The daunting saga continues…
On 17th May, 1933, the Cellular Jail administration under the orders of the Jail Superintendent – David Barry, started feeding the political convicts participating in the hunger strike forcibly.
“Then one day, all of a sudden came the Deputy Commissioner, with SMO and many other high officials, and gave orders for the strikers to be carried to the Central Tower (of the Cellular Jail). They were taken there on stretchers one after another, barring those few whose condition made it impossible to undergo strain. The authorities then assured them that all their grievances would be removed and they would get necessary physical and cultural amenities. The details were also given. In the same breath, however, the officers said that nothing would be done as long as the hunger strike continued. While they were virtually surrendering, they wanted to have a show of victory. The comrades had consultations amongst themselves and next with their hospital friends. That evening the strike was called off… the struggle had just ended and as the circumstances were, we could not join it.”
Aerial view of the Cellular Jail at Andamans (After Independence)
84 years old Bankim Chakravarty recalled in 1996:
“After hunger strike, so many facilities were provided to us. A library was established there. We started playing. Kitchen came under our control. All types of political prisoners were treated in the same way now. All political prisoners ate same diet. I joined political classes there and read communist literature. Our teachers were Shiv Verma, Dr. Narayan Roy, Jaideo Kapoor etc.”