Biswas, Basanta Kumar

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Biswas, Basanta Kumar (1895-1915) a revolutionary activist of the jugantar group. Born at Poragachha under Nadia district on 6 February 1895, Basanta Kumar Biswas was initiated to revolutionary terrorism by Jugantar leader Amarendranath Chattopadhyaya and Rashbehari bose.

On 23 December 1912 Basanta threw a bomb at Governor General lord hardinge in Delhi. Police arrested him on 26 February 1914 at Krishnanagar, Nadia while he was performing the last rites of his deceased father. He was then only 19. The trial of the Delhi-Lahore Conspiracy case began on 23 May 1914 in Delhi and on 5 October, Basanta, was sentenced to life imprisonment. The government was eager to give him death sentence. So an appeal was formulated at Lahore High Court and, making a mockery of the whole judicial system, the records at Ambala jail were tampered with and Basanta's age was enhanced by two years to prove that he was fully aware of the intensity of his crime. The tampering is till date left uncorrected in the jail records. Basanta Kumar Biswas was sentenced to be hanged till death.

Basanta Kumar Biswas entered the gallows, calm and unperturbed, on 11 May 1915 at Ambala Jail, Punjab at the tender age of twenty and became the youngest martyr in the history of India's freedom struggle. There are three plaques to commemorate Biswas - one in front of Muragachha School, Nadia; the other next to the Rabindra Bhavan auditorium at Krishnanagar and the third at Madame Tetsu-cong-Hiochi's garden in Tokyo. Rashbehari Bose embedded the last one in memory of his young disciple. [Somadatta Mondal]