on the 2nd 
January last, judgment at the moment of writing standing reserved. 
In August 1916 a body with the features of the face obliterated by acid 
was found in a passenger compartment of a train which had started 
from Calcutta. A man who had been associating with revolutionaries 
and giving information to the poUce was missed about the same time. 
The case for the prosecution has been that a gang of five strangled this 
man in a lonely garden, put acid on his face, packed his body in a trunk, 
took it to the station in two hackney carriages (changing en route) and 
put it in the railway carriage as found. The trial has lasted 63 days, 
though no witnesses were called for the defence. The;^ learned counsel 
for one of the accused addressed the Court for 20 days. 

It must be remembered that in the course of these proceedings 
witnesses for the Crown have to give their evidence first before a Magis- 
trate. Even that part of the proceedings may take weeks, during which 
the witnesses in waiting can be threatened. Then there is a long interval 
before they are called again at the trial. During this period they maj 
be further threatened or they may partially forget the facts and develop 
discrepancies. They are not as a rule well-educated men, nor do they 
possess exact habits of mind. They have no intellectual predisposition 
to firmness in testimony nor much sense of the duty, as touching 
themselves, of co-operating in the repression of crime. 

191 



The figures quoted at the outset of this chapter of this report indicate 
that a great number of guilty persons escaped punishment, and we have 
set forth some reasons to account for their doing so. This, however, is 
only one way of looking at the matter. By our Terms of Reference we 
are required to consider the difficiilties experienced in dealing with 
these conspiracies. 

173. Now crime is not satisfactorily dealt with, however certainly its 
commission may be followed by punishment, 
'trins°Snd**pSenw 0?" ^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^ checked thereby. We should there- 
crime, fore have liked to have taken the statistics year 
by year and set forth the relation between the 
convictions and the volume of crime in the succeeding period. This , 
would have been a most informing statement. We have found it, how- 
ever, impossible to present it either in chart, tabular or narrative form, 
so as to be at once just and clear. The convictions are often so long after 
the ofience and acquittals are so numerous, that as regards their deter- 
rent or preventive influence the proceedings cannot be assigned either 
a date or a value. On the other hand the continuing crime cannot be 
correctly appraised either by the number of cases or the property or 
life lost. It would be necessary to look at the facts of the outrages 
separately. We must, therefore, consider this aspect of the matter 
broadly, and the conclusion we come to is that the convictions which did 
take place did not have as much effect as imight have been expected in 
repressing crime. It must be remembered that the murder of Mrs. and 
Miss Kennedy in April 1908, which was the first great outrage, was 
promptly punished by the execution of one murderer, while the other 
only escaped by suicide on arrest. Further, this outrage was at once 
followed by the raids on the Maniktala Garden and other revolutionary 
premises, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of about 40 persons. 
Many of these were no doubt acquitted, but that was not till months (in 
the case of those acquitted on appeal not till nearly two years) after- 
wards. In the meantime the arrests must have been a great blow to the 
revolutionaries, and it did, as we beheve, check crime. But this was 
only for a time. The conspiracy soon revived. A vendetta was com- 
menced by the murder of the approver, Naren Gosain, in September 
1908, and of Ashutosh Biswas, the Public Prosecutor, in January 1909. 
Ultimately, in 1915 and 1916, outrage reached its highest point. As 
the result of more successful prosecutions some wretched boys of ill- 
balanced mind might have been transported or executed, but the men 
behind them, faithful to the principles of these organisations, do not 
show themselves, and it is only where there has been a successful raid 
upon premises, which can be proved by what is found to be the seats of 
sedition, and where it is possible by the circumstances of their arrest or 
otherwise to show the connection of leaders with these premises, that a 
conviction of such men can be secured. If they are not convicted, the 
movement is not checked. The murder of Deputy Superintendent 
Shams-ul-Alam on the steps of the High Court is a case in point. The 
youth who shot him was hanged, but the day before his execution he 

192 

/ 



told the story of his perversion.* The real criminal responsible for this 
boy's act was Jatin Mukharji, who lived for six years to corrupt more 
youths, till he wa"> kilUed in the Balasore affray in 1915. Even if, 
however, more ringleaders had been convicted and the movement thereby 
checked to the extent of the termination of their individual activities, 
we doubt if it would have had much moral eSect in the right direction. 
An unscrupulous Press, combined with the Samiti organi ations, had 
done their work too well. 

This is the real explanation of much that has happened. It goes a 
long way to explain the unwillingness and timidity of witnesses, to which 
we have already drawn attention, and it accounts for the state of feeUng 
and the habit of association which kept up the supply of desperate 
youths. 

174. The Press Law as it stood before 1908 was wholly insufficient for 
. . the emergency which had arisen. The Jugantar 
«i?Revo^utiXa?y' Press* began publication in 1906, and in the person of 
its printer or publisher was successfully prose- 
cuted five times between June 1907 and June 1908. But the im- 
prisonment of the individual produced no effect. Each time a new 
printer or publisher was found. There was no provision for forfeiture 
of ths press and thj paper went o i ag before. Its sale was so great, 
that, as the Chief Justice pointed out, the crowds seeking to purchase 
it formed an obstruction in the street. When upon the murder 
of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy in 1908 the Government became convinced 
that the law required strengthening and carried the Newspapers 
(Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908, and later in the year, the 
Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, the conspiracy had enjoyed two 
years' start. " The seeds of its wickedness," said His Excellency the 
Viceroy, in speaking upon the first Bill, " have been sown amongst a 
strangely impressionable and imitative people — seeds that have been 
daily nurtured by a system of seditious writing and seditious speaking 
of unparalleled violence, vociferating to beguiled youth that outrage is 
the evidence of patriotism and its reward a martyr's crown." The 
Newspapers (Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908, dealt however only with 
,./::,, 1 

* Extracts from confession voluntarily made by Birendra Datta Gupta to the Chief 
Presidency Magistrate : — " I was introduced to a gentleman named Jatindra Nath 
Mukharji of 273, Upper Chitpur Road, by a boy named Jnanendra Nath Mitra in the 
month of September. . . By reading the Jugantar I got a very strong wish to do 
brave and violent works, and I asked Jatin Mukharji to give me work at 275, Chitpur 
Road. He told me about the shooting of Shams-ul-Alam, Deputy Superintendent, 
who conducted the bomb case, and he ordered a boy named Satish Chandra to make 
arrangements for this case. I asked Jatin for such works, and he asked me whether I 
shall be able to shoot Shams-ul-Alam. I answered that I will be able." Deponent went 
on to describe the murder and ended : " I make this statement so as not to injure Jatin 
but as I have come to understand th&t anarchism will not benefit our country, asd the 
leaders who are now blaming me, now thinking the deed that of a head-cracked boy, to 
show them that I alone am not responsible for the work. There are many men behind 
me and Jatin, but I do not wish to give their names in this statement. The leade:s who 
are now blaming me should be kind enough to come forward and guide boys like me in 
the good ways." 

193 

o2 



newspapers and then only when they incited to murder or to any offence 
under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908, or to any act of violence. In 
1910, a more comprehensive measure, the Indian Press Act, 1910, was 
carried. In the meantime, though the Jugantar had disappeared, other 
newspapers continued to vilify the British regime, and pamphlets of the 
most fanatical and bloodthirsty character were circulated. We are con- 
vinced that these publications produced ever a new succession of in- 
struments of murder and outrage, and that to this source, independently 
altogether of the failure to secure convictions for committed crimes, is 
largely due the continuance and extension of the conspiracy. " These 
things," said the Government Member moving the Bill which became 
the Act of 1910, " are the natural and ordinary consequence of the teach- 
ings of certain journals. They have prepared the soil on which anarchy 
flourishes ; they have sown the seed, and they are answerable for the 
crop. This is no mere general statement ; the chain of causation is 
clear. Not only does the campaign of violence date from the change in 
tone of the Press, but specific outbursts of incitement have been followed 
by specific outrages." 



194 



CHAPTER XVII. 

The Legislation Required. 

175. The last part of our task is to advise as to the legislation, if 
Position when present ^^7' necessary to enable Government to deal 

special^ legislation lapses effectively with the difficulties that have arisen 
incalculable. ^^ dealing with conspiracies. 

This as expressed appears to us to be applicable to the state of cir- 
cumstances under which the difficulties referred to were encountered. 
These difficulties have, however, been circumvented for the time 
being by special temporary legislation and they have not been in oper- 
ation at the time of our inquiry. When this legislation lapses, circum- 
stances may have altered and the position may be better or worse. We 
do not think it is for us to speculate nicely on these matters. We must 
of course keep in view that the present war will have come to an end, 
but we cannot say with what result or with what ulterior consequential 
effects or possibilities of consequential effects upon the situation. On 
the other hand, the persons interned under the Defence of India Act 
will be due for release and the terms of imprisonment of many dangerous 
convicts will be coming to an end. Further, there will, especially in the 
Punjab, be a large number of disbanded soldiers, among whom it may 
be possible to stir up discontent. Nevertheless, if we thought it clear 
that the measures taken against the revolutionary movement under the 
Defence of India Act had so broken it that, the possibihty of the con- 
spiracies being revived could be safety disregarded, we should say so. 
That is not our view and it is on this footing ihat we report. We must 
explain that we have not sought to draft legislative proposals. We only 
-suggest lines on which we think they might be formulated. 

Before going further we think we ought to notice briefly the opinions 
and proposals which the difficulties of the 10 years covered by our in- 
vestigation have elicited. 

Though Pulin Behari Das and others were deported under Regulation 
III of 1818 from December 1908 to January 1910, further recourse to 
these powers was not thought desirable. 

176. During 1911, 1912 and 1913, in view of the failure of the Howrah 

gang case, various proposals for preventive 

Fast ^IPJ'^^ll^^lJl^^"^^- legislation were discussed. It was mooted that 

the Criminal Tribes Act, 1911, might be utiUsed. 

It became apparent, however, that inasmuch as that measure depended 

for its application on the existence of a class of persons which could be 

195 



defined for the purpose, it was of no practical use for the emergency 
under consideration. Other proposals were that there should be an 
extension of the binding down procedure provided for by section 108 
and the succeeding sections of the Criminal Procedure Code to persons 
suspected of being dangerous revolutionaries or that an enactment should 
be introduced providing on the lines of section 565 of the Criminal Pro- 
cedure Code that a court should be empowered to make an order for 
police supervision involving reporting to the police in cases of persons 
who had been bound over or (as an alternative proposal) in lieu of such 
binding over. It was contemplated that under such procedure evidence 
of reputation should be admissible. These discussions in their later 
stages had to take note of the revelations brought about by the searches 
at Dacca and Comilla in 1912. 

In 1913 occurred the discoveries in the Raja Bazar case, when secret 
literature pointing to a widely spread seditious movement was brought 
to light and materials for the manufacture of bombs of the type already 
used in other provinces as well as in Bengal were found. The position 
at the end of 1913 was universally regarded as a very dangerous one, 
and in April 1914 the Government of India and the Government of 
Bengal agreed in the opinion that recourse would have to be had in 
regard to a limited number of persons to Regulation III of 1818 but 
that by way of safeguard the cases should be examined by a judicial 
body and that the incarceration involved should not be in a jail. The 
discussion of measures for the introduction of police surveillance was 
also continued. We do not think it worth while to pursue further the 
details of these discussions because various difficulties were found and 
no satisfactory scheme was evolved. What we do desire to lay stress 
on is that early in 1914, that is to say, before the war and befere the 
theft of Messrs. Rodda's arms, it was recognised that the forces of law 
and order working through the ordinary channels were beaten. We are 
convinced that that was the state of affairs even at that date. 

