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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Here is how the dark day of 16th August 1946 unfolded during Direct Action Day pogrom by Jinnah’s followers

Sequence of events on 16th August 1946- the start of Direct Action Day riots.

The first incident happened at 4:30 am when a H who was out was knifed. By 6:30 am there were news of widespread looting of H shops in Maniktola bazar by a large M crowd. At this time two H women were attacked by the M mob, and one H man knifed and kil!ed.

The next series of events of murders, loot, and arson are from the reports of Lalbazar thana headquarters as they kept appearing as breaking news on 16th August 1946:

1. At 7 am a M mob attacked in Maniktola

2. 7:30 am- An official of the Lalbazar telephone department Sergeant E. William while accompanying his female colleague in a vehicle was attacked and injured by a M mob on central avenue road.

3. 7:35 am – at the junction of bowbazar and lower circular road in Sealdah a huge mob of Ms had gathered who were carrying iron rods, sticks, and other weapons.

4. 8.25 am- Territibazar Ms started attacks.

5. 8:30 am – in lower chitpur city cinema hall area the Ms had started attacking.

6. 9 am – situation in Sealdah had turned extremely violent

7. 9.05 am – Wards institution street area had M mob rioting.

8. 9.12 am – in Ripon street, Wellesley and mullickbazar , Ms were knifing and killing anyone they saw.

9. 9.30 am – in borotola thana policemen were attacked by M mobs. The Thana asked for help from Lalbazar police station.

10. 9.55 am – again another desperate call for help from borotola police station.

11. 10.10 am – in dumdum road few thousand Ms had attacked and Hs trying to resist were were being shot.

12. 10.12am – Ms started rioting at Gorpar and Yogipara lane, the area also known as canal area.

13. 10.30 am – clashes on Harrison road. Fight between Ms and Hs in front of Ripon college.

14. 11.08 am – the shop Kamala Vastralaya on Vivekananda road was set on fire.

15. 11.15 am – the clashes in front of Ripon college had turned extremely violent.

16. 11.50 am – a huge crowd of Ms started destroying and looting shops in Sealdah and were progressing towards bowbazar. Another group while shouting anti -H slogans and looting shops on upper circular road was moving towards the maidan. A third group with open swords and sticks were moving from Shyambazar to hathibagan.

17. 1.30 pm – in Narkeldanga, 5 dead bodies were lying on the main road, while Hindu homes were being set on fire in sasthitola.

18. 3 pm – in Garpar area H houses were being set on fire and Hs being identified and killed. At the same time a meeting of the Ms were being held at the maidan were instigating speeches were made.

19. 4.05 pm- all H shops were looted and destroyed around the Lighthouse cinema hall area.

20. 4.20 pm- the Bengal club was attacked by a M mob.

21. 4.30 pm – the gun shop owned by KC Biswas beside the metro cinema was attacked and all weapons from it looted.

The detailed list for 16th is almost endless as the loot, killings, and all forms of unspeakable violence continued throughout the night across the city.

DC north Khan saheb Khalilur Rahman wrote in his report regarding 16th August – “uncontrolled violence ongoing at Dharmatolla Street, Wellesley street, Market street, Corporation Street, and Free school street. Constant reports of Ongoing murders, looting, and massive arson. Without the army, situation cannot be brought under control.”

With no signs of the army, violence continued unabated for the whole of 17th, and ended sometime on 18th afternoon. The records of Lalbazar police headquarters 1946 give us just a glimpse of the extreme violence that Kolkata saw during Direct Action Day riots.

Below is a list of the Lalbazar recorded incidents on 16th, besides the one already given here, for those who can read Bengali.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread posted by @monidipadey on August 16, 2023, with minor edits to improve readability and conform to HinduPost style guide)

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