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- The movement was withdrawn due to the Chauri Chaura incident which took place in Gorakhpur where a large number of non-cooperation protestors clashed with the police and set the police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.