Acting upon this view the Government of India submitted a number 
of names to a committee of three gentlemen (one an Indian) consisting 
of two actual and one former High Court Judges. They reported that 
they were convinced, though they had not confined themselves to legal 
evidence, that 24 persons were members of and had taken and were 
likely to take a lively part in promoting a widespread conspiracy in 
Eastern and Western Bengal, the object of which was to overawe and 
subvert the Government. This committee acted on the same class of 
evidence with regard to the individual cases as we have considered for 
an inquiry of less nicety, namely, the appreciation of the general situation 
both at that time and since. They were impressed with its cogency just 
as we have been. In August 1914 the war broke out, the Foreigners 
Ordinance and the Ingress into India Ordinance were passed immediately, 
and the Defence of India Act and Rules came into force early in 1915. 
This legislation, together with Regulation III of 1818, has sufficed for 
present needs, since being put into full operation after the murder of 
Deputy Superintendent Basanta Chatarji. Proposals for legislation for 

196 



the period after the war were, however, drafted and had been under 
consideration when it was decided to a])point our committee. 

We have thus sketched the course of discussion during the troublous 
years leading up to the commencement of our labours because we have 
felt bound to indicate the assistance we have received from this source. 
We are concerned, however, with the future, not with the past, and it 
sufi&ces to say that though our suggestions for legislation do not repro- 
duce as an assembled whole any scheme as yet submitted, still they con- 
tain hardly an idea which has not, in one connection or another, been 
the subject of critical discussion of which we have had the benefit. 
177. The measures which we shall submit are of two kinds, viz., 
Punitive, by which term we mean measures 
Suggestions— Punitive better to secure the conviction and punishment 
"(aTpoin^ '0/ gene^^^^^ ^^ offenders, and Preventive, i.e., measures to 
application. check the spread of conspiracy and the com- 

mission of crime. 
We may say at once that we do not expect very much from punitive 
measures. The conviction of offenders will never check such a move- 
ment as that which grew up in Bengal unless all the leaders can be 
convicted at the outset. Further, the real difficulties have been the 
scarcity of evidence due to various causes and the want of reliance, 
whether justified or not, on such evidence as there has been. The last 
difficulty is fundamental and cannot be remedied. No law can direct a 
court to be convinced when it is not. 



Punitive measures (permanent). 

Legislation directed better to secure the punishment of seditious 
crime- may take the shape either — 

(a) of changes in the general law of evidence or procedure which if 
sound would be advisable in regard to all crime, or 

(6) changes in the substantive law of sedition or modifications in the 
rules of evidence and procedure in such cases designed to deal 
with the special features of that class of offence. 

(a) Some changes have been suggested to us which we feel bound to 
assign to the first class. 

Instances of this are — 

(1) An amendment of the law which excludes confessions or admis- 

sions unless made as required by section 164 of the Criminal 
Procedure Code. 

(2) A relaxation of the rule of practice which requires corroboration 

of the testimony of an accomplice. 

There could be no justification for making either of these changes in 
order to facilitate prosecutions in cases of sedition if in other cases they 

197 



are allowed to remain as a proper safeguard against injustice. On the 
other hand, if we inquired whether these amendments should be made in 
the general law, we feel that we should be embarking on an investigation 
which, though perhaps not literally outside our terms of reference, must 
nevertheless be larger than we were really intended to pursue. It would 
involve eliciting the opinions of persons of experience in all parts of 
India and would postpone our report to a date when it might be useless. 
These and many other matters connected with Indian criminal procedure 
may be well worth investigating, but we cannot engraft an inquiry of 
that magnitude upon our task. We therefore only note the above 
points and pass from them. 

There are, however, one or two points which, though of general 
application, we think we may advert to, because they involve no alter- 
ation but merely arise in connection with the observance of existing 
rules. We have had our attention pointedly drawn to the length of 
trials and of cross-examinations in particular. It is the duty of the 
court to disallow of its own motion either examination or cross-exami- 
nation upon matters irrelevant or addressed directly or indirectly to a 
purely ulterior or collateral object and not to the question of the 
guilt or innocence of the accused, or calculated to elicit directly or in- 
directly the disclosure of matters protected from disclosure by section 
125 of the Evidence Act. 

This duty is not only consistent with the Indian Evidence Act but 
directly arises out of it. It is not, however, in terms declared by it. 
and it is one of the disadvantages of Codes that, while they are useful 
in many respects, they sometimes tend to fetter the exercise of inde- 
pendent common sense. This leads us to hesitate before recommending 
that this duty be expressly declared by a new section. We are not clear 
whether just as the absence of such a declaration may sometimes lead 
to the duty being lost sight of, its insertion might not lead to its exercise 
without due discretion. It seems to us a point upon which experienced 
judicial opinion in India might well be elicited. 

The same observations apply to the undoubted rule of law that the 
Court shall take as conclusive (save as excepted by section 153) the 
answer of a witness upon a question put as to credit only and shall not 
treat the mere making of the suggestion involved in the question as 
indicating any foundation for it. 

We think, however, that no harm can be done by amending section 
343 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (which porhibits promises or threats 
to induce an accused person to disclose or withhold any matter) so as to 
make it clear that there is no prohibition of a promise, whether to an 
accused or any other person, of protection against injury caused by the 
criminal acts of others. We do not think that this is really any alter- 
ation of t.he section at all. Such a promise as is referred to is only an 
assurance ^hat he will get what he would be entitled to in any case. If 
it is an alteration, however, its advisability is too obvious for discussion. 

198 



(6) As regards changes specially relating to 

<b) Points of special seditious crime, we recommend three permanent 

additions to the law. 

In the first place we think that a permanent enactment on the lines 
of Rule 25A under the Defence of India Act is required. That rule 
provides for the punishment of persons having prohibited documents 
(which may have to be defined anew) in their possession or control with 
(as we read the effect of the words used) intent to pubhsh or circulate 
them. In its present form, however, the substance of the offence is 
confounded with the presumptive evidence of it. The drafting should, 
in our judgment, be recast, and the penalty seems too high for times of 
peace, seeing that the offence is merely possession with an intent not 
yet acted upon. 

We also recommend that the principle of section ,565 of the Code of 
Criminal Procedure (which provides for an order requiring notification of 
residence after release in the case of persons convicted a second time for 
certain offences) should be extended to all persons convicted of offences 
under Chapter VI of the Penal Code (offences against the State) whether 
previously convicted or not. Such persons might be ordered to give 
security for a period not exceeding two years for good behaviour so far 
as offences under Chapter VI are concerned, and in default be directed to 
notify their residence to Government, who should have power to restrict 
their movements for the period of two years after their release and pro- 
hibit them from addressing pubhc meetings, — the term " public meet- 
ings " including in its scope political subjects as in section 4 of the Pre- 
vention of Seditious Meetings Act of 1907. 

Lastly we think that in all cases where there is a question of sedi- 
tious intent, evidence of previous conviction for seditious crime or asso- 
ciation (of an incriminating kind of course) with persons so convicted 
should be admissible upon written notice to the accused with such 
particulars and at such a time before the evidence is given as might be 
fair. What we have called seditious crime would of course have to be 
accurately defined. 



Emergency measures (punitive). 

178. The above are changes which, we think, may usefully be made in 

the ordinary permanently working law of the 

-.milfJIl"!^ mtSL land. We shall now indicate further Punitive 
punitive and preventive. , i ■ in, -■ % i i 

measures (relatmg wholly to procedure) and also 

a scheme of Preventive measures, both of which relate solely to the pre- 
sent and possible future emergencies. ^ 

The lines on which we propose to cast our suggestions are as follows. 
We shall sketch out a scheme of Punitive and Preventive measures to be 
framed and enacted but not to come into force save upon a notification 
of the Governor-General in Council. This will provide for possible 

199 



future emergencies. We shall suggest, however, a proviso that in respect 
of matters which have occurred hitherto or may occur (say) before the 
end of the war the scheme shall be in force at once without any notifi- 
cation. This will deal with the present emergency. 

A further question may arise as to whether the whole enactment 
should be limited to a period of years. As the scheme we suggest is 
equally workable whether it is temporary or permanent we treat this 
point as purely one of policy and express no opinion. 

The powers which we shall suggest for dealing with future emergencies 
must be ready for use at short notice. They must therefore be on the 
statute book in advance. That fact alone is calculated to have some 
moral effect, for it is then known exactly what a renewed anarchical 
movement will encounter. To postpone legislation till the danger is 
instant, is, in our view, to risk a recurrence of the history of the years 
1906-17. Still, its emergency character must be emphasised. 

179. In these circumstances we think that appropriate provisions 

should be framed and enacted, but should not 
Emergency measures to come into force save upon a notification by the 
come j^'"^j°gg°/J^®^ "P°" Grovernor-General in Council declaring the exist- 
ence of a state of affairs justifying such action. 
The formula in which this declaration is to be made will require careful 
and accurate statement, its function being to safeguard the public 
against an unnecessary invocation of extraordinary powers. We do not 
think, however, that we should take it upon ourselves to draft it. 

180. Further, as we have said, the powers we suggest will be both 

Punitive and Preventive and the latter will be of 
^"dfffefen? degrels."' *^o degrees varying in stringency. The scheme 

ought to be capable of being called into operation 
in com;^artments and it is worth considering whether the necessary 
notifications might not be required to declare a higher degree of public 
danger to justify the use of some powers than of others. We venture to 
lay some stress on the desirability from every point of view of the Govern- 
ment being able to take mild measures early. This is hampered if they 
are obliged, in order to take mild measures, to declare a state of aSairs of 
great seriousness. On the other hand, they should not have authority 
to assume power to take stringent measures without pledging themselves 
to the declaration of a crisis of proportionate gravity. We have already 
intimated that we do not feel called upon to draft any form of notifica- 
tion but, to illustrate our suggestion of progressive notifications, if we 
may use that phrase, it might be sufficient, in order to call our punitive 
measures into force, to declare that seditious offences are prevalent and 
that it is expedient to provide for their speedy trial under the provisions 
of the Act, while for the invocation of the mild form of preventive 
measures it might be obligatory to declare that seditious movements were 
being extensively promoted, and for the more stringent preventive 
measures, that seditious outrage was occurring to a degree endangering 
public safety — or some such formulae. 

200 



The notifications should of course be capable of application to 
particular provinces or smaller areas. 

181. Coming now to the measures themselves, we are of opinion 
that provision should be made for the trial 
Emergency^provisions ^f seditious crime by Benches of three Judges 
without juries or assessors and without preli- 
minary commitment proceedings or appeal. In short, the procedure 
we recommend should follow the Unes laid down in sections 5 — 9 in- 
clusive of the Defence of India Act. It should be made clear that 
section 512 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (relating to the giving 
in evidence under certain circumstances of depositions taken in the 
absence of an absconding accused) applies to these trials, it having,, 
we understand, been questioned whether section 7 of the Defence of 
India Act has that effect. 

