The Dark history of Kala – Pani
The Cellular Jail, also known as the Kala-Pani holds some of the darkest chapters of British rule in India. The colonial government used the archipelago in Port Blair, Andaman to exile political prisoners and torture them severely. Though the construction of the jail ended in 1906, the British has been using the Andaman islands as a prison since the immediate after of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
Housing the rebels of first war of Independence
The rebellion was brutally crushed and thousands of rebels were sent to the gallows. Many were hung from trees or tied and blown up with canons. Those who survived lost all contacts with their family members and remained imprisoned in the remote island, far away from the country’s mainland. Two hundred rebels were transported to the islands and many hundreds from Karachi arrived in April 1868. Later, more prisoners arrived from India and Burma. The British were deporting anyone who belonged to the Mughal royal family, or who had sent a petition to Bahadur Shah Zafar during the sepoy mutiny.
When Japan made Britishers as prisoners of their own prison
In 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Andaman islands and drove the British out. The Cellular Jail then became home to British prisoners. During this period, Subhash Chandra Bose also visited the islands. Two out of the seven wings of the Jail were demolished during the Japanese regime. In 1945, the British resumed control with the end of World War II.
Some of the notable dissidents and inmates of the Kala-Pani jail were Batukeshwar Dutt, Veer Savarkar, Diwan Singh Kalepani, Fazl-e-Haq Kharabadi, Yogendra Shukla, Bhai Parmanand, Shadan Chandan Chatterjee were imprisoned in the Kala Pani jail.