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Hili Mail Raid Case

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The Hill Mail Raid Case is a criminal trial that took place in India in 1933.


"The most widespread activity that has yet occurred in the history of terrorism in India" it has been mentioned about the revolutionary activity between 1930 -33 in "Terrorism in India published by Government of India in 1937. The Anushilan Samity was the primary organization which performed as the central body of armed revolutionary struggle throughout the northern India including parts of Maharashtra. After failure of the coup in 1915 under the leadership of Rashbehari Bose, samity faced a temporary setback. It took a decade to reorganize the Anushilan Samity. By the late 20's of the  last century it was planning something big. The organization spread its web from the foot of the Garohills at Maimansingh to Peshwar. Its heart also was pulsating from Bengal and Central Provinces. In mid 1929 it planned a series of movements . The final plan was supposed to be drawn in the next "Lahore conference " of Indian National Congress. In addtion to that the Samity  took decision to go with the mainstream congress movement to fulfill this goal.(1,2,3,4)

British intelligence had responded strongly. Important leaders of the Samity were arrested in "Mechhuabazar conspiracy case" in 1929. Simultaneously from 1932 to 1938 several arrests had been taken place throughout the country and clubbed the cases together under the name of "Inter Provincial Conspiracy Case". In both the cases most of the important senior leaders were nabbed. Samity had to defend all the cases in the court of  law. It affected Samity's finance directly. They were trying their best to raise funds. The Fund was also badly needed to purchase Arms and ammunitions . It included several desparate attempts & the  Hili Mail Robbery case was one of those.

After "Kakori conspiracy case"in 1925 this type of mail robbery was never planned and executed. The Hilli Rail station (now situated in Bangladesh ) was surrounded by  near about  40 rice mills. The millers mostly armed with fire arms were loyal to the British Government. As it was the centre of industries, trading and entire treasury transaction of the Dinajpur district comprising huge amount of cash used to be transported by the postal mail through this every station. Basic plan of this robbery was to intercept as well as loot the cash carried out by the postal department. Saroj Kumar Basu was one of the key persons of this "Hilli Mail Raid Case"

As per direction of Central Committee  of Anushilan Samity Prankrishna Chakraborty, Hrishikesh Bhattacharjee, Prafulla Narayan Sanyal, Satyabrata Chakraborty, Saroj Kumar Bose, Abdul Kader Chowdhury, Kiran Dey were the key person of the conspiracy.


Name of the persons took part in the action directly[edit]

1) Pran Krishna Chakrobarty  – Leader

2) Hrishikesh Bhattacharjee  – Dy. Leader,

3) Prafullya Narayan Sanyal – Dinajpur District In charge,

4) Satyabrata Chakraborty

5) Saroj Kumar Bose - Town in charge, Dinajpur

6) Haripada Bose

7) Ram Krishna Sarkar

8) Kalipada Sarkar

9) Bijoy Chakraborty (Banerjee),

10) Subodh Dutta Chowdhury  (Pseudoname-Anil)

11) Sashadhar Sarkar (Approver)

12) Lalu Pandey (Approver),

13) Ashok Ranjan Ghosh  Approver.

Did not take part in the Raid Case directly but involved in conspiracy and were convicted[edit]

1) Kiran Ch Dey,

2) Abdul Kadel Chowdhury

3) Police arrested Baroda Kanta Chakraborty and others. But as no evidence were found of their involvement no charge sheet was submitted against them. Baroda Kanta Chakraborty was convicted in another case.

Date and Place of occurrence[edit]

Hili Railway station under P.S – Panchbibi, Dist – Bagura, at 2:15A.M (approx) on 28th  October 1933.

Fact of the Case[edit]

On 24th of 1933, Pran Krishna Chakraborty Hrishikesh, Satyabrata, Prafulla, Saroj, Haripada, Ram Krishna, Abdul Kader Chowdhury and Ashok assembled in the bank of a tank at Village Sukragram but due to delay the plan was deferred and planed to launch their attack on 27th October 1933. But some suspicious movement of police personnel and presence of some doubtful persons the action plan was deferred for the next day. Due to physical inability Abdul Kader Chowdhury did not participate in the action and Bijay, Lalu, Sashadhar, Kalipada, Subodh were included in the action squad. After departure of Darjeeling Mail the raiders entered into station. Satyabrata and Saroj were deployed in the both end of the station with guns. Haripada and Ramkrishna were with torch light for their assistance. Sashadar and Ashok were engaged for breaking the locker and to collect the valuables with the help of Prafulla and Kalipada. Bijoy, Lalu and Subodh were deployed to take possession of the Station Master's room and to take the valuables. Pran Krishna with pistol and Hrishikesh with revolver supervise the entire action. The other raiders were armed with iron rod, knife, shord and started their action. The gunners fired pellets aiming towards platform to disperse the public present at the station premises. The peon Kali Charan Mohali rushed towards the station masters quarter to inform him the incident. The station master also fired his gun from his quarter towards the raid party and sent massage to the different rice mill owners to use their guns for resistance of the raid party. During the exchange of fire, Kali Charan Mohali became injured and subsequently died in Campbell Medical College and Hospital in Calcutta. As per statement of revolutionaries, Kali Charan Mohali was injured by the gun shot of station master as when Kali Charan Mohali was running towards station master's quarter, he was gunshoted from the frontal side of the body. After the raid, the raid party left station in three groups Pran Krishna, Hrishikesh, Satyabrata, Saroj, Prafulla, Haripada, Ashok in the main group started for Samjhiya Ghat to cross river Atreyee. Getting information from police, Zaminder Kshitish Chandra Roy assembled almost 60 nos of lathilas armed with country made weapons. They surrounded and got hold of the revolutionaries  when they reached in Ferry Ghat. Kalipada Sarkar was caught at Foolbari.  Lalu and  Sashadhar was  arrested as suspected and from their information, police arrested Abdul Kader Chowdhury. After one years of the incident, Bijay Chakraborty (Banerjee) was arrested and was convicted 10 years in supplementary proceeding. But Police failed to trace out Subodh as his pseudo name was Anil. Subsequently, he was convicted in another case.