We think it necessary to exclude juries and assessors mainly because 
of the terrorism to which they are liable. But terrorism apart, we da 
not think they can be relied upon in this class of case. They are too 
much incHned to be affected by public discussion. We could give 
instances which have come before us, where we think there have been 
miscarriages of justice owing to the causes above mentioned. We 
may further point out that the trial of such cases without jury or 
assessors was introduced by the Indian Criminal Law Amendment 
Act, 1908. 

As regards the procedure and the absence of right of appeal, we 
think it essential that the delay involved in commitment proceedings 
and appeal be avoided. It is of the utmost importance that punish- 
ment or acquittal should be speedy both in order to secure the moral 
effect which punishment should produce and also to prevent the pro- 
longation of the excitement which the proceedings may set up. Fur- 
thermore, the delays involved by commitment proceedings and the 
double examination of witnesses increase the chance of the witnesses 
being intimidated, add to the hardships involved in their attendance 
with the consequence of making them less ready to come forward, and 
also afford time for them to forget the facts. 

We think, however, that there is one important amendment to be 
made in the procedure. Under the temporary scheme now in opera- 
tion charges are formulated after the evidence for the prosecution has 
been closed. In our opinion some expedient must be found for defining 
the issues and communicating 4;hem to the accused a reasonable time 
before he has to meet or rebut them. We do not apprehend how an 
accused can deal relevantly either in cross-examination or by the 
preparation of evidence with a' case not formulated. 

To meet this difficulty we suggest some such scheme as the follow- 
ing. It is a compromise between having no prehminary proceedings 
and the ordinary full commitment proceedings. We are told that 

201 



€ome Special Tribunals have proceeded to some extent on these lines 
with satisfactory results. It seems quite fair to the accused : — 

(a) Commitment proceedings to be abolished in these cases. 

(6) Proceedings to start with a detailed written complaint to be 
drawn up by the Government Prosecutor setting out full 
particulars of what is intended to be proved against each 
accused. 

(c) The prosecution witnesses to be first examined in chief, but the 

accused not to be called upon to cross-examine at this stage. 

(d) The charge to be framed with regard to such of the accused 

against whom there is frimd facie evidence. 

{e) The case should be adjourned and the Court should fix the 
period of adjournment suitable to each case, but such period 
should not be less than 10 days. 

(/) The accused to remain in the " custody of the Court " as opposed 
to the " custody of the pohce," or in other words, the Super- 
intendent of the Jail should be under the directions of the 
Court so far as the accused are concerned. This does not 
indicate any real change, but perhaps an insertion of a pro- 
vision of this nature will have the efiect of silencing much 
mischievous criticism. 

{g) The pohce papers wiU of course be placed before the Court. 
The Court after going through the papers may, if it thinks 
right, allow copies of some of these papers to the accused. 
Of course in this matter the Court will have absolute dis- 
cretion, and the Court may refuse to allow copies of any 
of the pohce papers to the accused. 
■ Qi) At the exgiry of the period of adjournment the cross-examina- 
tion of the witnesses and the rest of the trial will proceed. 

182. While, however, we recommend in substance the procedure 

established under the Defence of India Act, 

•composition of Courts. ^^ ^^;^^ ^^^ constitution of the tribunals as 

provided by these Acts should be altered. It seems to us inadvisable 
that these tribunals should to any extent be composed of persons not 
.already members of the judiciary but selected by the executive for the 
purpose of the specific case. Nothing that we have seen suggests that 
the special tribunals hitherto appointed have-been unfair towards the 
accused, but we think the objections in principle cannot be overlooked. 
Moreover, as the right of appeal is taken away, the tribunals should be 
of the highest strength and authority. They should be composed of 
High Court or Chief Court Judges selected by the head of the Court. 
It is true that this might mean a grave demand upon these Benches. 
But, after all, there is no judicial work so important as that with which 
we are dealing or so imperatively calhng for a tribunal of the highest 
authority. Substitutes can be appointed for the Judges called away, 

203 



and if there is no power it can be obtained. Substitutes, however, 
ought not to try these cases. 

183. It has been brought to our attention that the bringing of wit- 

nesses to Calcutta or other seats of a High 
Place of trial. ^^ qj^-^I ^^^^ ^^^ ^^ attended with incon- 

venience and may be a source of alarm and confusion to country wit- 
nesses. This must arise just as much if the witnesses are brought to 
such city to attend a special tribunal as at present constituted. If, 
on the other hand, the three gentlemen composing such tribunal can 
sit elsewhere than in such city, it seems to us that the three Judges can 
do so. 

184. A question to which we have given much consideration is 

whether the accused should be entitled to 
Testimony of accused. ^-^^ evidence on his own behalf in these cases 
subject to the consequences now provided by the law of England. This 
has been found to afEord valuable protection to an innocent prisoner 
while exposing sham defences and unfounded suggestions. 

The principle upon which an accused person cannot at present give 
evidence is that he is interested and interested persons were incom- 
petent as witnesses by the Common Law in all cases, civil as well as 
criminal. This incompetency was gradually removed in England until 
the only renmant of the original rule was the case of a person under 
criminal trial. The incompetency in this case also was gradually re- 
moved as regards one crime after another until in 1898* it was swept 
away in all cases by an Act of general application. The change waa 
really the concession of a new faciHty to prisoners, though doubtless- 
it had its inconveniences for persons really guilty. It was hedged 
about with important safeguards from the prisoner's point of view of 
which the following are the most notable : — 

(a) he cannot be called except with his own consent ; 

(6) if called, he cannot be asked questions as to his character^ 
including previous convictions, unless either — 

(i) the facts put would be evidence against him in chief, in- 
dependently of the Act, as showing design or the like, 
or 

{li) he has given evidence of his own good character or the 
character of witnesses for the prosecution has been 
attacked on his behalf. 

In other words, there is a special code limiting his examination, and 
if the principle were introduced in India, the application of sections- 
inconsistent with it, such as section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act^ 
would have to be excluded. 

This new principle, at first much mistrusted, has been found ta 
work well in England ; and in India where, as is so frequently the case 



* 61 and 62, Vict. c. 36. 

203 



the grave issue arises whether a confession has been improperly ex- 
torted, it would seem much more conducive to the discovery of the 
truth that the accused should be entitled to depose on oath to what 
has occurred subject to cross-examination than that it should be left 
to suggestion. And so also as to other issues. 

No doubt only an experienced Court should try cases under these 
conditions in order to make sure that an ignorant prisoner does not 
misunderstand his position and is not unfairly dealt with. This safe- 
guard is ensured when the cases come before three Judges of the highest 
rank, and upon the whole we think the provision should be introduced. 
If it were a question of its general application we should, having regard 
to the above-mentioned considerations, be against it. 

A suggestion made to us that the Court should be at liberty to put 
any question it pleases to an accused, even though he does not tender 
himself as a witness, is one that we cannot approve of. 

185. If our proposal is accepted that there shall be no commit- 

ment proceedings, the re-enactment or reten- 
Pcrpetuation of testimony in ^j f section 13 of the Criminal Law Amend- 
particular circumstances. » . . 

ment Act (XIV oi 1908) m its present form 

will not be appropriate. It is, however, necessary that the object 
which that section was intended to attain, namely, the protection of 
important witnesses and the perpetuation of their testimony, should 
be provided for. We think the statements of dead or absent witnesses 
made at either of two stages of the investigation should be made 
available for use by the Court, namely, (1) statements proved to 
have been made to a police officer not below the rank of Superintendent, 
where such statements have been recorded by such officer and read 
over and explained to the person making it and signed by him ; (2) 
statements of witnesses made at the trial and not yet cross-examined 
upon — the condition making them admissible being in each case the 
same, namely, the belief of the Court that the death or absence of 
the deponent has been caused in the interests of the accused. 

186. The Court should have the power, where and so far as they 

think it advisable in the public interests or 
Other suggestions. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ ^ witness, to exclude the 

public or any person from the hearing or any part of it and to prohibit 
any disclosure of their proceedings or any part of them either wholly 
or save as authorized by the tribunal, any such disclosure or purported 
disclosure being dealt with as a contempt of Court. This should not 
be done as a matter of course, but only where the tribunal is satisfied 
as to the necessity of it. 

It has been pointed out to us that time and expense are sometimes 
wasted in proving over and over again every time a trial occurs facts 
not really disputable after the first trial ; for instance, the existence 
of some conspiracy. We think this is an inconvenience attending the 
observance of sound principles which cannot be infringed. No element 

204 



in the guilt of any person can be allowe d to be taken for granted on the 
strength of proceedings to which he was not a party. 

The cases to be tried subject to the provisions above sketched out 
will be such as are ordered to be so tried by Government, the power 
to make such orders being limited to certain classes of offences to be 
named in a schedule. This was the scheme of the Criminal Law Amend- 
ment Act, 1908, the schedule to which might be adopted. 

In all these cases the District Magistrate should be empowered to 
order investigation. We are informed that this will be the result of 
clause 37 of the Amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code Bill now 
under consideration. If the above-mentioned amendment is not en- 
acted, machinery ought, we think, to be devised for giving such power 
by special order or otherwise in the cases with which we are immediately 
concerned. It has been suggested to us that the power should extend 
to Superintendents or even Inspectors of Police, but we cannot endorse 
this. 

Emergency measures (preventive). 

187. We have been forced to the conclusion that it is necessary, 

in order to keep the conspiracies already de- 
Emergency preventive scribed under control in the future, to provide 
for the continuance after the expiry of the 
Defence of India Act (though in the contingent form explained and 
under important limitation) of some of the powers which that measure 
introduced in a temporary form. By those means alone has the con- 
spiracy been paralysed for the present, and we are unable to devise 
any expedient operating according to strict judicial forms which can 
be relied upon to prevent its reviving to check it if it does revive, or, 
in the last resort, to suppress it anew. This will involve some infringe - 
^ment of the rules normally safeguarding the hberty of the subject. 
We have endeavoured to make that infringement as small as we think 
possible consistently with the production of an effective scheme. 

The possibilities to be provided for range from incipient sedition 
to incipient anarchy. 

188. The powers at present temporarily possessed by the Govern- 

ment are so far as material for the present 

^*'''*plw*JrT*"^'^ purpose to be found in rules 3—7 inclusive 

and 12 A under the Defence of India Act, 

1915. We do not refer for the present to the Foreigners Ordinance, 

1914, or the Ingress into India Ordinance, 1914. * * * 

* * * * Shortly stated, their effect is to give power to re- 
quire persons by executive order to remain in any area to be specified 
or not to enter or remain in any such area, with penalties for breach 
of such requirement. These orders may be made and served on the 
person affected, whereupon they become binding upon him, or the 
person may be arrested without warrant and detained for a period 

205 



not exceeding in all one month, pending an order of restriction. There 
is also a power of search under search warrant. It will be observed there 
is no provision for an examination of the cases of such persons. 
The decision lies solely with the Local Government. There is also the 
power of 'confinement under Regulation III of 1818. 

189. We think that provision ought to be made for calling into 
operation (in the last resort and subject to 
Scope of our proposals. safeguards) powers going to the full extent of 
those above quoted. 

But while we feel bound to formulate such a scheme, we think that 
the whole of it must be subject to the observance of four main 
principles — 

[i) No interference with liberty must be penal in character. 
Nothing in the nature of conviction can be admitted with- 
out trial in strict legal form. If in the supreme interests 
of the community the liberty of individuals is taken away, 
an asylum must be provided of a different order from a 
jail. 
(m) Any interference with liberty must be safeguarded by an 
inquiry which, though circumstances exclude the possi- 
biUty of its following forensic forms, must be judicial in 
the sense that it must be fair and impartial and as adequate 
as it can be made. 

