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Jugantar Party


Jugantar Party was the leading revolutionary terrorist group in colonial Bengal. An inner circle within the Calcutta anushilan samiti under barindrakumar ghosh and Bhupendranath Datta (with the advice of aurobindo ghosh) started the weekly Jugantar (New Era) in April 1906. The group is named after the Jugantar, the mouthpiece of the advocates of militant nationalism. Barindra vowed to free India from the British colonial domination with religious inspiration tempered by acts of violence, justifying murders by Ksatriyas to further happiness of mankind. He launched a vigorous anti-Partition movement with a revolutionary zeal. He and his twenty-one followers collected arms and explosives and manufactured bombs and thus laid the foundation of the terrorist group, called the Jugantar. Its Head Quarters was located at 93/a Baubazar Street.

Senior figures among the first revolutionary generation, notably Hemchandra Qanungo, went abroad to get both political and military training. Hemchandra obtained the training from a Russian E9migrE9 in Paris. Returning home in January 1908, he set up a combined religious school and bomb factory at a garden house in Maniktala suburb of Calcutta. But the group was arrested within hours of the Kennedy murders (30 April 1908) by kshudiram basu.

The Jugantar Party was linked up with the Bolshevik revolutionary manabendra nath roy alias Narendra Nath Bhattacharya, in Berlin. He took prominent part in what is known as the German plot organised by the Jugantar Party during the war. Bringing into India 32 bore German automatic pistols made by Sauer and Suhl was connected with the India visit of his disciple Abani Mukherji, a member of the Jugantar Party. After the World War 1, the Soviet Government supplied him funds for the purpose of instigating revolution in India.

In the late 1920s the Jugantar group had initiated its campaign of violence with renewed vigour against government post offices, mails, and Railway cash offices in Calcutta and its vicinity. The 'Red Bengal' leaflets made their appearance in 1923. Funds were raised by plundering and murdering wealthy citizens.

Towards the end of 1923 many Jugantar leaders moved into responsible positions in Bengal's district and Provincial Congress Committees, and even in the national committees of the Congress. Bhupati Majumder and Monoranjan Gupta of the Jugantar group held the offices of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee, respectively. Other Jugantar leaders, such as Amarendra Chatterjee, Upendranath Banerjee, Bepin Bihari Ganguli, and Satyendra Chandra Mitra were elected to the All India Congress Committee from Bengal. The National Volunteer Corps raised by the Congress during the non-cooperation movement was largely under the control of the terrorist groups, including the Jugantar.

The Jugantar Party under Jyotish Ghosh, Bepin Ganguli, and Amarendra Chatterjee had plotted to assassin certain Police officers, including Charles Tegart, the Police Commissioner of Calcutta, who had taken significant part in breaking up their organisation during the World War 1.

In May 1930 the leaders of the main Jugantar Party in Calcutta drew up a programme of terrorism and made arrangements for the manufacture of bombs. The main features of this programme were: (a) murder of Europeans in hotels, clubs, and cinemas; (b) burning of the Dum-Dum (Calcutta) aerodrome; (c) cutting off of the gas and electricity supply of Calcutta by destroying the gas works and the electric power stations; (d) cutting off of the petrol supply of Calcutta by destroying the depot at Budge-Budge; (e) disorganisation of tramway services in Calcutta by cutting overhead wires; (f) destruction of the telegraphic communication between Calcutta and other districts of Bengal; and (g) destruction of bridges and Railway lines by dynamites and hand grenades.

The result was that in 1930 there was a reappearance of the terrorist movement in Bengal, notably Chittagong. The Chittagong Armoury Raid (1930) had a great repercussion upon the revolutionary terrorists all over Bengal. mastarda surya sen a leader of the Jugantar Party and the principal organiser of the Chittagong Armoury Raid, was arrested on 17 February 1933. [Mohammad Shah]