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Tarakeshwar Dastidar

Chattagram, Undivided Bengal

August 05, 2022

The closest associate of the hero of the Chattagram Uprising, Tarakeshwar Dastidar(1909-1934) and Masterda Surya Sen was martyred on the same day in Chittagong Jail on 12 January 1934.

Son of Chandramohan Dastidar, Tarakeshwar was born in Saroyatali, Chattagram in the undivided Bengal. Grave in his outward disposition, he was known as Futuda to all. Tarakeshwar came in contact with Masterda while he was still a school student and since then he was always at his beck and call.

When he was severely injured while making bombs and pleaded with Masterda for death to relieve him of the intense burning; the latter asked Ananta Singh to treat him in safety. Hence, he could not take part in the Chattagrm Uprising; but worked underground. In Patia (Barma) village, he shot dead DIB Inspector Shashanka Bhattacharyya (16 March 1931). In Dhalghat, when their hideout came under police attack (13 June 1932); while Nirmal and Apurba Sen laid down their lives after killing the captain of the attacking force; Tarakeshwar continued to keep them busy till Masterda and Pritilata escaped to safety. After Surya Sen’s arrest (16 February 1933), Tarakeshwar led the Indian Revolutionary Army till he was arrested at the coastal village of Gahira on 18 May along with Kalpana Datta.

The trial started on 15 June 1933 and on 14 August 1933, the special tribunal sentenced both Surya Sen and Tarkeshwar Dastidar to death. There was no appeal on behalf of Masterda; while the High Court turned down the appeal from Tarakeshwar.

Source: Saheed Surya Sen Bhawan, Museum, Calcutta; Henmendranath Dasgupta, Bharater Biplab Kahini, II & III volumes combined, 1948, in Bengali; Kalicharan Ghosh, Jagaran O Bisforan, 1380 BS, in Bengali; Subodhchandra Sengupta Ed., Samsad Bangali Charitabhidhan, 1976, in Bengali.