Back in Time: Hanging of Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil and Roshan Singh – 1927

Back in Time is ED’s newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.

For this incident, we go back in time to 1927.

1927, December 19: As the struggle for freedom goes on, India was witness to another dark day as it vows that a war has been waged and it shall be fought till independence is attained. Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil and Roshan Singh were hanged till death, yesterday, as they died with a smile on their lips and a prayer that they be born in the same country again so that they can fight for its freedom, again.



Ram Prasad Bismil


Roshan Singh


Ashfaqullah Khan

While Bismil was hanged in the gallows of Gorakhpur Jail, Ashfaqullah met death at Faizabad Jail and Roshan Singh at Naini Allahabad Jail. Two days prior to their hanging, another convict in the Kakori conspiracy, Rajendra Lahiri was hanged in Gonda Jail.

Events That Led To Their Capture

Ram Prasad Bismil and his comrades were charged with multiple offences including robbery and murder during the Kakori trial. On August 9, 1925, they looted the Number 8 Down Train travelling from Saharanpur to Lucknow, while one passenger was killed in an accidental shot making it a murder case. That specific train was looted because it carried money bags belonging to the British Government Treasury in the guard’s cabin. The loot was to be utilized to give a flip to the freedom movement and to buy arms and ammunition. In essence, it was to be used against the same government that had been looting our country for over 300 years.

Though the loot had been carried out by 10 revolutionaries, many others were also arrested and handed out punishments as life imprisonment and long term prisons. Four were handed death sentences.

Though nationwide protests erupted against the judgement, the Chief Court endorsed the original sentences with two or three exceptions. Madan Mohan Malviya’s memorandum was also turned down by the Viceroy of India, Edward Fredrick Lindley Wood.

As the nation fights on to breathe air of independence, these martyrs have lit something deep in the heart of all Indians. The legacy they have left behind lives on with the promise that their sacrifice shall not go in vain.


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