Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Dark Days At Cuddalore

The Dark Days At Cuddalore
Testimony of a recently released prisoner.
Achintya Pal

Part 1
It has been a few days since I had been released from Cuddalore prison, and yet it haunts me as nightmare. I always remember the tyranny of Cuddalore and the whims of the prison authority. I feel sorry for those prisoners whom I left in the midst of endless brutality and tyranny. Anything can happen to them at that wretched place; we even may not get back some of them. I am eagerly waiting for the day when the prisoners from West Bengal will be released and will return with great courage and firm determination amongst us.

We were imprisoned under 'Misa' at some jail in West Bengal. We were allotted rooms. On 28th December, the jail authority ordered to shift the prisoners under 'Misa'. On being asked, they said that the prisoners under 'Misa' with no other charges, who were ordered by the Advisory Board to be held for one year, were to be transfered by the West Bengal Government to some other Prison. The leadership of the political prisoners protested against this decision and it worked. We were dicided to be transfered to some prison in West Bengal, possibly Baharampore. We didn't even dream of being transfered secretly to Cuddalore in Tamilnadu, far away from Bengal. On 29th December, we came to know that we were being transfered to some prison in Tamilnadu. Prison authority did not tell us discretely, they kept it all foggy. We collected this bit of secret information from other sources. The Government was afraid that the people of West Bengal might protest and form huge movements against this order if they were aware of this decision. They would never allow such decisions of the wayward Government without protest.

The day of departure approached. We were given farewell by the political prisoners of the prison. We noticed that even the young and immature prisoners were not upset to go to a remote and unknown place in south, leaving their relatives and friends. They clearly announced in the meeting, ' Once that we have started this fight for changing society, no attack or no torture from the rulers can demoralize us. We have learn to walk with our heads held high; we shall never succumb to the tyrants.'

We were ready by the afternoon. The prison authority announced our time of departure to be eight o'clock in the evening on 30th December. The other political prisoners gave us Guard of Honour and we started our journey to the unknown. We were counted outside our rooms and searched at the jail office, and then we were taken outside the prison gate. It was funny to see that the Government arranged a huge battalion of C.R.P with rifles and bayonet to shift such a little number of unarmed people. Then we were put into the police van. Each van was for twenty, but at least thirty people were accommodated in a single vehicle. Besides seven or eight C.R.P sat in our car, which made half of us to go to Howrah station standing. We were roped and handcuffed inside the van. When the car started, a C.R.P said,' Be quiet, you scoundrels, or you will have the treatment'. And started the bitter experience of the way to Cuddalore. Anyway, we reached Howrah station at last, bearing the insults of those non-violent and peaceful ambassadors of Indiraji. We were not taken straight to Howrah station from Howrah Bridge, but through many narrow alleyways of Howrah. The sight at the station was astounding. It was crowded with innumerable police officers, police constables, C.R.Ps and B.S.Fs. There were all the ranked employees of the prison division of West Bengal. There were hatred and brutality etched on their face. They were reverberating the station with their footfalls in such a way as if they were going to a war against the enemy. We were kept in the van for a couple of hours, suffocated, without being allowed to drink some water or pee. At about twelve o'clock, we were shifted to the prison van of the train. It was completely wrapped with compact snare. Only about fifteen men could sit in that compartment, and about five could lie down. But they huddled about thirty of us like cattle in a single compartment. Besides there were our own goods and the rugs given by the jail authority. Naturally, some of us could not have a chance to sit. We had to journey a distance of about three days in this ugly and miserable condition.

(To be continued..)


  1. Apekhhai roilam.....bhalo lagchhe

  2. Its really a very good effort.keep going.Achintya jethu was a born leader,an ideal communist and a very good human being.His passing away is not only a loss for his party but also for the entire society.

  3. bhaalo laagchhe......... itihaas-er ekTaa ajanaa adhyaay-ke jaante paarchhi....chaaliye jaas lekhaTaa....