(m) Every order (which should be made by the Local Govern- 
ment) authorizing such interference must recite the holding 
of such inquiry and declare that, in the opinion of the Local 
Government, the measures otdered are necessary in the 
interests of pubhc security. 

(w) The order must be made for a limited time only (say, not 
exceeding a year) and must be renewable only by a new 
order (not necessarily a new inquiry) reciting that the 
renewal is necessary in the interests of public security. 

190. We now proceed to elaborate, but 
Two grades of powers without using drafting language or going into 
every detail, the scheme we suggest. 

We think, as we have already indicated, that the powers to be acquired' 
should be of two grades capable of being called into operation separately^ 
possibly under different forms of notification. 

The first group of powers should be of the following nature : — 
{i) to demand security with or without sureties ; 
(u) to restrict residence or to require notification of change of 

residence ; 
{in) to require abstention from certain acts, such as engaging ia 
journalism, distributing leaflets or attending meetings ; 
206 



{iv) to require that the person should periodically report to the 
police. 

The second group of powers should be— 

(i) to arrest ; 

(ii) to search under warrant ; 
(w) to confine in non-penal custody. 

It is not conceivable that the second group of powers would be called 
into play without the first. Therefore after arrest and search there 
would be no objection (if thought sufl&cient) to making an order under 
the first group of powers. 

191. An " investigating authority " or " authorities " should be 
Creation of an invest!- constituted, as to which we shall say more 
gating authority. later on. 

If the first group of powers only is in force, the Government before 
making a final order should be required to refer the case to the invest- 
igating authority. They should, however, have power to make an 
interim order for a limited time. If the second group is in force, the 
person might be arrested and kept in custody for a time to be limited 
before the reference and thereafter pending the reference. 

The duty of the investigating authority will be to inquire in camera 
upon any materials which they may thinl^ fit and without being bound 
by rules of e^-idence. They would send for the person and tell him 
what is alleged against him and investigate the matter as fairly and 
adequately as possible in the manner of a domestic tribunal. It would 
not be necessary to disclose the sources of information, if that would be 
objectionable from the point of view of other persons. No advocates 
would be allowed on either side or witnesses formally examined, nor 
need the person whose case is under investigation be present during all 
the inquiry. Should such person indicate that other persons or any 
other inquiries may throw light on the matter from his point of view, 
the investigating authority would endeavour to test the suggestion 
if it seems relevant and reasonable. At the close of the inquiry the 
investigating authority would certify their conclusion to the Local 
Government. 

It will be noticed that though we have suggested the procedure to be 
followed by the investigating authority, we have not yet indicated our 
view as to what it should inquire into or the nature of its conclusions. 

192. This seems to us the most difficult of all the matters with which 
Scope of investigation. we have had to deal, and yet it is one as to 
which exactness is imperative. We think what 
is to be aimed at is that the order of restriction or the Hke should be 
executive, but on a basis of fact ascertained judicially (in the sense ex- 
plained) by the investigating authority. If the investigating authority 
are to deal with the question of the order to be made, they acquire power 

207 



without the responsibility for the results. The executive are responsible 
for the maintenance of law and order. The worst solution of all is that 
the investigating authority should recommend and that the executive 
should be able to disregard the recommendation. If, however, the 
investigating authority is to confine itself to facts, what is the question 
of fact to be ? The states of fact contemplated cannot be reduced to 
definitions like crimes such as murder and so on. If they could, no list 
that we can contemplate would cover the ground. Under these cir- 
cumstances we suggest the following solution. Let the Government 
propound to the Committee in plain language what they suggest the 
man has done or is likely to do, and let the authority return in 
plain language what they find upon the subject. Then let the 
Government recite that finding in its order and proceed to deal 
with the man as it thinks necessary. The great object will thus be 
attained of making it known exactly what is ascertained against the 
man in fact apart from executive conclusion, but the responsibility 
for action will still rest solely on the Government. It is for 
consideration whether the order should not be published. 

The nature of the above suggestion explains why we have used the 
term " Investigating Authority " instead of " Advisory Committee." 
The use of the latter term seems to condemn one in advance to the embar- 
rassments from which it is the whole object to escape. 

193. If the functions of the investigating authority are such as we 

have described, the difficulty of its composi- 
authoritv ^^^^ ^^ minimized. For an inquiry in a judicial 

spirit into facts knowledge and experience are 
the requisites. It has been suggested to us that the judicial, the exe- 
cutive and the non-official elements should be represented upon the body 
or bodies in question. Having indicated the functions which we recom- 
mend for the investigating authority, we do not feel that we are driven 
to give our views as to its exact composition. But we think we may 
say as based upon the experience gained in the course of our labours 
that one member should be a non-official Indian selected for his know- 
ledge of the people. 

194. We suggest one more provision to be made in this scheme of 

preventive measures. We think there should be 
' * i ee . Visiting Committees to report upon the condi- 

tion of persons restricted in residence or in custody. We do not go 
into the question of the composition of these Committees. This may 
well vary in different parts of India and possibly in different parts of the 
same province or with reference to different communities. We were 
much struck by the useful work of this kind that can be done by Com- 
mittees, working in very small areas, in the Punjab. Machinery so 
satisfactory may not be possible elsewhere. The Committees appointed 
must, of course, be persons who are prepared to accept the scheme and 
work it effectually though sympathetically. 

208 



195. We have sketched out a scheme complete, as we hope, in principle 

but requiring elaboration in detail. In some 
Adminls^tration^of^prevcnt- p^-^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ provision to be made in 

respect of those whose liberty may in one form 
or another be interfered with, we appreciate that administrative ques- 
tions will arise into which we cannot enter deeply. Our function is to 
suggest a scheme of law, not of administration. 

Nevertheless, inasmuch as we have necessarily gathered something^ 
of the psychology of these offenders in the course of our inquiry and as 
these imp essions have necessarily guided us in reaching our conclusions, 
we think we may indicate generally the Hues on which we have contem- 
plated that they may be worked out administratively. These revolu- 
tionaries vary widely in character. Some merely require to be kept 
from evil associations and to be brought under the closer influences of 
sensible friends or relations. At the other extreme are some desperadoes 
at present irreconcilable to the point of frenzy. Some are ready to quit 
the movement if only it can be made easy for them. More may be 
brought to this frame of mind in time. It is obvious that extremely 
elastic measures are needed both for those whose liberty is merely re- 
stricted and those from whom it is at least temporarily taken away. As 
regards the former, the prospects of the individual in point of health and 
a livelihood in any particular area should be considered along with the 
associations which he may be likely to form. For the latter there should 
be provided an institution or institutions for their reformation as well 
as confinement. It is to be borne in mind that while some already 
possess a good deal of education they all lack habits of occupation and, 
in a measure, reason. 

Provision for existing danger. 

196. The scheme above set forth is, as has already been pointed out, 

designed for emergencies regarded as contin- 
Treatment^of ^existing ^^^^^ rpj^^ powers involved are therefore to be 

dormant till the event occurs. 

There are, however, a limited class of persons, namely, those who 
have been involved in the troubles which have been described who 
constitute a danger not contingent but actual. Special and immediate 
provision is required for their case. 

In the first place, there are a number of persons still at large, such as 
Rash Behari Ba^u of the Benares conspiracy case, who, if tried at all, 
ought to be tried, even if arrested after the Defence of India Act expires, 
under special provisions. Moreover, further ofiences may be committed 
before that time to the authors of which similar considerations apply. 
On the other hand, it would not be proper to proclaim a province under 
our scheme merely for the purpose of such particular trials. 

Secondly, there are the persons as to whom it can be said without 
any reasonable doubt that they have been parties to the murders and 

209 

p2 



dacoities which have been narrated in the preceding pages. Many of 
these are temporarily in custody or under restriction. Some absconding 
are still at large. 

Some, if not most, of these persons are such desperate characters 
that it is impof s^ble to contemplate their automatic release on the expiry 
of six months from the close of the war. One man recently arrested is 
undoubtedly guilty of 4 murders and has been concerned in 18 dacoities, 
^f which 5 involve further murders. There are others like him both in 
custody and at large. Such men are the leaders and organizers of the 
movement. They are now detained or their arrest is intended under 
Regulation III of 1818. We do not discuss that measure. It is appli- 
cable to many cases not within the scope of our inquiry. 

Assuming, however, that it is not desired to continue to deal with 
these men under the Regulation, we ought to suggest an alternative. 

Lastly, it may be that a few of those now merely interned and some 
of the convicts who will be released may require some control. At any 
rate, it is to be deprecated that the persons interned should have the 
assurance that on the expiry of the Defence of India Act they will at 
once and all at the same moment be immune from all restriction. They 
should be liberated gradually. 

It seems to us that the simplest device is to provide that in respect 
of acts committed before the Defence of India Act expires (or an earlier 
date if preferred) and danger apprehended by reason of such acts in the 
future, it should be lawful to proceed against any person under any of 
the provisions which we have outlined without any notification. In 
other words, the new law is to be deemed to be operative for that purpose 
immediately. 

Net results o£ our proposals. 

197. The short result of the whole is that we suggest a scheme under 
which past and (say) war-time matters are 
Result of suggestions. immediately provided for, subject to which all 
special powers become dormant till there is a notification. It will be 
observed, for the purposes of drafting, that this is not the same thing 
as providing a scheme to be in force (say) only during the war but capable 
of revival afterwards upon notification. The division in time applies 
not with reference to the whole operation of the enactment but with 
reference to the occurrence of the subject-matter. 



Restriction o£ Ingress. 

198. A point not yet dealt with is the question of Ingress into India. 

The power possessed by the Government under 

Ingress into India. ^^^ ^^^^.^j ^^^ legislation is roughly to exclude 

foreigners altogether, and as to all persons entering India to limit their 

210 



residence and if necessary to arrest and confine them. As regards 
persons not being foreigners no power is to be exercised unless the author- 
ity exercising it is satisfied that " the exercise thereof is desirable in 
order to protect the State from the prosecution of some purpose preju- 
dicial to its safety, interests or tranquillity." It appears abundantly 
from some parts of the narrative contained in this report that there are 
bodies outside India conspiring to promote seditious violence within 
it. Even before the war political murder has been accomplished by 
arms imported into India from such sources, while during the war armed 
insurrection has been plotted between these bodies and revolutionaries 
in India in conjunction with the enemies of the Empire. We cannot 
forecast post-war conditions outside India or, for that matter, within 
it. But as regards India itself we have suggested a scheme of preventive 
legislation only to be called into operation if necessity arises. An emissary 
' arriving from abroad to promote disturbance in any part of India where 
the powers conferred by such legislation are, owing to unfortunate 
circumstances, already in a state of activity could perhaps be dealt 
with under such powers. But a situation ought to be contemplated 
in which, while India is peaceful, conspirators from abroad enter it to 
promote disorder. Provision is wanted for preventing a state of affairs 
being produced by such means which will necessitate the assumption 
of the emergency powers ex hypothesi not at the moment in operation. 
The mere statement of the case shows that such provision must be 
outside emergency contingent legislation. It is required for isolated 
cases. 

With regard, however, to this question of Ingress into India we 
appreciate that the above ' considerations (the only ones within our 
province) reveal but a portion of the problem. Under these circum- 
stances we refrain from suggesting any formula defining the limits of 
the powers with which the Government should be armed. 

