India in the early 1930s was a hotbed of activists – terrorists or freedom fighters according to your political preference – bent on hastening the date of their country’s independence. They operated in largely uncoordinated gangs, making the task of suppressing them easier for their British rulers.

Over several months one such gang, called the Chittagong Group and led by brothers Masterda and Tarakeswar Dastidar, captured the two main military armouries in Chittagong, destroyed the telegraph and telephone office, seized guns, disrupted railway communications and killed members of the white and local Indian communities.

On April 18th, 1930, the Chittagong Group attacked the local police and their auxiliaries and captured a large quantity of arms and ammunition, before taking themselves off to the Jalalabad Hills on the outskirts of the town.

A few days later they were surrounded there by several thousand troops. Twelve of the rebels were shot dead in the encounter. The rest escaped but were later arrested in Chittagong. By the end of the gang’s campaign, though, 22 British officials, police and soldiers were dead, plus about 220 British and Indian civilians.

Masterda and Tarakeswar Dastidar were finally betrayed by an informer and arrested in February, 1932. They were tried and sentenced to death the following year. Both were hanged in Chittagong Prison on Friday, January 12th, 1934.