Suresh Chandra Dey: The least talked about freedom fighter-hero of the Chittagong armory raid

Mail news service

Jamshedpur, April 20: Over nine decades ago, a die-hard freedom fighter was brought down by British forces after a fierce battle, bleeding in the soil of Chittagong or Chattogram of Undived India. The man was the unassuming man of vision, Suresh Chandra Dey.

A 36-year-old schoolmaster and his followers, inspired by the 1916 Easter uprising in Ireland, challenged the tyranny of the British Raj and, for a few glorious days, shook off the yoke of imperial servitude.

They paid a heavy price, much with their lives, but a tinder was hit, and a group of scruffy Bengali youths briefly managed to break the backs of the colonizers by attacking and capturing British strongholds.

The little-known saga of the Chittagong Armory Raid which took place on April 18, 1930, and the ensuing Battle of the Jalalabad Hills on April 22, 1930, led by ‘Masterda’ Surya Kumar Sen, who once held the post president of the Indian Chittagong Branch of the National Congress.

Suresh Chandra Dey was one of 65 members of the Chittangong branch of the Republic of India Army who made history by attacking the local armory and cutting off communications systems to isolate the strategically important port city.

Days later, a regiment of over 20,000 British troops retaliated, overwhelming revolutionaries in the green hills of Jalalabad, who brandished the slogan “Vande Mataram” and “Inquilab Zindabad” and retaliated despite their outnumbered positions. It was during this fierce shooting that Suresh Chandra dey was shot in the left hand.

As fate willed, Suresh Dey survived the gunshot wound and was aided by his comrade Shanti Nag who carried him down the hill on his shoulders to safety.

Suresh Dey was eventually arrested years later and jailed without trial for incarceration as a political prisoner. When his tormentors could not extract information from him through coercion and torture, they tried to bribe him, offering to send him to England and finance his graduate studies as a lawyer.

The young man did not give in and was eventually released and placed under house arrest. So much so that Suresh Chandra Dey married Kironmoyee, it was in the presence of British soldiers.

Suresh Dey then headed west and eventually established a shoe business in the then small town of Jamshedpur, but later became an established brand beyond national borders.

Suresh Dey opened the first Sreeleathers store in Jamshedpur in 1952, its genesis being engraved by the tenets of a young man who refused to bow to tyranny.

“Masterda” Surya Sen had a different ending: Sen was betrayed by the British and hanged to death in 1934 with his friend Tarakeswar Dastidar, and both men were reportedly subjected to brutal torture before their execution.

Two Bollywood films among others attempted to capture the zeal of revolutionaries as they hoisted the Indian national flag on the premises of the arsenal. But the pulse quickens when Suresh Dey’s eldest son, Shekhar Dey, recounts: of a fresh start in a new city, and finally, laying the foundation for an industrial city on the Chhota Nagpur plateau are pieces of various valuable stories of which we, as his descendants, will always be proud of.

My grandfather had chosen to devote his young life to the ideals of an independent India, but such are the vicissitudes of life and the vagaries of fate that the pocket of earth on which he and his comrades bled grew during of partition, first like East Pakistan. then like Bangladesh.

The shadow lines of nation building may have separated my grandparents from their homeland, but it is incumbent upon all of us to remember our ancestors and cherish the fruits and dreams of our independent country which was founded on the bloody sacrifice of so many forgotten heroes. .

Suresh Chandra Dey (Not April 21, 1911, Is dead May 21, 1990) was one of those Indian freedom fighters who founded a tradition – Sreeleathers

Thelma J. Longworth