199. Considerations somewhat analogous to those that apply to 

India in relation to other countries apply to 

Inter-prjjvmdal move- g^ch province m relation to others. It will be 

regrettable if revolutionary crime breaks out 

anew in any province : but if it does it will be disastrous that it should run 

from province to province, necessitating the proclamation of emergency 

measures in one after another. F>irther, in a province like the Punjab 

it may be absolutely necessary, in order to avert the gravest danger, 

to prevent the entry of certain persons coming even from peaceable 

provinces. Such persons are those whose presence within the province 

is calculated in the opinion of the Local Government to give rise to or 

encourage criminal conspiracy. 

We do not suggest that any investigating authority ^should be required 
to concern itself with the exercise of any of the powers controlling the 
activities of persons entering India or passing from one province to 
another. 

211 



Basis of our proposals. 

200. In making suggestions for legislation we have not considered 
^ f I • I ♦ at all whether it could be argued that such 

'"'nou'onsidered.* ""* legislation is in any respect beyond the com- 
petence of the Governor-Creneral in Council. 
We have no authority to lay down the law on any such point and any 
provisional assumption as the basis of our proposals would only cause 
embarrassment. We have proceeded therefore on the basis that any 
suggestions of ours which it may be decided to adopt will be given efiect 
to by some legislature competent for the purpose. 

S. A. T. KOWLATT. 

B. SCOTT. 

C. V. KUMARASWAMI SASTRI. 
H. V. LOVETT. 

P. C. MITTER. 



\ 



212 



ANNEXURE (1). 

Summaries of some Bengal judgments. 
In this annexnre we propose to summarise briefly the judgments in some note- 

Purpose Of this annexure. ^^^'^1^^ 'f^'\^^ ""^^ ^^ illustrating the subject of 

our Chapter IV. 
2. The first political murders in Bengal within the period under review were 
Th. M..»ff«>rm.r »...rri<>»o the Muzaffarpur murders. On the evening of the 
The Muzaffarpur murders. 3^^^^ ^^^.j /g^g ^^ Muzafifarpur in Bihar, a bomb 

was thrown into the carriage of Mrs. Kennedy and Miss Kennedy. Both ladies 
died. The syce was injured. The outrage occurred in front of Mr. Kingsford's 
house. The following points are established from the judgment of this case, as 
also from that of the Alipore conspiracy case so far as that judgment relates to thia 
occurrence : — 

(1) For the first time in the history of Bengal a youth of the bhadralok class 
perpetrated a bomb outrage. 
^ . (2) The motive for the offence was political (vengeance and terrorism). Mr. 
Kingsford as Chief Presidency Magistrate, Calcutta, had tried cases 
against the Jvgantar, Bande Mataram, Snmlhya and Nahasakti news 
papers and had convicted persons connected with these papers. In 
connection with an incident arising out of one of these cases a bhadralok 
youth named Shusil Kumar Sen was sentenced to a whipping of 15 
stripes by him. These magisterial acts of Mr. Kingsford had given 
great oflfence to the Alipore conspirators. They sent two youths named 
Khudirara Basu and Prafulla Chaki to Muzaffarpur to bomb Mr. 
Kingsford. But instead and by mistake they bombed the two ladies. 
No crime of this kind actuated by such motives, had before been com- 
mitted by any Bengali. 
3. A number of bhadralok youths entered into a .conspiracy to wage war against 
the King-Emperor (section 121A of the Indian Penal 
The Alipore conspiracy Code) and used various places in furtherance of 
***®' the object. Their headquarters were in Caliiutta. 

They collected explosives, arms and ammunition. They employed newspapers 
in furtherance of this criminal conspiracy. On the 2nd of May 1908, by simul- 
taneous searches in various places, the conspiracy was discovered. 

The judgment of the High Court Bench presided over by .Sir Lawrence Jenkins 
established the following points : — 

(a) That at least 12 persons had collected arms for the purpose of waging war 
against the King. They were prepared to use explosives in order to 
further their purpose and accomplish assassinations. Some had made 
full confessions. They had actually killed two European ladies. 
(6) The newspaper Jugantar was a " limb of the conspiracy." In our Chapter 
II we quoted the Chief Justice's estimate of this paper. 

(c) Even young boys in very remote parts of the country were corrupted by 

the Jvgantar newspaper and its teachings. 

(d) A number of bhadralok youths of some education used a number of places 

in Calcutta and elscAvhere for the purposes of a criminal conspiracy 
connected with the revolutionary movement, e.g. — 
(1) No. 32, Muraripukur Ro^d, Maniktala Garden— Explosives found. 

319 



(2) No. 38-4, Raja Novokissen's Street — Explosives found being prepared 

here by Hem Chandra Das. 

(3) No. 15, Gopi Mohan Dutt's Lane, used for storing and manufacture 

of explosives. 

(4) No. 134, Harrison Road — Explosives and ammunition stored. 

(5) Sil'a Lodge, Deoghar (about 200 miles from Calcutta), used for the 

purposes of this conspiracy. 

(e) Arms, ammunition and explosives were collected ; seditions books and 
literature conveying instruction in the manufacture of explosives were 
collected. 

(7) The Chief Justice held that the accused were " for the most part men o^ 
education, of strong religious convictions." 

(g) Hem Chandi-a Das, a bhadralok youth, went to Paris to learn the manu- 
facture of bombs and explosives. Ullaskar Datta, another bhairaiok 
youth, was self-taught in the manufacture of bombs and explosives. 

From the points established, as also from the evidence accepted by the Couit, 
it is clear that a number of bhadralok youths combined and collected arms and 
explosives, and committed various overt and daring acts of crime. Although the 
number of persons actually concerned was not very numerous, yet the conspiracy 
was a remarkable one in many respects. It was the first criminal conspiracy of 
any magnitude that the revolutionary party started. The conspirators showed 
enterprise, daring and determination. They succeeded in collecting a fair amount 
of money. The conspirators were gradually extending the field of their opera- 
tions. Apart from their headquarters at Maniktala Garden, they used four other 
places for the furtherance of the objects of their conspiracy — one being an 
out-of-the-way place near Deoghar in Bihar. 

The accused belonged to various castes and came from different parts of the 
Province. Some were students and others were young men who had entered life. 
There were teachers as well. Among the number were — 

(1) Upendra Nath Banarji, aged 29 years ; Brahmin. Passed F.A. and read 

up to B.A. Was a teacher in the Bhadreswar School ; acted on the 
staff of the Jugantar as an assistant. He was a teacher of recruits. 
Native of Chandernagore. 

(2) Sudhir Kumar Sarkar, native of Faridpur, resident of Khulna ; Brahmin. 

Read up to the 2nd class of an entrance school. Left school about two 
years before. Helped in the publication of the Jugantar. 

(3) Bibhuti Bhusan Sarkar, aged 20 years, Kayastha ; student. Native of 

Santipur, Nadia. 

(4) Ullaskar Datta, age 22 years ; Baidya. Occupation cow-keeper. Native 

of Sibpur, Howrah. Self-taught in bomb-making. 

(5) Narendra Nath Bakshi, aged 18 years ; Brahmin ; student. District 

Rajshahi. 

(6) Birendra Nath Ghosh, aged 17A years; Kayastha. District Jessore. Son 

of a small landholder. Student. 

(7) Hrishikesh Kanjilal, aged 29 years. Teacher, Chatra School, district 

Hooghly. Read up to B.A. Took to teaching with the object of 
poisoning the minds of students. 

The first batch of accuse .1 persons were under trial in the Magistrate's Court 
from the 4th of May to the 19th of August 1908. There was a second batch, and 
all those committed were under trial in the Sessions Court from the 14th of October 
1903 to the 4th of March 1909. Their appeals were disposed of by the High Court 
some months afterwards. The number of persons committed by the Magistrate 
to the Sessions Court was 38 in all. While the accused were under trial in the 

214 



Sessions Court, one of them who had turned approver was murdered by two of 
the others. These were separately convicted and hanged. 

4. Oa the 16th August 1909 a daooity was committed at Nangla (district 
Khuhia). In the course of the investigation which 
ine Nangla conspiracy followed this dacoity various places were searched. 
Amongst these No. 15, Jorabagan Street, and No. 165, 
Ahiritola Street, Calcutta, were searched. In the search at No. 15, Jorabagan 
Street, Bidhu Bhusan De, Ashwini Kumar Basu and Brajendra Kumar Datta 
were arrested, and in the search at No. 165, Ahiritola Street, Kali Das Ghosh was 
arrested. Various seditious literature was found and, as further investigations 
disclosed the existence of a conspiracy to wage war, 16 persons were placed before 
a Magistrate under section 121 A (conspiracy to wage war). Three were discharged 
and the remaining 13 were sent up before the High Court under the provisions 
of Act XIV of 19U8 on the 2nd of June 1910. These persons were tried by a bench 
consisting of Harington, Holnisvood and Doss, J J. Eleven persons were found 
guilty under section 121A (conspiracy to wage war against the King-Emperor) 
and the remaining two were acquitted. Six were transported or imprisoned for 
terms varying from 7 to 2 years. Judgment was given on the 30th of August 
1910. The following facts were established : — 

(a) Search at No. 15, Jorabagan Street, resulted in the find of much seditious 

literature, the most important being a copy of Ilukti Kon Pathe, and 
of certain documents laying down instructions for the organisation 
of secret associations and for manufacture of bombs. Three of the 
accused were found on the premises and seditious literature Avas found 
with them. 

(b) With regard to the Muhti Kon Pathe and the other documents, the learned 

Judges observed : " The Muktl Kon Pathe coiLsisted of a reprint of 
articles originally published in a seditious newspaper called the Jugantar. 
These articles, amongst other matters, in supporting the view that there 
should be a revolution, pointed out that a revolution has to be prepared 
for in two definite stages — one is the formation of public opinion, and 
the other is (to use the words of the writer), ' by brute force and the 
collection of arms.' The Mukti Kon Pathe goes on to show how public 
opinion is to be formed, and it recommends publication, of newspapers, 
music, literature, preaching, the formation of secret meetings and 
secret associations. The second branch of the preparation for revolu- 
tion, namely, by brute force and the collection of arms, is also dealt 
with, and the paper sets out that arms 'must be purchased by money 
collected to that end by robbery. Further, that bombs should be 
prepared, and that the attention of the youth of the country should 
be directed to the attainment of physical strength for the coming 
struggle." 

As regards the other documents the Judges observed : " In those'exhibits 
are to be found the details as to the organisation of secret societies. 
There are to be found instructions of how high explosives and bombs 
are to be manufactured, and the instructions are illustrated with 
beautifully executed pencil drawings, which must have been made 
by a draftsman of very considerable skill. There is no evidence as 
to when the Mukti Kon Pathe v/as published, but the confidential 
exhibits contain internal evidence that a portion of them at least has 
come into existence since April 1909. In that month an attempt was 
made to murder the Mayor and Mayoress of Chandcrnagore by throwing 
a bomb into the room in which they were sitting. Mercifully it failed 
to explode, but a reference in one of the confidential documents to this 
abortive attempt and a discussion of the reason why that bomb did 
not go off establish clearly that that particular document has come 
into existence since that attempt was made." 

