Saturday, September 12, 2015

ALIPORE BOMB CASE ... Part 2: Bomb Testings & Kingsford Killing

ALIPORE BOMB CASE or ALIPORE BOMB CONSPIRACY or ALIPORE BOMB TRIAL was a landmark court trial in the history of Indian Independence Movement. Involving Rishi Aurobindo and his associates, identified as the extremists by the British and defended by Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, the Alipore Case had a fascinating background to research about.

WANDERLUST presents before you the entire story in 3 weekly installments. Here goes the Part 2...

If you have missed Part 1, here is the STORY (Muraripukur Garden House)...


Muraripukur Garden House after the Raid on account of Muzaffarpur Killing

After the first lot of Bombs were made it was the time to test their effectiveness. The first set of bombs were made by Ullaskar Dutt. He along with four others went to Dhidhiria Mountain of Deoghar to test them. The other four were Barin Ghosh, Bibhuti Bhusan Sarkar, Nalini Kanto Gupta and Prafulla Chandra Chakraborty. Prafulla Chakraborty was a member of Rangpur Revolutionary centre. He took over the charge of exploding the bomb and others took the strategic positions. He drew the pin of the bomb and threw it far down the hill. The moment the bomb fell, it exploded with a bang and a piece of the rock flew up and fell on Prafulla Chakraborty and Ullaskar Dutt, killing Chakraborty on the spot and fatally wounding Dutt. Soon darkness engulfed the place. They decided to leave the site at once, leaving their dead comrade behind as they were scared that the sound of the blast would attract the nearby villagers. Barin took Ullas to Calcutta as he was seriously wounded, later treated by a well known and friendly doctor, Indu Madhab Mallick, the inventor of Icmic Cooker who was also happened to be the grandfather of notable Bengali actor Ranjit Mallick. Nalin and Bibhuti stayed behind and kept close watch over the situation. They went back to the blast site on 3 consecutive days and found the body of their dead friend untouched but by the fourth day the body had disappeared without a clue. It was their battlefield and first casualty.

However, Ullaskar Dutt was very much encouraged after the successful but costly test of the bomb he had made. It was the time when Hem Chandra Kanungo Das came back from France and joined the squad. Now Dutt, in alliance with him, devoted himself to making bombs.


The efficacy of their bombs had been proved. Their first target was Governor of Bengal, Sir Andrew Fraser. The mission was undertaken by Barin Ghosh, Ullaskar Dutt and Narendra Goswami (later infamously known as 'Naren Gosain' for being the Prosecution witness of Alipur Bomb Trial). The attempt was made in October, 1907. They reached Chandranagar village near Giridih. Andrew Fraser was going to Ranchi by a special train. It was decided that Ullaskar Dutt would place the bomb on the railway track of the train. Dutt was about to place the bomb at the stipulated place and time when he noticed some people moving about. He then tried to place the bomb at a spot a little further away but in the meantime the train passed and the Governor escaped.

A second attempt was also made after few days and Dutt placed the bomb under the railway line but the Governor cancelled his programme and all the efforts were in vain.

Third attempt was made on December 6, 1907. The governor had a scheduled visit in Kharagpur. After came to know about it from a railway worker who was a relative of a Maharashtrian revolutionary, Barin Ghosh, Bibhuti Sarkar and Prafulla Chaki reached Kharagpur. Though Ullaskar Dutt didn't join this expedition, but the mine prepared by him was used for the explosion. The mine was made of 5 pounds of explosive dynamite in an iron shell with a lid. A fuse made from picric acid and chlorate of potash had been fixed in that mine. The three started by a different train to reach Narayangarh. Reaching the spot, they spent some time behind the thick bush and waited for an opportunity. They placed the mine under the railway track and Barin Ghosh returned to Calcutta while Bibhuti Sarkar and Prafulla Chaki stayed back. Both of them connected the mine and the fuse some time before the coming of the train and moved about one and a half miles away. This time the explosion did hit the train but the Governor had a hair's-breadth escape. The fate favoured him again.

Much later a fourth attempt was made using a pistol in a public meeting in November, 1908. But unfortunately the pistol had jammed. Governor was saved but the assailant Jitendranath Rai was caught and sentenced to imprisonment.

After this no attempt was made on Sir Andrew Fraser's life.


Another target of the revolutionary group was British Magistrate Kingsford, the district judge of Muzaffarpur, infamous for his cruel verdicts.

But Khudiram Bose's incident was not the maiden attempt to kill Kingsford. Before transferred to Bihar he was in Calcutta while the group sent a 'Book Bomb', neatly wrapped in a parcel to kill him. As luck would have it, Mr. Kingsford, believing it to be one of his own law books being returned by a friend to whom he had lent it, had left it unopened. When he moved to Muzaffarpur, the parcel, still unopened, went along with his luggage. When the police, suspicious of any parcel bomb, first contacted him, he failed to recollect ever having received such a parcel. On thinking matters over, he ultimately recalled it and discovered it in his library. He undid it and slightly raised the cover of the book but thought he detected something inside. The chief inspector of explosives brought it down to Calcutta where he took it to the garden of the commissioner of police. The book was opened from a distance by a loop of thin string slipped gingerly under the front cover and it disclosed a cocoa-tin bomb which failed to explode because during the months it had lying unopened, the spring had rusted.

After observing Kingsford's movements, Revolutionaries hatched a plan to kill him. Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose were sent to Muzaffarpur to assassinate the Magistrate. Khudiram Bose was one of the youngest revolutionary, Indian Independence Movement had ever seen. Both reached the Motijhil area of Muzaffarpur and took up residence in the 'Dharamsala' of Kishorimohan Bandyopadhyay, on pseudonyms or code names. Khudiram's code name was 'Haren Sarkar' while Prafulla adopted 'Dinesh Roy'. They closely observed the daily routine, activities and movements of their target, Kingsford - taking note of his timings at the court, the club and his house.

Finally on the evening of 30th April, 1908, the duo waited in front of the gate of European Club for the carriage of Kingsford to come. The time was around 8.30 pm. When the carriage came out, they responded quickly and threw the bombs. Though the carriage blew up but the hit was a miss. The carriage was occupied by wife and daughter of barrister Pringle Kennedy, a leading pleader of Muzaffarpur Bar !!

Khudiram was arrested next morning at 'Vaini' station (now known as Khudiram Bose Pusa Station) and Prafulla Chaki shot himself dead at Mokamaghat when policemen tried to arrest him.

It was after the Muzaffarpur Killing that British Government started to raid the various premises of the revolutionaries, seizing the materials and arresting the suspects.

to be continued.........

The next and final part will cover the Arrest of Suspects and Alipore Court Trial......


  • Hidden Calcutta by Rathin Mitra
  • Chittagong: Eye of the Tiger by Manoshi Bhattacharya
  • Indian Revolutionaries: A Comprehensive Study - 1757 to 1961 by Shrikrishna Sarala

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