Bengal Volunteers

Bengal Volunteers

Bengal Volunteers was an underground revolutionary group against the British rule of India.The group was functional from its inception in 1928 to the Indian independence.

The beginning

Subhas Chandra Bose organised a group of volunteers during the 1928 Kolkata session of Indian National Congress.The group was named Bengal Volunteers and was under the leadership of Major Satya Gupta. Subhas Chandra Bose himself was the GOC. After the Kolkata session of the Congress was over, the Bengal Volunteers continued its activities. Soon, it was turned into an active revolutionary association.

Activities and notable members

Bengal Volunteers decided to launch 'Operation Freedom' in the early 1930s, primarily to protest against the police repression in different jails in Bengal.

In August 1930, the revolutionary group planned to kill Lowman, the Inspector General of Police who was due to present in the Medical School Hospital to see an ailing senior police official undergoing treatment. On 29 August 1930, Benoy Basu, casually clad in a traditional Bengali attire, breached the security and fired at close range. Lowman died instantly and Hodson, the Superintendent of Police, was grievously injured.

The next target was Col N.S. Simpson, the Inspector General of Prisons, who was infamous for the brutal oppression of the prisoners in the jails. The revolutionaries decided not only to murder him, but also to strike terror in British official circles by launching an attack on the Secretariat Building - the Writers' Building in the Dalhousie square in Kolkata.

On 8 December 1930, Benoy Basu along with Dinesh Gupta and Badal Gupta, dressed in European costume, entered the Writers' Building and shot Simpson dead.

British police started firing. What ensued was a brief gunfight between the three young revolutionaries and the police. Some other officers like Twynam, Prentice, and Nelson suffered injuries during the shooting.

Soon police overpowered them. However, the three did not wish to be arrested. Badal took potassium cyanide, while Benoy and Dinesh shot themselves with their own revolvers. Badal died on the spot. Benoy was taken to the hospital where he died on 13 December 1930. Dinesh survived the near-fatal injury. He was convicted and the verdict of the trial was death by hanging for anti-government activities and murder.

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