The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved a proposal to set aside Rs 234 crore for a zoological garden spread across 121 acres in Gorakhpur, to be named after the freedom fighter and revolutionary Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan.

About Ashfaqullah Khan:

  • Khan was born on October 22, 1900, in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He grew up at a time when Mahatma Gandhi had launched the non-cooperation movement and urged Indians not to pay taxes to the government or co-operate with the British.
  • He was among the youths who got disappointed after the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation movement by Gandhiji in 1922. Subsequently, he joined the revolutionaries and became acquainted with Bismil.
    • The movement was withdrawn due to the Chauri Chaura incident which took place in Gorakhpur where a large number of non-cooperation protestors clashed with the police and set the police station on fire, killing roughly 22 policemen. 

Ashfaqullah Khan and the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association:

  • In the mid-1920s, Khan and Bismil went on to found the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), with the aim of winning freedom for the country through an armed revolution
  • The immediate object of the revolutionary party in the domain of politics was to establish a federal Republic of the United State of India by an organized and armed revolution.
  • The basic principles of this Republic were to be universal suffrage and abolition of all systems which makes the exploitation of man by man possible.
  • In August 1925, an armed robbery took place on board the Kakori Express, going from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow, whose objective was to fund the activities of HSRA.
  • The trial for robbery ended in April 1927, with Bismil, Khan, Rajendra Lahiri and Roshan Singh sentenced to death, and the others being given life sentences. 
  • He was put to death by hanging on 19 December 1927 at Faizabad jail.

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Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-who-was-ashfaqullah-khan-the-27-year-old-freedom-fighter-hanged-by-the-british-6206893/