This year the cooch behar bar association is celebrating their 125th year anniversary.A very warm and hearty wishes to them, for a grand success of their event.It's obvious and fact that during that one and quarter century long journey, they have earned many laurels not only in the judicial arena,but they had significant impact to the society as a whole, for it's much needed reforms and well being.
Pioneer of them was "Sandu Narayan Gupta".Who was instrumental to ban 'sutte practice' in cooch behar.All we know that that this heinous practice was banned and made unlawful in India;by Lord William Bentick in 1829.Outcome of an intense,tenacious fight against it,from Raja Ram Mohan Roy,whom pundit Jawhar lal Nehru was ably decorated as 'first modern man of India'. He faced every possible opposition from the then conservative heads of Hindu society against his noble mission.
Cooch Behar in that age was very much medieval in culture and not under direct administrative control of 'British India' rather it was an ally of British Raj. Cooch Behar has it's own law of her land,judiciary and administration, though from 1822, the Britishers appointed a resident commissioner at cooch behar,to represent the British hold over this kingdom.
Though 'sutte practice' was banned in India after 1829,but that still happened at cooch behar, in 1840, the year when king Shibendra Narayan (grand father of Nripendra Narayan) was enthroned.A bramhin of Khagrabari named' Srikanta Shiromoni' died on 22nd February.
His wife was committed 'Sutte' in his funeral pyre.The place is still called as 'Sutte ghat' on a dead branch of river Torsa,at present day Sal Bagan(Sal wood plantation) adjacent to cancer center.
Here entered the brave 'Sandu Narayan', he complained the matter to East India Company Commissioner.Imagine, complaining against a native ruler of that time India,was never an easy task to execute.The company took it seriously and asked an explanation from the king.But it was not banned in cooch behar till the reign of Shibendra Narayan. Only after his demise,nine long years from the incident,in 1849 when Major Jenkins become Colonel and got full administrative power on behalf of the infant king Narendra Narayan could pass the law of banning Sutte in cooch behar.When under secy. to the Govt. of Bengal wrote a tough letter to Col. Jenkins.asking him to intimate the king of cooch behar that 'Sutte'. is banned in his territory, stat.Victory of Sandu Narayan Gupta, the lawyer.