Thursday, October 6, 2011


Chittagong Court Building

Court Building: Situated on the Fairy Hill, this building commands a magnificent bird's eye view of Chittagong city, particularly at night. This gigantic Judge Court building was built immediately after the East India Company conquered and declared Chittagong as a separate administrative area in 1773. The building is huge, over 250 thousand square feet and has hundreds of rooms.

The building has a unique blend of Mughal and British traditions, representing a new Indo-British architecture. The building plan follows a rectangular form running east west with extension on the west and a major north-south extension on the east after which the buildings extends further at a lower level. This permits this section to have three floors. The plan is largely dictated by the topography of the site. The blending of different levels was done with extreme care. Bricks were laid with immense skill, making neat protruded mortar joints.

The Court Building is of immense historical importance. Legal proceedings against many renowned persons had been conducted in this building. These consist of cases against persons revolting against the British rule and subsequently Pakistani rule. During the Indian Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, a valiant freedom fighter, Subedar Rajab Ali was tried here and subsequently hanged at the Parade Ground. During the Partition of Bengal movement (1905-1912), Deshpriyo Jatindra Mohan, Kazem Ali and Moulana Islamabadi were tried amongst others. Revolutionaries of the Chittagong Uprising (1930-34) Maste rDa Surya Sen, Kalpana Dutta, Ananta Singh, Purendu Dastider, Binod Bihari, Pulin Ghosh, Tripura Sen, LoknathBal, Chowdhury, were tried here.

So were Joshoda and Ambika Chakraborti of the Anushilon Party during the same movement. This movement is the forerunner of the Quit India movement which culminated to the end of British Rule in the subcontinent. Both Subash Chandra Bose and his brother Sarat Bose defended the freedom fighters in this Building.

During the Quit India Movement in 1942, numerous national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, G.M. Sayeed, M.A.Jinnah visited the Court building. Later, during various movements (1948 1970) including the Language movement (1952) important national leaders like Shaheed Suhrawardy, Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Sk. Mujibur Rahman, and others visited the Court Building and addressed the Bar. During 1971 freedom fighters from the Pakistan Rifles took shelter here, which resulted in the shelling of this Building by the Pakistan army. The first administration of the newly formed Bangladesh was housed in this Court Building. Records of court cases of numerous such trials are preserved in the Building.

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