June 1914: the British Government decided to place an order of 50 Mauser C96 pistols and 50,000 Mauser cartridges with Rodda & Co. Rash Behari Bose - the most dangerous revolutionary had gone into hiding in Benaras. Now the Bengal revolutionaries desparately required arms. The Attonnoty Samiti (Kolkata) and Dhaka Mukti Sangha jointly planned the robbery; with Baghajatin as the main advisor.
26th August 1914: Anukul Mukherjee arranged for an extra bullock cart with Haridas Datta as its Garwan. At the customs house at Dalhousie Square, the consignment of guns was unloaded from the ship ‘Tactician’ by Shrish Mitra in his official capacity. Shrish Chandra Pal examined the carts pretending to be employees of Rodda and Company. Now Haridas Datta’s cart headed the others and instead of reaching the godown, they reached the house of Bhujanga Bhushan Dhar at Jelia Para Lane. Several steel trunks were filled up and the empty wooden boxes & papers were burnt overnight. This was one of the most successful arms heists of colonial India. Not a single bullet was fired to seize the arms and British Police couldn’t build up a proper case. The pistols so distributed were used in 54 cases dacoity or murder cases post August 1914 and is also directly connected with Baghajatin’s final encounter in the banks of Buribalam River.
Write-up by: Rajdeep Saha