Journey back to the island - Survivors of the andaman cellular jail to be felicitated

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 8.03.06

Some of them withstood torture at the hands of the British, while others watched their dearest ones survive or perish in the process. Now, it?s a chance for all of them to visit the scene of the action.

A team of 105, comprising survivors of the Andaman Cellular Jail, their widows and descendants from across the country, is returning to the historic location this week, to be felicitated by the Andaman & Nicobar administration and the Government of India.

Only eight Cellular jail survivors are alive today and three of them ? along with the widows of two others ? met the press on Tuesday, ahead of their journey to the islands.

Kartik Sarkar, Adhir Nag and Bimal Bhowmik are all in their 90s ? Sarkar is the senior most at 95. They were joined by Rani Roy (wife of Kalipada Roy) and Asita Sengupta (wife of Amulya Sengupta).

?Cellular jail is significant since it was our muktiteertho. I feel sad because very few of our friends are alive today,? said Bhowmik, who was a prisoner at the jail between 1935 and 1938.

Nag recounted how he was caught while protesting against the British in Dhaka. ?They surrounded me and my friends and were about to catch us when we broke through the barrier and ran. We fired eight rounds before they captured us.? After languishing in Dhaka and Rajshahi jails, Nag was deported to Andaman in 1935.

The widows had their tales to tell. ?They would be given starch to eat and the lashes would make deep wounds. My husband often refused to tell me the stories,? said Asita Sengupta.

The group, under the banner of Ex-Andaman Political Prisoners? Fraternity Circle, would appeal to the government during the felicitation to recognise them as ?citizens? of the island.

They would also protest the name change of the park in front of the jail, from Shahid Park to Savarkar Park.