Hijli Detention Camp

Hijli Detention Camp, located in Hijli, beside Kharagpur, (a part of former Hijli Kingdom), in the district of Midnapore West, West Bengal, India, was significant in the struggle against the British Raj in the early 20th century.

The large numbers of those who participated in the armed struggle or the non-cooperation movement could not be accommodated in ordinary jails. The British Government decided to establish a few detention camps; the first one was located in Buxar Fort followed by the creation of the Hijli Detention Camp in 1930. A significant moment in the struggle against British rule occurred at The Hijli Detention Camp on Sept. 16, 1931 when two unarmed detainees, Santosh Kumar Mitra and Tarakeswar Sengupta, were shot dead by the British Police and Subhas Chandra Bose came to Hijli to collect their bodies. National leaders, including Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, voiced strong protests against the British Raj over this incident.

The Hijli Detention Camp was closed in 1937 and was reopened in 1940. In 1942 the camp was again closed and the detainees were transferred elsewhere.

In May 1950, the first Indian Institute of Technology was established here. In 1990, the former detention camp buildings were converted to house the Nehru Museum of Science and Technology.

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