In 1922 when the noncooperation movement was at its peak in the country, in February of that year a group of people gathered at Chaura Chauri, Gorakhpur district, surrounded a police station and set fire to them, in which 22-23 policemen were burnt alive. By this violent incident, Mahatma Gandhi had withdrawn the noncooperation movement, thereby causing enormous frustration in the whole country.
Kakori Kand can be seen as a very important event because, after this, the general public looked at the revolutionaries with more hope for salvation from the English rule. This robbery was the major outbreak for the Indian freedom struggle. It was the lion-roar of Indian freedom fighters that made them shudder!
What really happened?
During the Meeting of the revolutionary organization ‘Hindustan Republic Association,’ the members of the association decided to loot the train containing money bags which allegedly belonged to India and was being transferred to the British government Treasury.
The Number 8 down train travelling from Shahjahanpur, present day Lucknow, was approaching to the town of Kakori. One of the raiders pulled the emergency chain. As it came to a halt, within no time the 10 members of HRA force opened a government chest in the guards’ quarters, took the money found in it and fled to Lucknow. As per the reports, the amount was around 8,000 rupees.
Members involved in this Conspiracy:
- Ramaprasad Bismil
- Rajendra Lahiri
- Thakur Roshan Singh
- Sachindra Bakshi
- Chandra Sekhar Azad
- Keshab Chakravarty
- Banwari Lal
- Mukundi Lal
- Manmath Nath Gupta
- Ashfaqulla Khan
A month passed after the Kakori robbery, and yet no one was arrested. But the Government had spread a big net. Later, large-scale arrests took place in many parts of the country. Although Kakori train robbery consisted of 10 men, more than 40 revolutionaries were arrested from HRA. Around 29 HRA members were put on trial that continued for nearly 18 months. A final judgment was declared on April 6, 1927, in which Swaran Singh, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and Rajendra Lahiri were given death sentences. Later in December 1927, the heroes in chains walked upright and when chains were removed, putting their arms forward drew the rope closer and kissed it. They were executed. The remaining people were given around 14 years of imprisonment. British also searched for Chandrasekhar Azad in Kakori Kand. He had been successful in deceiving the British for a long time by changing his appearance (hooligan). Eventually, on February 27, 1931, while facing the British in Allahabad’s Alfred Park, he was martyred on his own bullet.
All these revolutionaries deserve to be remembered and cherished by all Indians for their noble qualities and sacrifice for the motherland. They joined the band of the brave immortal heroes of the motherland.