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Port Blair History


History of Port Blair

History of PortBlair Port Blair is the colony which is established by the British in 1789. Port blair history is largely associated with india's freedom struggle against British. This colony was established because of the increase in the number of local rebellions and small crimes. It is named Port Blair in the honor of Lieutenant Archibald Blair who was a noted officer of British East India Company. After two long years this colony was shifted to the north eastern part of the Andaman and was named Port Cornwallis in the memory of Admiral Willliam Cornwallis. After shifting the penal colony, many of the prisoners died because of diseases, thus the government was forced to cease its operation in May 1796. However Port Cornwallis served as the meeting ground for the convoy fighting its first Anglo-Burmese war in 1824. In 1830s and 1840s the local rebellion attacked the crewmembers and killed them, thereby alarming the British government to develop a new prison to punish such brutal acts.

But the Indian rebellion of 1857 caused this development of penal colony to be delayed. The Indian rebellion of 1857 created a huge number of prisoners thereby forcing the British to take immediate action in the development of this new reformatory. The construction of this reformatory began in November 1857 at Port Blair which was away from the salt swamps which caused problems in the old colony. This new jail served as prison for life imprisonment and severe punishment of criminals and rebellions. Many locals who went against the British rule were hanged here while many were forced due to die of starvation and physical torture.

History of Port Blair In the Port blair history, in the early years of 1900s the Indian rebellion movement reached its new height to shaken the British rule in India. To suppress the power of the Indians the British government established a huge cellular jail between 1896 and 1906 and many rebellions, regional convicts and political prisoners were severely punished here. The construction of the cell in this jail was such that no prisoner was allowed to see other prisoners. Its tiny solitary cells were far worse than the dormitories in other prison blocks erected earlier and prisoners here were given sub human treatment by the British. Cells were dirty and ill ventilated, prisoners were limited to drink only two glasses of water per day and many more such treatments were given to prisoners.Food brought from the mainland was infected by rats and worms which caused many deaths among the prisoners. This even led to hunger strikes and more deaths of prisoners and frequent executions at the gallows. The jail was named 'Kala Paani' which meant 'Black Waters', a name given to it because of the torture and ill treatment given to the Indian convicts here. This jail serves as the major attraction of Port Blair even today, and journey to Port Blair is incomplete without the visit to this jail.

In Port Blair history, during the year 1943 and 1944, this jail served as the headquarters of Azad Hind movement headed by Subhash Chandra Bose. Throughout the fight for independence, Port Blair played a prominent role. However because of the earthquakes and tsunamis in recent years this region has faced many ill effects of nature, but it still stands strong like a tough rock.

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