215 



(c) The different accused associated with each other tor the purposes of the 

conspiracy mentioned above and the association was proved inter alia 
by letters and a diafy of Bidhu Bhusan De, one of the accused. 

(d) Some of the accused trafficked in firearms. 

(e) The accused assembled at a place called Jana Kachia for the purpose of 

committing a dacoity at Nangla. 

''/) The letters to the accused ?.t No. 15, Jorabagan Street, were not addressed 
to that address, but were addressed to No. 165, Ahiritola Street, where 
accused Kali Das was employed. In other words, Kali Das's address 
was used as the " post-box," a feature which we frequently come across 
in many of these political cases. 

\g) That they were members of a samiti, one of the ostensible objects of which 
was the improvement of physical culture by exercises in lathi-igilaj, etc. , 
but the real object was to bring about a revolution. 

From the findings of this judgment it can be concluded that a number of 
bhadralok youths entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the King- 
Emperor on the lines indicated in Mulcti Kon Pathe and translated the pernicious 
teachings of that book into practice : that persons who belonged to different castes 
came from different i^laces, entered into a criminal conspiracy and used more than 
one place in and outside Calcutta for the furtherance of their criminal conspiracy. 
The accused made use of an association which had the ostensible object of physical 
culture for the furtherance of their revolutionary object. 

5. On the 20th of July 1910 a complaint was filed against 47 persons under 
sections 121A, 122 and 123 of the Indian Penal Code, 
uacca conspiracy Eight were subsequently added and 44 were committed 
for trial by the Sessions Judge of Dacca. On the 7th 
of August 1911 he convicted 36 and sentenced them to various terms of transporta- 
tion or imprisonment. The convicts appealed to the High Court. The convic- 
tions of 14 were affirmed but the sentences were modified. In other cases the 
convictions were set aside. The accused were charged mainly under section 121 A 
(conspiracy to wage war against the King-Emperor). 

The principal point was whether the Dacca Anusilan Samiti was a criminal 
society the object of which was to conspire to wage war against the King-Emperor 

The High Court found that it was a criminal society with such an object. They 
considered that a society known as the Dacca Anusilan Samiti wag established ; 
that persons who entered that society were bound by vows to observe the most 
stringent rules of discipline ; that Pulin Behari Das, once a teacher in the Dacca 
Government College, actually started the society and was its leader ; that Pulin 
and his assistants used to instruct youths in martial exercises with lathis and 
daggers. Certain dociiments containing the voavs which we have described in 
our Chapter V were proved to have belonged to the society. These vows were 
thus described by Mr. Justice Mukharji : — 

" The initial and the final vows were meant for all ordinary members, the 
initial to be taken at the time of admission into the samiti and the final 
after the novice has reached a certain stage of culture or attainment. 
The two special vows were intended only for the members of the inner 
circle ; and amongst them also there was obviously a gradation. The 
initial vow is harmless. The member undertakes never to separate himself 
from the samiti, to be loj^al to its mterests, to keep his own character 
immaculate, to carry out the orders of the authorities without question, 
to be diligent in gymnastics and drill, to keep secret from all non-membera 
the art of self-defence, and to work out the welfare of the country and 
gradually of the world. The final vow opens with a declaration that no 
internal matters whatever of the samiti were to be divulged to anyone ; 
nor were they to be even discussed unnecessarily. The member who 
took his final vow undertook to carry out unquestioningly the orders of 

216 



the parichalak or the head of the samiti, to keep him informed of his 
own whereabouts wherever he might be, to inform the chief of the exist- 
ence of conspiracies against the samiti and under his orders to remedy 
them, to return to duty whenever the President might command, to consi- 
der no kind of work as humiliating, to cultivate self-abnegation and self- 
sacrifice and to keep secret from all persons not equally bound by oath 
the instructions that he had received. The first special vow is couched 
in more solemn language, and the member undertakes to remain attached 
to the circle till its object has been fulfilled, to sever the tie of affection 
for parents and relations, for hearth and home, to render absolute obe- 
dience to the leader in the work of the circle, and to give up vicious habits 
of all descriptions. The second special vow is couched in still more 
solemn language, and the member undertakes to stake his life and all 
that he possesses to accomplish the work of the circle, called the circle 
for the enhancement of good sense, to keep the inner secrets inviolate, 
and never to discuss or mention them, to carry out commands without 
question, to preserve the secrecy of manlras, to conceal nothing from the 
leader, never to deceive the leader by untruth, to be engaged always ii^ 
the practice of religion, and finally to mete out just punishment to those 
antagonistic to it." 

Another document contained rules for the conduct of members of the society. 
These were thus described by the same Judge : — 

" When we return to the rules for the conduct of members, we find the same 
remarkable provision for the preservation of an unnamed secret. With 
this end in view, all unnecessary discussion even amongst the members 
themselves was strictly prohibited. They were not even to write letters 
to their friends and relations without the permission of the leader, and 
all letters for and from the members were to be shown to him. Members 
were also to cut themselves off completely from their relations and friends 
and if they obtained any money from them, it was to be regarded as the 
common property of the samiti and the circle. Each member was also 
required to take both the sets of the vows of the samiti, i.e., the initial 
and the final £.3 also the special vows of the circle. Every member was 
further expected to get by heart the vows, the duties of a manager, the 
paridarshak, the lathi--play book and the regulations. Finally, every 
member was bound to bring to the notice of the chief whatever draw- 
backs he might notice in any of the other members, and if the conceal- 
ment of the fault of the member by another should be detected, both of 
them were to be punished. These rules plainly indicated that the members 
were to be suljject to the absolute control of the head of the samiti and 
that all possible precautions were to be taken for the preservation of 
an undisclosed secret." 

Another document was termed the Paridarshak (the inspector or visitor). A 
full account of this is given in our Appendix B 6 (vi). 

Another document was the Smnpadakganer Kartahya, or the duties of the Secre- 
tary. The following quotation from the judgment of Mr. Justice Mukharji will 
explain the nature of the document : — 

" It described in minute detail the steps to be taken by the Secretary of every 
samiti for its maintenance and improvement. Promotion of physical 
exercise was a prominent object ; but complete instruction was to be 
imparted only to those who had taken both sets of vows in full ; steps 
were to be taken for the collection of handfuls of rice fts alms and attempt 
was to be made to secure pecuniary help. But the accounts were to be 
rendered every Aveek to the Chief Secretary of the central samiti and were 
to be open to inspection by visitors appointed by him. All changes in 
organisation or personnel were to be promptly reported to the Chief 
Secretary. A register was to be kept of members of the samiti with 

217 



full details as to antecedents and previous connection, if any, with affiliated 
samitis. Provision was also made for the punishment of delinquent 
members ; but in no circumstance were they to be allowed to leave the 
samiti. Effective enquiries were to be made as to the existence of con- 
spiracies against the samiti, and steps Avere to be taken for the remedy 
thereof. There was finally a noticeable rule that those who were under 
12 years of age and were incapable of understanding the spirit of the 
vows to be designated as the external limbs of the samiti ; such boys 
were only to have the vows read out to them and were to be made to 
observe them. They were to be taught only certain defined exercises, 
while those who have taken the initial vow were to have no other lessons 
imparted to them than specified courses in play with big and small sticks 
and also daggers. These rules emphasise the importance of the vows 
and also indicate the complete subordination of branch associations to 
the leader of the central samiti. The rules also indicate that, although 
members were to be punished for their delinquencies, every effort was to 
be made to retain them within the folds of the society: expulsion of 
persons already initiated into the secrets of the society was obviously 
inconsistent with the preservation of its aims and objects." 

There were also the " village notes." The idea was that the society was to 
send out inspectors to every village throughout the length and breadth of the 
Province and information about the villages was to be collected. The document 
relating to village notes in this case was in a printed form. It contained in print 
21 points as to which information was to be obtained. It had, besides, a table in 
print with spaces ' for the entry of information on various heads. Some copies 
filled in were produced in this case. The matters in which information was ob- 
tained relate to the inhabitants, fairs, produce, roads and water-courses, secrecy, 
enthusiasm or otherwise of the samiti members and other matters. 

A map was " to be attached to each village note to indicate the roads and rivers, 
meadows and canals, houses and gardens, and the specimens on the record indicate 
fairly with Avhat minuteness the information has been collected and depicted on the 
map " (Mukharji, J.) Statistical and other important information to be collected 
was remarkable. 

Another document was the form of notice for the organisation of new samitis. 
This was issued publicly with the object of establishing and maintaining samitis all 
over the Province. The document makes it plain that Pulin's object was to divide 
the whole of Bengal into divisions and subdivisions and to have branch associations 
at every place of any note or importance. 

Also there were rules for the conduct of members of the samiti. We find in this 
document remarkable provisions for the preservation of an " unnamed secret." 
With this end in view all unnecessary discussion even amongst the members them- 
selves was strictly prohibited. They were not even to write letters to their friends 
and relatives without the permission of the leader, and all letters for and from 
members were to be shown to him. Members were to cut thmselves off completely 
from their friends and relatives, and monies obtained from them were to be re- 
garded as the common property of the samiti. 

There was too a " notification." This document provided for the domestic 
discipline within the walls of the samiti. It provides for doing all the domestic 
work, for the care of the property, for issue of books in the library, for setting of 
a night watch and for matters of strict discipline v/ithin the walls (Harington, J.) 

Moreover there was a " Unity " leaflet or " Independence " leaflet. This was 
printed and circulated publicly. Its central idea was that there was no possibility 
of unity unless subordination to one leader was accepted. The object of Pulin 
Behari Das was to be this leader, a leader into whose hands, as he put it, individual 
freedom was to be totally surrendered in order that national and social freedom 
might be achieved. The full significance of this may be appreciated when taken 

218 



in conjunction, with the passage in the PariJarshaJc where reference is made to the 
career of Napoleon (Mukharji, J.) 

Copies of 31 II Jet i Kon Pathe and the Bartaman Rananiti were found on the samiti 
premises, and besides these books Avas a quantity of seditious literature essays 
and songs, many of them in the hand^vi^iting of one or other of the members of the 
society. These indicated plainly violent hatred and animosity towards the British 
Government and contained calls to arms for the subversion by force of British rule 
and for the destruction of the " oppressor." Many contain appreciation in high- 
flown language of anarchical outrages by notorious murderers. 

The Sessions Court had convicted the accused of participation in various out- 
rages, overt acts. But the High Court held that participation in only one of these 
overt acts had been brought home to those convicts whose convictions they upheld. 

The High Court held— 

(1) That the samiti had a jealously guarded secret, and every effort was made 

to preserve it inviolate. The secret was such that it was not even to 
be discussed amongst the members themselves. 

(2) The members were bound by solemn oaths of secrecy and willingly 

subjected themselves to semi-military discipline. 

(3) The Dacca Samiti was to be the central institution to which societies with 

the same object and scope were to be affiliated in all parts of the 
country. 

(4) The members themselves were to be admitted to the fraternity only after 

they had taken the most solemn vows in the presence of an image of the 
goddess Kali. 

(5) If any outsider without taking the oath, and refusing to take it, obtained 

entrance into the society, his knowledge was to be destroyed. 

(6) The organisation was ultimately to spread all over Bengal ; the condition 

of every village and town to be minutely examined and recorded, geo- 
graphical information to be embodied in a series of maps. 

(7) The object of Pulin Behari Das was plainly to create an imperium in 

iviperio with himself as the leader. 

