History of India: Just 20 years old Kanailal Dutta Indian freedom struggler from Jugantar

Kanailal Dutta (Bengali: কানাইলাল দত্ত) (30 August 1888 – 10 November 1908) was a revolutionary in the India’s freedom struggle belonging to the Jugantar group. He was born in Chandannagar, West Bengal. He, along with Satyendranath Bose, was convicted by the British for assassination of Narendranath Goswami, an approver of the British, in the Jail hospital of Alipore Central Jail on 31 August 1908.

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Indian freedom struggler Kanailal Datta, Nostalgia Kolkata #DograsWeblog


During his early college days, Kanailal met with Professor Charu Chandra Roy, who inspired him to join the revolutionary movement during the agitations against the Partition of Bengal.

  • During 1905 movement against partition of Bengal, Kanailal Dutta was in the forefront from Chandannagar group.
  • He also developed a close connection with the Gondolpara revolutionary group, which was led by Srishchandra Ghosh.
  • In 1908, he moved to Kolkata and joined Kolkata based revolutionary group Jugantar.
  • Muzaffarpur bomb attack (30 April 1908) aimed at killing Kingsford
  • 33 revolutionaries were charged with waging war against the government.
  • Police raided premises at 32 Murari Pukur Road at Kolkata on 2 May 1908 and a bomb-factory was discovered as was a cache of arms, a large quantity of ammunition, bombs, detonators and other tools.
  • Barin Ghosh, Shanti Ghosh and Ullaskar Dutta’s names were mentioned in attempting to blow off the governor’s train at Chandernagore station in 1908.
  • On Sunday, 23 August, one revolver was smuggled into the jail by Shudhangshu Jiban Rai. Next day Barin asked Hem Das to give it to Satyendranath with instruction to kill Goswami.
  • On Sunday, 30 August, another revolver reached Barin though Shrish. it was a smaller one. Kanailal took it, and subsequently got admitted to the jail hospital.

Excerpts from the Magistrate’s commitment order in the case of murder of Narendranath Goswami (spellings unchanged)

The two revolvers were brought into the office and examined and the smaller one (Exhibit I) was found to have in the chambers four discharged cartridges while the larger (Exhibit II) had five discharged cartridges and one loaded cartridge. Thus we may assume that in all nine shots were fired. Four bullets were found — two inside the dispensary, one just outside the dispensary, and one was extracted from the dead body of Norendra. From the medical evidence it appears that this was the bullet which caused Norendra’s death. It entered fairly high up in the back and severed the spinal cord and almost completely penetrated the breast in front but spent its force before doing so and lay imbedded under the skin of the breast. Exhibit VII is this bullet (contained in a glass bottle sealed by Captain Daley). An examination of this bullet shows that it was fired from the larger of the two revolvers (Exhibit II). The evidence of Linton shows that the revolver was the one used by Kanai Lall Dutt. Thus the fatal shot was fired by Kanai Lall Dutt.

Kanailal’s statement to the District Magistrate about his motive for assassinating Naren was touchingly direct and simple

“I wish to state that I did kill him. I do not wish to give any statement why I killed him. Wait, I do wish to give a reason. It was because he was a traitor to his country.”


Resources: Bhavans Info, First spark of revolution, Arrests of Revolutionaries

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