Special feature[edit]

In order to commence trial at Dinajpur, the British Govt. by special gazatte notification changed the territorial jurisdiction of Hilli from the district Bagura to Dinajpur. Thus Hilli became a part of Dinajpur district.

Commencement of Trial[edit]

On 27/11/1933 vide order no 12359 the special Tribunal was formed and on 28/11/1932 by a notification, Mr E.S Simpson, lCS, Dist & Session Judge Rajsahi, Mr Bipin Bihari Mukherjee, Retd Dist and Session Judge and Maulavi Emdad Ali, Sadar Sub divisional Magistrate were the judges of the tribunal and Mr. E.S Simpson was the president of the Tribunal (Mr. E.S Simpson was the younger brother of Mr. Simpson assassinated by Binoy, Badal, Dinesh).

198 nos of witnesses were examined. Sashadhar, Lalu and Ashok become the approver and pleaded guilty and  were convicted for 5 years as eye wash (in order to protect them from the hands of other revolutionaries and subsequently by queen's mercy, released from jail). They gave evidence on behalf of prosecution. They deposed as tutored by prosecution. Sashadar was above all. He falsely deposed that as per instruction of  Pran krishna, Saroj and Satyabrata mercilessly fired to kill the persons which causing death of Kali Charan Mohali. He also falsely deposed that when Kali Charan Mohali was sleeping, the raid party focused torch light upon him and fired gun. Due to brutal torture Kiran De and Ramkrishna Sarkar initially confessed and expressed to be approver. But at the time of trial they retreated from their confession. The tribunal took the matter with serious exception which reflected in the judgement. The judgement was delivered on 28/02/1934 as follows.

1) Pran Krishna Chakraborty

2) Hrishikesh Bhattacharjee

3) Satyabrata Chakraborty and Saroj Kumar Basu all were awarded death Sentence.

4) Prafulla Narayan Sanyal, Abdul Kader Chowdhury, Kiran Ch Dey – all were awarded transportation for life.

5) Kalipada Sarkar, Haripada Bose and Ramkrishna Sarkar all were awarded 10 years R.I.

The Tribunal in judgement admitted the age of Satyabrata, Saroj and Kalipada but  refused to give any view in awarding sentence, and gave them only 7 days time to file appeal. The appeal was heard by a special bench of Calcutta High Court consisting Chief Justice Sri Manmatha Nath Mukherjee. Justice, Sri Surendra Nath Guha and Justice Patterson. The special bench by their judgement dated – 06/09/1934 modified the sentence and awarded -

1) Pran Krishna Chokraborty and Hrishikesh Bhattacharjee – transportation for 25 years.

2) Satyabrata, Saroj and Prafulla Narayan – for 10 years R.I,

3) Haripada Bose, Ram Krishna, Abdul Kader Chowdhury, - 7 years. R.I,

4) Kiran Ch Dey – 5 Years R.I,

5) Released Kalipada Sakar.

Observation of High Court[edit]

It was evident that the gunners fired their guns aiming to the platform and used pellets causing minor injury in the lower parts of the body of the injured persons and the judges came into conclusion that the raider fired their guns only to disperse the persons present in the platform and not to kill them. They disbelieve the tutored evidence adduced by Sashadhar.

Against the judgement of the special bench the British Govt. filed special leave petition (S.L.P) in Privy Council  which was rejected after hearing on 16/04/1935 and uphold the judgement of High Count.   All the convicts were sent to Cellular Jail, Andaman and at the time of IInd World War all the political prisoners in Andaman Cellular Jail were repatriated  in main land. In 1942, Saroj, Satyabrata and Prafulla were released but rearrested in Jail Gate. Finally Pran Krishna, Hrishikesh, Satyabrata and Saroj were released from Jail in 1946. The other convicts were also released from Jail after the completion of their punishment.


1.          Ananda Bhattacharya and Partha Sankha Majumder,Anushilan Samity(1914–1934) "Anushilan Samitir Itihas" edited by Amalendu dey

2.            P 86-88,,90,715-16Naren Das, "Biplabi Andoloner Jijnasa" , Kolkata, 1983,

3.            Amalendu Dey, "Bharater biplabi andolone Rashbehai basu r Bhumika" published in "Anushilan Samitir Itihas" edited by Amalendu dey

4.            Keka Dutta Roy : Biplab bad theke samajtantrikotay banglay anushilan Samity." published in "Anushilan Samitir Itihas" edited by Amalendu dey.

5.            Paper book of Special Tribunal of Hilli Mail Raid Case.

6.            Judgement reported in 1935 A.I.R (Cal) at Page – 580, 1934 Lawsuit (Cal), Page – 206 and 39 CalWN, Page – 186.

7.            Karotoya, Journal Published from History Department, N.B.U, issue no – 3 (March 2009). Link :

8.            Interview with the participants of Hill Mail Raid Case on different occasion.

9.            "Mukti-Tirtha Andaman" - Published by Andaman Political Prisoners Fraternity Circle.

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