The great robbery which took place 95 years back in Kakori, Uttar Pradesh, India. And it is also known as Kakori Kand, The Kakori train robbery or Kakori Conspiracy Case. This robbery took place on August 9, 1925, on a train in central United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) during the Indian Independence Movement against Britishers. The robbery occurred at Kakori town, 15-16 km away from Lucknow to which the train was heading. The Kakori train robbery was to obtain funds for its armed struggle against the British and was among many attempts made by HRA.
A youth group of Indian National Congress displeased over Mahatma Gandhi’s sudden call to stop the non-cooperation movement led them for the formation of a revolutionary party in October 1924, known as Hindustan Republic Association (HRA) led by Ramprasad Bismil.
On August 09, 1925, the members of the party stopped the train in Kakori carrying money collected from the railway’s station en route which was heading towards Lucknow. The train was carrying currency from the British Treasury Chest and a part of it was stolen by young men who planned the heist and set it in motion. After pulling the chain a group of 10 armed (the gun used in the robbery was German-made Mauser Pistol ) members- Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Bakshi, Keshab Chakravarty, Manmathnath Gupta, Murari Lal, Mukundi Lal and Banwari Lal of the party overpowered the driver and guards and seize the British chest and fled with money found inside it. And one passenger was also killed during the heist unintentionally. The group managed to take away 8000 Indian rupee that was being transported from the railway guard’s carriage near Kakori to the government treasury in Lucknow.
Within a month of attack took place, 40 members of HRA were booked for robbery and murder by the British Government. And eventually, 30 individuals were put on trial before the special magistrate in Lucknow. And 15 people were released during the trial due to lack of evidence, while other five people managed to escape during the trial.
The final judgement was passed on April 6, 1927 –
In which Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri, Ashfaqullah Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil were pronounced for the death sentence, Shachindra Nath Sanyal and Sachindra Bakshi were deported to Kala Pani (Port Blair cellular jail).
Punishment for 14-year imprisonment to Manmath Nath Gupta while 10-year imprisonment to Govid Charan Kar, Raj Kumar Singh, Yogesh Chandra Chatterjee, Mukundi Lal and Ram Krishna Khatri.
And Bhupen Nath Sanyal and Prem Krishna Sharma were given five years’ imprisonment while Keshab Chakravarthy was sentenced to four years in prison.
Chandra Sekhar Azad remained undiscovered and was killed in an encounter with police in February 1931, living up to his pledge of never allowing the authorities to capture him alive.
Several attempts were made by Madan Mohan Malviya to save four people who were sentenced to death Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri, Ashfaqullah Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil. He also initiated for the plea and sent a memorandum to the Governor-General (Edward Fredrick Lindley Wood) and Viceroy of India with the signature of 78 members of Central Legislature and the British Government has already decided to hang them, therefore, the plea for mercy was turned down. And lastly, they were hanged to death in December 1927.
Since, the British Indian Government executed the main and important architects of the ‘Kakori Conspiracy’. But this case explodes the struggle for independence by inspiring the hundreds and thousands of other people to give their all for the cause of independence.