ASHFAQULLA KHAN -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

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ASHFAQULLA KHAN -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

ASHFAQULLA KHAN -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

Ashfaqulla Khan was born on 22nd of October 1900 to Shafiqulla Khan in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Ashfaq was in school when Mahatma Gandhi called the Non co-operation movement. A movement wherein he called the Indians not to pay taxes to the British and not to cooperate with the British government in any way. This call of Gandhiji had kindled the fire of freedom in the hearts of many, but the Chauri Chaura incident of 1922 where 22 policemen were burnt alive in a police station deeply saddened Gandhiji that the called off the Non-cooperation movement.

A lot of youth of the country felt dejected on the withdrawal of the movement Ashfaq was one of them. He felt that India should become free as soon as possible and so he decided to join the revolutionaries and also win the friendship of Pundit Ram Prasad Bismil a famous revolutionary of Shahjanpur.

Ram Prasad Bismil was a member of the Arya Samaj and was eager to explain the greatness of the Hindu religion to those belonging to other religion this was a difficulty for Ashfaq who was a devout Muslim.      

But the common intention of both Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaq i.e. Freedom to India helped him to win over the friendship of Ram Prasad.

The revolutionaries felt that soft words of non-violence could not win India its independence and therefore they wanted to make use of bombs revolvers and other weapons to instill fear in the hearts of the British's empire. The British Empire was large and strong. The withdrawal of the non-cooperation movement united revolutionaries scattered in the country. This revolutionary movement required money to support its need. One day while travelling on a train from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow Ram Prasad noticed station master bringing money bags into this-guards bogey. This was the beginning of the Kakori Train Dacoity.

On August 9th 1925 the plan was brought into action. Ashfaqulla along with his other revolutionary friends namely Ram Prasad Bismil, Rajendra Lahiri, Roshan Singh, Sachindra Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Keshab Chakravarty, Banwari Lal, Mukundi Lal, Manmathnath Gupta looted the train in Kakori village and wrote a memorable chapter in the history of India's freedom struggle

On the morning of 26th September 1925 Ram Prasad Bismil was caught by the police and Ashfaq was the only one untraced by the police. Ashfaq went into hiding and moved to Banaras, and from Banaras to Bihar where he worked in an engineering company for 10 months.

Ashfaq wanted to move abroad to learn engineering to further help the freedom struggle and so he went to Delhi to find out ways to move out of the country. He took the help of one of his Pathan friend who in turn betrayed him by informing the police about his whereabouts. Tasadruk Khan, then superintendent of police tried to play the caste politics with Ashfaq and tried to win him over by provoking him against Hinduism but Ashfaq was a strong willed Indian who surprised Tasadruk Khan by saying "Khan Sahib, I am quite sure that Hindu India will be much better than British India."

The case for the Kakori dacoity was concluded by awarding death sentence to Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri and Roshan Singh, the others were given life sentences. The whole country protested against the sentence but British Imperialism was thirsting for the blood of the revolutionaries.

Ashfaq was a lion among men. He stood six feet tall. He walked upright and once at the post he drew the rope towards him kissed it and said "My hands are not soiled with the murder of man. The charge against me is false. God will give me justice."

 

Ashfaqulla was hanged on 19th December 1927. Ashfaqulla Khan in his last message to the nation wrote, "I take pride in the fact that I will be the first and foremost Muslim to embrace death on the gallows for the freedom of my country." 



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