(8) The leader was entitled to complete and unquestioned supremacy and 

every effort was to be made to prevent the growth of rival institutions 
even for the promotion of physical culture. 

(9) Many of the members of this association entertained feelings of the bitter- 

est hostility towards the British Government. 

(10) In addition to gymnastics, drill and other forms of physical exercise, 

there was a systematic discussion of the objects of the society as set 
forth in the Paridarshak already mentioned. 

(11) That the society was a revolutionary society. 

Concluding remarks. — From the facts accepted in this case it is clear that a 
revolutionary movement of a very dangerous character was started by hhadralok 
youths of some education. The movement had great potentialities for evil. The 
Dacca Samiti being proscribed, its premises searched, its leading members prose- 
cuted, the growth of the movement was temporarily arrested, but many of the 
associates escaped and continued their operations. The teaching and the example 
of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti were responsible for many murders, dacoities and 
other political crimes diiring the subsequent 10 years. 

6. Forty-six accused were, on the 20th of July 1910, committed for trial by 

the High Court under Act XIV of 1908. The charges 

TBO HOWran gang case. against them were imder sections 121A, 122 and 123 

of the Indian Penal Code. The principal charge was under section 121A 

(conspiracy to wage war against the King-Emperor). The case did not proceed 

against 7 of these 46 persons. The place of the conspiracy was said to be " Sibpur 

919 



in the district of Howrah and other places in British India." Tlie Counsel for 
the CroAvn in his address divided the accused into the following groups : — 
(1) Sib2)ur group, (2) Kurchi group, (3) Kidderpore group, (4) Chingripota group! 
(5) MazUpur gi'oup, (6) Haludbari group, (7) Krishnagar group, (8) Nator group, 
(0) Jhaugacha group, (10) Jugantar group, (11) Chatra Bhandar group, and 
(12) Rajshahi (Rampiu- Boalia) group. The prosecution attempted to prove a 
conspiracy under section 121A and certain overt acts {e.g., dacoities, murders, 
seducing of troops, etc.) committed in pursuance of the conspiracy. Some 
of the overt acts had been the subject of judicial proceedings. Two approvers, 
Laht Mohan Chakrabarti and Jatindia Nath Hazra, were put forward as important 
witnesses. The court, however, declined to accept the evidence of the approvers, 
mainly on the ground that their statements, if compared .with other evidence and 
circumstances disclosed, were not reliable. The Court further jDointed out another 
fatal defect in the case for the prosecution. The following quotation from the 
judgment will make the point clear : — 

" There is but one further point to which I would desire to allude before I 
proceed to deal with the individual tases. It is the charge of conspiracy 
that has been argued before us, and no other, and that charge is single 
and comjjlete. At the same time there are many accused before us and 
they are drawn from difierent parts of the country. These accused have 
been described by the prosecution, and conveniently described, as falling 
into groups. But it is not open to us to find more conspiracies than one, 
for there is the highest authority that it is a legal impossibility when 
several persons are charged ■vy^ith the same conspiracy that some should 
be. found guilty of one conspiracy and some of another. This proposi- 
tion was accepted by Counsel for the prosecution as one by which the 
Court must be governed. It is thus only open to us to find one con- 
spiracy, and, for the prosecution to succeed against any one of the accused, 
they must establish by proper and sufficient proof that he is a member 
of that conspiracy." 

The Counsel for the prosecution accepted this proposition, and put forward 
only one conspiracy. The Court acquitted most of the accused, mainly on the 
ground that their coimection with this particular conspiracy was not proved. The 
Court, however, found inter alia that — (a) a conspiracy to wage war was proved ; 
(b) that some dacoities were committed and in some of these dacoities some of the 
accused took part ; in others the coimection of individual accused was not made 
out ; (c) that seditious literature was in circulation ; (d) that arms were seized ; 
(e) that one of the accused, Tara Nath Ray Chaudhuri, who was convicted under 
the Arms Act (for illegal possession of arms) and sentenced to 3 years' rigorous 
imprisonment, was the manager of the seditious newspaper Jugantar. The Court 
convicted only six of the accused, holding they were guilty of taking part in the 
Haludbari dacoity. 

7. On the 12th of May 1913 sanction for the prosecution of 44 persons unde ^ 

. section 121A, Indian Penal Code, was obtained from th® 

ine Barisai conspiracy Local Government. Thirty-seven of these wer® 

arrested. Two, Rajani Kanta Das and Girindx'^ 

Mohan Das, became approvers. Seven were discharged by the Magistrate an^ 

2 were discharged in the Sessions Cornet. Of the 9 so discharged the prosecution 

withdrew the case against 7. Of the rest, 12 pleaded guilty. The cases against 

the remainder were withdi'awn by the prosecution. Evidence was adduced before 

the enquiring Magistrate, and some witnesses were heard by the Sessions Court. 

That Court accepted the plea of guilty. In order to determme appropriate sentences, 

the Court discussed the evidence shortly with regard to the natiu-e of the offence 

and observed jM^er alia — 

(a) That the accused were aU young men, their ages ranging from 19 to 29 

(6) That they were for the most part instruments in the hands of person, 
whom the police failed to arrest and whose identity was not known 

220 



(c) That ever since the movement was started it wnn essentially a movement 

among young men and boys. 

(d) That the movement had been in existence for nearly a decade. 

(e) That the " District Organisation Scheme " found in this case provided 

for the spreading of the propaganda among schoolboys by the intro- 
duction of masters imbued with the " idea " into schools all over the 
country and by the institution of selected students in all schools. 

(/) That paragraph 15 of the " District Organisation Scheme " explains the 
importance of spreading the movement among school boys and says : — 
"It is umnarried youths who are depositaries of enthusiastic zeal, 
capability of doing work and self-sacrifice." 

(g) The dangerous nature of the movement is illustrated by the following 
quotation from the judgment : — 

" As the ' District Organisation Scheme ' shows, the present conspiracy 
was intended to be exceedingly widespread, having branches in all 
districts in Eastern Bengal. Of the persons who have pleaded guilty 
in the present case some are residents of the district of Bakarganj, 
some hail from Dacca, and three from Tippera. It is an anarchical 
movement whose followers bind themselves to obey implicitly the 
orders of the leaders. The younger generation are drawn away 
from their studies to follow a chimerical idea. Misery is introduced 
into homes that are otherwise happy and contented. Both the 
approvers in the present case are instances of young men who have 
been led against their natural inclinations to become accomplices 
to acts of violence. Secret murders and dacoities committed against 
helpless people in far-away villages are articles of the conspirators' 
creed ; and from a passage in the ' Questions letters ' exhibited in 
the case, and attributed to Sailesh Mukharji, one of the confessing 
accused, it would appear that a ' wholesale massacre,' presumably 
of Europeans, was part of the conspirators' programme. The young 
men who join such an association may be temporarily blinded by 
the glamour of the prospect of a fight for independence ; but secret 
murders and dacoities committed on helpless village folk is the work 
of common felons and not of would-be patriots. The conspirators 
have allowed their mental perverseness to run riot. No one could 
quarrel with them for loving their countr5^ and the question of the 
liberation of India is far beyond their comprehension. They are 
puffed up with their own importance and are a law to themselves. 
Their methods must alienate the sympathy of all right-thinking 
people. 

The sentences imposed in recent cases of a similar nature have had no 
deterrent effect. In the interests of law and order, and in the in- 
terests of India herself, it is necessary that this movement should 
be stopped." 

(h) Ramesh Acharya, the leader at Barisal, was only 21 years of age at the 
time of his arrest. 

(i) That several of the accused took part in some of the dacoities. 

The findings in the judgment and the documents proved in the case established 
that bhadralok youths entered into a conspiracy with the object of spreading abroad 
a dangerous organisation throughout the country. The organisation was intended 
to overthrow the British Government. In furtherance of the objects of that 
organisation they committed several dacoities. They recruited schoolboys in 
insidious ways. These boys were gradually drawn into a life of crime by carefully 
contrived schemes and vowf. Some of the accused had themselves been perverted 
in this manner. The conspiracy was really a branch of the Dacca conspiracy. 
There were other branches of the Dacca conspiracy. 

321 



8. In the Barisal case the local Government sanctioned the prosecutioa of 

_ . , . 44 persons under section 121A of the Indian Penal 

Barisal conspiracy n ^ , ^ • ^ .■ t^- 

supplementary case. ^° (conspiracy to wage war against the King- 
Emperor). Of these, 37 persons were arrested. Of 
these 37, 9 weie discharged and 28 were committed to the Sessions Court for trial. 
The case was withdrawn against 2 and proved agai*t the remaining 26. After 
a considerable body of evidence had been recorded, 12 of the accused pleaded 
guilty and were convicted and sentenced. The case against the remaining 14 
was withdrawn. Other accused who were absconding were arrested on various 
dates and put up for trial. The names of these accused were (1) Madan Mohan 
Bhaumik alias Madan Mohan Chandra Bhaumik alias Kulada Prasad Ray, (2) 
Trailakhya Nath Chakrabarti alias Kalidhar Chakrabarti alias Biraja Kanta 
Chakrabarti, (3) Khagendra Nath Chaudhuri alias Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri, 
(4) Pratul Chandra Ganguli and (5) Ramesh Chandra Datta Chaudhuri alias Ramesh 
Chandra Chaudhuri alias Paritosh. 

The main fact on which the prosecution relied was that the accused in both 
these cases and many other persons formed themselves into an elaborate organisa- 
tion with the object of overthrowing the British Government. Recruiting of boys, 
collection of funds by dacoities and other criminal acts, collection of arms, and 
murder of spies and persons who were suspected to be unfaithful to the organization 
were some of its principal activities. This organization came within the provisions 
of section 121A of the Indian Penal Code and was a conspiracy to wage war 
against the King-Emperor. 

The Sessions Judge of Barisal in a lengthy judgment found the existence of 
such a criminal conspiracy to have been proved. He also found that the con- 
spiracy was guilty of various overt acts like dacoities, murders, etc. He convicted 
and sentenced each of the five accused to various terras of imprisonment. The 
assessors also agreed to the finding that a conspiracy known as the Barisal conspiracy 
existed. There was an appeal to the High Court. In the appeal no attempt was 
made by Counsel for the appellants to dispute the finding that the Barisal con- 
spiracy did in fact exist. They apparently confined their arguments only to the 
question as to whether the accused individually took part in this conspiracy. Both 
Courts, however, found that the Barisal conspiracy did in fact exist, and the High 
Court further observed that tlie existence of the conspiracy was not challenged 
because the evidence was so strong that such an attempt had no chance of success 
Amongst others the following facts were established by oral evidence and exhibits : — 

(1) That the Barisal Samiti was an offshoot of the Dacca Anusilan Samiti 

There were also samitis and organisations in various other places. 
e.g., Comilla, Chittagong, and Feni. 

(2) The organisations were systematic and complete. The " idea " (as it was 

called) was to be zealously preached amongst students and schoolboys. 
The members were gradually initiated into the inner circle by vows 
of gradually increasing solemnity. There were several departments 
like the Arms department, the Action department, the Violence depart- 
• ment, the Organisation department, the General department, etc. 
The organisation and the vows, the methods of work, etc., were similar 
to those proved in the Dacca conspiracy case. We have described 
these. 

(3) Appointments as schoolmasters were secured with a view to recruitment 

of boys. 

