When Mahatma Gandhi withdrew the non corporation movement after the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922, many Indian youths felt dejected and among them Ashfaqulla was one. He felt that India should become free as soon as possible and so he decided to join the revolutionaries and win the friendship with Bismil.
Asfaqullah khan and Ramprasad Bismil together formed Hindustan Republican Association. The founder of the Association was Shachindra Nath Sanyal. The objective of the associatiom was to make India free from the clutches of the British.
Later when the British disregarded their plea for independence, the revolutionaries decided to make them hear through their actions, subsequently, they organized a meeting on 8th August 1925 in Shahjahanpur and it was decided to loot the government treasury carried in the 8 Down Saharanpur-Lucknow passenger train.
On 9th August 1925, Ashfaqulla Khan and eight other revolutionaries looted the train under the leadership of Ram Prasad Bismil. After the act, the British Government was astonished and deployed the Scotland Yard police to investigate the case.
Within a month, the C.I.D collected the clues and decided to arrest the revolutionaries. On the morning of 26th September 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil and others from Shahjahanpur were arrested but Ashfaqulla went into hiding and moved to Banaras wherefrom he went to Bihar and worked in an engineering company for ten months.
Later he went to Delhi to find out ways to move out of the country and took the help of one of his Pathan friend who betrayed him by informing to the police and Ashfaqulla was subsequently arrested. Tasadduk Husain, the then superintendent of police tried to play communal politics between Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan but failed.
The character of Ashfaqulla Khan and his associates were depicted in Aamir Khan Starrer Bollywood movie ‘Rang De Basanti’ where the character of Ashfaqulla Khan was played by Kunal Kapoor.
Ashfaqulla Khan was detained in Faridabad jail and a case was registered against him. The case of Kakori conspiracy was concluded by awarding death sentence to four people including Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil.
On 19th December 1927, Ashfaqulla Khan was hanged and before hanging he kissed the hanging rope and recited the ‘Shahada’ in Urdu. Both Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan were hanged on the same day but in different jails.
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