Andaman Prison in British India


That was World War II. In March 1942, Japanese warplanes circled the Andaman skies, and warships circled the island. Over the next few days, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands, which were then under British government control.

The Andamans were later handed over to the Indian National Army (INA) led by Subhash Chandra Bose. Bose, who was friendly with the Japanese government, came to the Andamans in 1944 and hoisted the tricolor, saying, “The capture of the Andaman prison was the first step in India’s independence. It has become a blessed land. ”

Those who instigated the revolution among the people and many political leaders who rebelled against British rule were imprisoned in this solitary confinement for thousands of miles. Through this, the British government thought that it could put the people in fear of imprisonment and the revolutionaries under control.

Penal Settlements

Similar criminal settlements were set up as early as 1787 by the British on the islands of Indonesia and Singapore for heinous crimes. This type of settlement was also built in 1789 in the Cornwallis harbor area of ​​the Andaman Islands, and later the prisoners’ sick prison sentences were abandoned as well.

However, during the mutiny and the partition of Bengal, revolutionaries and extremists instigated fears against the British. The only solution for the British government was to deport them from public life.

In March 1858, 200 convicts, including Navy guards and Superintendent David Barry, were sent to the island of Saddam in the southern Andamans under the command of Dr. James Pattison Walker, Warden of the Agra Prison.

Then another team from Karachi was sent to the Andamans. By 1874 more than 9000 prisoners had arrived in the Andaman penitentiaries as prisoners of war. Unable to bear the slave life and workload of the Andamans, many criminals tried to escape from time to time.

Tribe War

Dathanath Tiwari, a member of the 14th Indigenous Infantry of Barrackpore, escaped with his 130 soldiers. Unable to cross the ocean, they ran into the jungle. But all were trapped and killed by the brutal aborigines of the Andamans.

Surprisingly Tiwari was not the only one killed by the Adivasis and joined them one by one. He also had two tribal women married to him.

They posed a great challenge to the British government as they chased away those already coming to the island and attacked the ships. One day he saw Tiwari preparing to launch an attack with sharp weapons including a spear and escaped and went back to jail, he said. In that battle of the Battle of Aberdeen many tribesmen were killed and others hid in the jungle.

This was a start to control the tribes. But many of the prisoners did not stop trying to escape because they were criminals. Reaching the motherland by sea over 1000 km is not a normal process. The captives were immediately hanged. Those who jumped into the sea and tried to escape were shot dead.

Black Terror:

The British authorities took advantage of the situation and began torturing prisoners. Peel a squash, grate it and squeeze the juice. They set up oil-squeezing checks and dragged prisoners instead of cows. Those who stood weary were beaten like cattle.

At one point there was opposition to the inhumane acts taking place in the Andaman prison from various quarters. The Indian Prisons Committee, formed by the British government in 1919, called for a review of the treatment of prisoners in the Andaman prison.

But the Andaman government slammed it, saying the inmates were guilty of murder and sentencing. Thus many political prisoners, including Savarkar, were pardoned and transferred to Indian jails. This did not last even for a few years when the revolution broke out again and the main freedom fighters were sent to the Andamans for various 


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