(4) The Sonarang National School was one of the important centres of the 

organisation. The Secretary (who was also the proprietor) and several 
teachers and students of this school were active members of the criminal 
conspiracy, and dacoities and crimes were engineered and carried out 
from the Sonarang National School. 

323 



io) That the following dacoities and crimes were the overt acts of the Barisal 
Samiti and bhadralok boys of some education took part in them : — 

(1) The Haldia Hat dacoity, 30th September 1910. 

(2) The Kalagaon dacoity, 7th November 1910. 

(3) The Dadpur dacoity, 30th November 1910. 

(4) The Panditchar dacoity, 30th February 1911. 

(5) The Goadia dacoity, 29th February 1911. 

(6) The Sukair dacoity, 31st March 1911. 

(7) Eeconnoitring for a dacoity at !Madarigatij, Cth June 1911. 

(8) The Golakpur gun theft, 20th July 1911. 

(9) The Kawakuri dacoity, 29th April 1912. 

(10) The Birangal dacoity, 23rd May 1912. 

(11) The Panam dacoity, lOth July 1912. 

(12) The murder of Sarada Chakrabarti in July 1912. 

(13) The Comilla town dacoitj^ 1st November 1912. 
•(14) The Xangalband dacoity, 14th November 1912. 

The fact that so many crimes were committed by hhadraloh youth over a 
comparatively wide aica and for a period of two j^ears is very signi- 
ficant. Crimes like these are absolutely foreign to the nature and 
ordinary inclinations of the educated Bengali j'outh. Their occurrence 
was entirely a new and abnormal experience. The fact that so many 
crimes could be committed with impunity for such an extended period 
by a fairly large number of people also shows that the organisation 
behind the crimes \jas elaborate. ^ 

{Q) The Barisal Samiti had a District Organiser as its head. One Jatin Ghosh, 
a youth of the hhadrcdok class, was at first its hacd. He was succeeded 
by one of the accused, another bhadralok youth, named Ramesh Acharya. 
Eamesh was a young man of about 21 or 22 at the time of his arrest. 
He was the son of a Government Court reader. Eamesh joined the 
Dacca Samiti after passing his matriculation examination. 

Soon after passing his intermediate examination Eamesh was ordered to 
join the " National School " at Sonarang as a teacher. He obej'ed. 
While at Sonarang, he committed various crimes. The Sonarang 
school was closed soon after the Sukair dacoity. Then he was prose- 
cuted for bad livelihood under section 110, Criminal Procedure Code, 
and ultimately succeeded Jatin Ghosh as the leader of the Samiti at 
Barisal. He was convicted in the Barisal conspii'acy case. The case 
of Eamesh Acharya is one of many typical cases that we have come 
across in which a student and a son of a respectable man was gradually 
drawn into a revolutionary organisation and ultimately became a 
hardened criminal at a comparatively early age. He joined the Samiti 
first as an organisation for physical improvement and gradually be- 
came enmeshed in the toils of a revolutionary oi'ganisation at the age 
of 21 or 22. But foT this organisation he would perhaps have become 
a useful member of society instead of a hardened criminal. 

(7) One of the overt acts proved, namely, the murder of Snrada Chakrabarti, 
was an act of cold-blooded murder for supposed faithlessness to the 
objects of the Samiti. The victim was shot, his head was cut off, and 
then the head and the body were thrown into a tank. The district 
police at the time did not even know whose body it was, and had no 
notion whatever that the crime was the act of a political organisation. 
A considerable time afterwards as a result of the confession of one 
223 



Priya Nath Acharya in the Trichinopoly Jail the Criminal Investiga- 
tion Department succeeded in learning the true facts relating to the 
crime. Following up the facts stated by Priya Nath they succeeded 
in obtaining unimpeachable corroboration of the statements of Priya 
Nath, and his version of the facts was accepted both by the Sessions 
Judge and the High Court. 

(8) The members of the Samiti had two farms (Belonia and Adaipur) in Hill 

Tippera. The farms were ostensibly agricultural ventures, but really 
places for the furtherance of the revolutionarj' organisation. The 
members of the Samiti used to practise shooting in these farms. 

(9) Prij'a Nath Acharya, Ramesh Acharya, and others used to join schools 

as teachers for the purpose of recruiting boys for the revolutionary, 
movement and often succeeded in their attempts. 

(10) Letters used to be addressed to ordinary persons, who had consented to 

act as post-boxes, so as to evade police vigilance. 

(11) Seditious pamphlets used to be distributed for the furtherance of the 

organisation. 

(12) Cipher lists were found setting out names of boys of various educational 

institutions. These boys \iere apparently members of the conspiracy 
organisation. 

From the judgment and the documents found in the case it can be legitimately 
concluded that bhadralok youths (mostly students) entered into a conspiracy to 
overthrow the British Government. The conspiracy was responsible for at leaat 
11 dacoities during a period of about two j-ears, one murder, one attempt at a 
dacoity, and one theft of a gun. The faet that even after the convictions in 
the Dacca conspiracy case the Barisal conspiracy could continue to floui'ish shows 
how ineffective the results of the Dacca trial had been from a preventive point 
of view. It must be remembered that the Dacca Samiti was the parent society. 
The records of the Barisal supplementary case show also how dangerous to the 
educated youth of Bengal these samitis are. 

9. A search waixant was issued by the Deput}^ Commissioner of Sylhet in 
The Raia Bazar bomb comiection with, a bomb outrage committed at Maulvi 
g»c- Bazar in Sylhet. In execution of this warrant in 

December 1913 a room occupied by Sasal^ka Sekhar 
Hazra, alias Amrita Lai Hazra, was searched at No. 29G-1, Upper Circular Road 
(local name Raja Bazar). Three persons, Sasanka Sekhar (alias Amrita Lai) 
Hazra, Dinesh Chancha Sen Gupta, Chandi-a Sekhar De and Sarada Charan Guha, 
M'ere found asleep inside this room and were arrested. The police found in this 
room, amongst other things, some tobacco tins, clamps and discs. It was alleged 
that these were materials for the jirej^aration of bombs. Later on two men, namely, 
Kalipada Ghosh, alias Upendra Lai Ray Chaudhuri and Khagendra Nath Chau- 
dhuri alias Suresh Cliandi-a Chaudhm-i, were arrested at different places. Sanction 
of the local Goveiiunent was obtained to prosecute these men under section 120 B 
of the Indian Penal Code and under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908. The 
men (except Khagendia) were convicted and sentenced to various terms of impri- 
sonment by the Sessions Judge of Alipore. The convicted men appealed to the 
High Court and the Goverimient also appealed against the acquittal of Khagendra 
and obtained rules for enhancement of the sentences passed upon the five accused 
convicted by the Sessions Judge. The apj)eal was heard by Mukharji and Richard- 
son, J.J. Below are noted the more important findings in the judgment of the 
High Court dated the 25th of February 1915 :— 

(«) That Exhibits Nos. I, V, VI and VII constituted materials for the pre- 
paration of bombs as alleged b^' the prosecution and were not collected 
for experiments towards construction of a cheap acetylene generator 
as contended by the defence. 

324 



(b) That the bombs vhich wexe being manufactured at Xo. 290-1, Upper 

Circular Road, were of the same type as the Dalhousie Square bomb 
(dated the 2nd March 1911), the Midnapore bomb (thrown into the 
house of an approver, dated the 13th December 1912), the Dellii bomb 
(throA\n at the Viceroy on the 23rd December 1912), the Maulvi Bazar 
bomb (dated the 27th March 1913), the Lahore bomb (dated the 17th 
May 1913), the Mymensingh bomb (dated the 30th September 1913), and 
the' Bhadreswar bomb (dated the 31.st December 1913). 

(c) The system adopted was to use, for the shell of the bomb, a tin of the 

kind in which tobacco, cigarettes or condensed milk is sold and with 
it to use iron discs and iron clamps. 

(d) The experts testified that the various bombs were the work of one con- 

trolling mmd and all belonged to the same family. Major Tiurner, 
one of the experts, said that he had never come across this tj-pe of 
bombs. 

(e) That Sasanka was a member of a revolutionary conspiracy, firstly because 

the fact that bombs of this particular type were found to have been 
used in various places in British India as widely separated from each 
other as Calcutta, Lahore, Dellii, Sj'lhet, Mymensingh and Midnapore, 
showed that more than one person was engaged in these transactions, 
and secondly because of the revolutionary documents foimd in his 
room '' advocating realisation of the independence of India with the 
aid of heroic patriots by bloodshed and assassination. ' 

(/) The connection of the other accused with the conspiracy was not estab- 
lished. 

These are the main findings so far as the same are necessary for our pm'poses. 
There is, however, an interesting portion of the judgment dealing with the meaning 
of the words "■Mayer Lila'^ (the inscrutable ways oi Mother). Two meanings 
ai-e suggested — one innocent and the other sinister. The following quotation 
from the judgment illustrates what this sinister meaning is : — ' At the same time 
the"e can be no question that by a grievous and perverse misapplication of language, 
— an act of sacrilege which merits the strongest condemnation of all right-minded 
people — ^revolutionaries have applied the expression {''Mayer Lila") to describe 
anarchical outrages as if they were deeds sanctioned by the great mother of the 
universe.' 

From the judgment in this case as also from the accepted exhibits, the existence 
of a criminal conspiracy of a dangerous character is established. The fact that 
bombs were manufactured and used in different parts of India, as also the use 
of bombs of one common type in places so distant from each other as Delhi, Maulvi 
Bazar, Lahore and Calcutta, is very significant. 



396 



ANNEXUEE (2). 

Statistics as to age, caste, occiqyation or profession of persons convicted 
in Bengal of revolutionary crimes or killed in commission of such 
' crimes during the i/ears 1907 — 17^ 

Age. 



10—15. 


16—20. 


21—25. 


20—30. 


31—35. 


30- 


-45. 


Over 45. 


Not recorded. 


2 


48 


76 


29 


10 


9 


• 
1 


It 



Caste. 

































rrt 






• 








•1 


















a u- 




eS 








c3 


c3 




j; 














si2 


c 




^ 


. 






rS 






U 












35-* 


a 






3 

ft 

•5- 


1 


% 


a 

CO 


1 


2 

a 

u 

t4 


1 


3 


5 

03 


1 








65 


87 


13 


1 


' 1 


3 


1 


1 


1 


3 


1 


2 


1 


1 


j 1 
1 


1 

i 



Profession or occupation. 













[ 


ia 1 






1 










® = 




^ i 


-§. 


a 




1 1 
















_ o « 






















•go-? 


















.2 5 








a 




-2 


2 


i> 


11 


o S 
•a 


a M 


P.S 


1 


1 


a 

a 


C3 


5 


11 


9] ffl g 

.a a <o 
^ o a 
s> M a 


* 

ewspa 

press 


i ^ 

1 


a ' 

.2 

Pi 


2 

o 


t» 


H 




PM 




Q ! 


o 


^ 


° 


» 


6S 


10 


10 


24 


23 


7 1 


20 


5 


1 


1 


2 



Note. — Tho figures in these tables relate to persons convicted in respect of apecifie 
outrages, persons convicted of conspiracy to wage war against the King-Emperor, and 
persons convicted of illegal possession of arms and explosives, where the oircumstanoea 
ahow connection with the revolutionary movement, and persons killed in the commisaion 
off revolutionary crime. They do not include persons bound over to bo of good behaviour 
or ksep the peace. 



22G 



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