House in Bengal where Bhagat Singh hid after the murder of Saunders in shambles


House in Bengal where Bhagat Singh hid after the murder of Saunders in shambles

Kolkata: Upon reaching Uyari village of Khandaghosh community block under Purba Bardhaman district in West Bengal, he is bound to be gripped by the essence of India’s freedom movement associated with this remote village.

The point of attraction is not a well maintained museum, nor a flashy memorial. Rather, the nostalgia is associated with a dilapidated building with an underground hall that housed the legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh for about 15 days in 1928.

Incidentally, this remote village is also home to the ancestral home of legendary Bengal freedom fighter and close associate of Bhagat Singh, Batukeshwar Dutt.

December 19, 1928, when Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru fled after killing British policeman John Saunders. According to Batukeshwar Dutt Conservation Trust records, on Dutt’s advice, Bhagat Singh came to Uyari village and took refuge in Dutt’s ancestral residence in the same village.

However, they quickly felt that the shelter was unsafe for Bhagat Singh since British police and spies had already become active in the area. According to records, Dutt decided to move Bhagat Singh to a house belonging to a Ghosh family in the same locality, which had an underground room which was not easily detectable from the outside.

As a result, Dutt reached out to members of the Ghosh family, who were sympathetic towards freedom fighters.

For the next 15 days, this underground room, whose entrance was covered with a wooden display case, was the shelter of Bhagat Singh and Dutt. Much of the planning for the bombing of the Central Assembly Building is said to have been discussed by the two legendary freedom fighters during their time underground.

According to the members of the trust, the role of the Ghosh family and the underground hall of the house had remained unrecognized in the history of the freedom movement, and it is difficult to say that without the existence of this underground hall, Bhagat Singh could have escaped. in British eyes and achieving its greatest objective of bombing the Central Assembly Building in Delhi on April 8, 1929.

Bhagat Singh and Dutt were arrested. While Bhagat Singh was hanged to death and Dutt was released from prisons in 1938. Dutt was also deported to Andaman and Nicobar Islands cell prison.

According to Raktima Dutt, a retired history professor and scholar of the Indian liberation movement, there has always been a similarity in the functional pattern of freedom fighters from Bengal and Punjab. “It’s probably why Dutt and Bhagat Singh became such great confidants of each other that during the crucial period of hiding from the British police and spies, Bhagat Singh relied on Dutt for his shelter. and later Dutt was his companion in the Central Assembly bombing,” Raktima explains.

She added that it is the duty of the government to conserve this historic house and preserve it as a memorial to the freedom movement. “It’s sad that it (the house) is in such a dilapidated state. If it had been somewhere else now, this house would have been a favorite place for historical researchers,” she claims.

The current members of the Ghosh family, who own this house, have already approached the state government with a proposal that if they are offered alternative accommodation nearby, they are prepared to vacate the house and hand it over. to the state government.

It is learned that there were some complications regarding the documents relating to the property, which are now resolved.

The members of the trust are in contact with the state government to take over the house after arranging alternative accommodation for the Ghosh family members and keep it. The trust also wants that, as a sign of respect to the Ghosh family for their contribution, the task of maintaining the house be left to existing family members.

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