Darjeeling remembers nation's freedom fighters

3 Feb 2017

As part of the pan-Bengal platinum jubilee celebrations commemorating the Quit India Movement, the August Biplab Udjapan Committee today organised a programme in Darjeeling to pay homage to Bhabani Prasad Bhattacharya, who was hanged on this day in 1935 for attempting to assassinate British Governor Anderson.
On May 8, 1934 Bhabani Prasad and his associates Manoranjan Banerjee, Rabindranath Banerjee and Ujjala Majumdar made a valiant attempt to assassinate Governor Anderson in Darjeeling but the shot misfired. The incident had occurred at the Lebong Race course ground, located 8km from Darjeeling town.
All four were arrested. Three were sentenced to jail while Bhabani Prasad got capital punishment and was hanged in Rajshahi Central Jail on February 3, 1935.
Speaking about the reason behind honouring the freedom fighter, Devi Prasad Ray, the ABUC convener said, “Our objective is to make the younger generation of today aware of the sacrifices our freedom fighters have made. Prasad was very young when he made the attempt. Through this programme we want to send out the message about the legacy of the freedom struggle and the contributions of people from various strata of society and religious backgrounds."
Today’s programme was jointly organised by the Nipendra Narayan Bengali Hindu Hall of Darjeeling and the Nehru Yuwa Manch.
Ray said similar programmes are also being held in different parts of Bengal since August, 9, 2016 and willcontinue till August 9 of this year.
“The Quit India Movement paved the way for the Independence of our country. By organising such programmes in different places, we are paying homage to our freedom fighters. Bhabani Prasad was one such martyr,” Ray said.
Although it is not clear whether Bhabani Prasad had tried to shoot Anderson in Lebong ground, there seem to be many theories as to how the incident took place, with Ray maintaining the plan to kill Anderson was hatched at a small club house in Park Street, Kolkata.
“The plan to assassinate Governor Anderson was hatched in Kolkata. And Bhabani Prasad and his associates arrived in Darjeeling to execute the plan even though it is not clear where they stayed or who hosted them,” the ABUC convener said.
Swami Nityasatyananda, secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Nivedita Educational and Cultural Centre (Roy Villa) in Darjeeling, said, “The gun used to fire at Governor Anderson by Bhabani Prasad and his associates was concealed in a harmonium they were carrying along. Most probably, the four freedom fighters stayed in Snow View Hotel and also at the Sanatorium Hotel in Darjeeling. At the time of the assassination attempt, Governor Anderson was watching a flower show."