Emperor vs Aurobindo Ghosh and others, colloquially referred to as the Alipore Bomb Case, the Muraripukur conspiracy, or the Manicktolla bomb conspiracy, was a criminal case held in India in 1908. It was “the first state trial of any magnitude in India”.
The case saw the trial of a number of Indian nationalists of the Anushilan samiti in Calcutta under charges of “Waging war against the Government” of the British Raj. Among the famous accused were Aurobindo Ghosh, his brother Barin Ghosh as well as 38 other Bengali nationalists of the Anushilan Samiti.
Prior to this trial, there were raids on the members of the Anushilan Samiti. The documents such as letters were seized from the house of Arubindo Ghosh and he was arrested and lodged in Alipore Jail. Khudi Ram Bose was meanwhile arrested. The trial continued two years and finally Khudiram was hanged.
The defence team was composed of 15 lawyers, barristers and pleaders. Aurobindo was initially represented by Byomkesh Chakravarty, a leading Calcutta barrister.
However, Chakravarty soon pulled out of Ghosh’s defence team, as the funds failed to meet his fees. On the desperate appeal of Ghosh’s uncle Krishna Kumar Mitra, the defence was taken over by Chittaranjan Das, then still a junior barrister. Still he defended and saved Sri Arubindo.
Aurobindo Ghosh retired from active nationalist politics after serving a prison sentence awarded in the trial, beginning his journey into spirituality and philosophy.
Barindra Ghosh and Ullaskar Dutt were sentenced to rigorous imprison and they were released in 1920.
Manicktolla branch of Anushilan Samiti, and its activities were overtaken by what emerged to be called the Jugantar branch under the leadership of Bagha Jatin.
The above series of bombing, shooting and trials had started the era of revolutionary terrorism in the country. The focus of these revolutionaries was to kill and send to hell to those British and Indian Officers who were oppressive. For fund raising, they resorted to Dacoity, which was called Swadeshi Dacoity.
19 October 1908, the hearing for the trial began at the court of Charles Poten Beachroft who served as the additional sessions judge of the District 24 Paraganas. Beechcroft and Aurobindo had previously entered the Indian Civil Service Examinations in England in the same year, where Aurobindo had ranked ahead of Beechcroft.