New Delhi: On December 19, ninety-one years ago, three young men were hanged to death after they were convicted for the Kakori train robbery 'conspiracy'. They were Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan and Roshan Singh. 

In August 1925, the trio fighting for India’s freedom from the British Raj looted a train carrying government money at the Kakori railway station near Lucknow. The revolutionaries, who rightly believed the money belonged to Indians and was not supposed to serve the Empire, had planned to use the money for buying arms and ammunition.

Bismil, Khan, Singh and their associates were arrested shortly after the incident, but Khan managed to escape and hide in Benaras. However, an aide betrayed him and he was turned in to police. 

If reports are to be believed, once a policeman had asked Khan why he was fighting with Hindus. “Because Hindu Rashtra would be way better than the British Empire” was the freedom fighter’s reply. 

Khan was only 27 when he was given the death sentence and hanged. 

One of his famous quotes: “There is no dream, and if there is, there is only one to see you my children struggling for the same and for which I am expected to be finished.”

Bismil and Singh also met with the same fate as Khan. 

Bismil was one of the founding members of the revolutionary organisation Hindustan Republican Association, which was inspired as much by nationalism as it was by communism. He was also a remarkable poet who wrote using the pen names Ram, Agyat and Bismil in Hindi and Urdu. 

Roshan Singh had not taken part in the Kakori conspiracy, yet he was arrested and given a death sentence.