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Bhagat Singh
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    (September 28, 1907-March 23, 1931)
    Born in Lyallpur, Punjab, Pakistan
    Indian nationalist
    Led the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA)
    Killed British police officer John P. Saunders (December 17, 1928)
    Threw leaflets and two bombs into the Central Legislative Assembly (April 8, 1929)
    Executed by hanging
    He broke with Mahatma Gandhi over Gandhi's insistance on non-violence.
    He planned to kill police superintendent James A. Scott for Scott's role in the death of protestor Lala Lajpat Rai, but shot Saunders in a case of mistaken identity.
    In jail, he went on a hunger strike demanding that he be treated as a political prisoner instead of an accused murderer.
    The HSRA planned to bust him out of jail, but called off the plans when a member died from the accidental detonation of a bomb they were building for the prison break.
    He was an advocate of both anarchy and Marxism.
    Asked if he had any last wishes, he said that he was studying the life of Lenin and hoped to finish before he died.
    He launched his hunger strike to also protest the unequal treatment of Indian and European prisoners.
    He lost over 10% of his body weight and had to be brought into court on a stretcher.
    He was sentenced to death by a special tribunal of dubious legality, since it had never been approved by either the Indian Central Assembly or the British Parliament.
    According to rumor, he was hanged enough to be left in a semi-conscious state, then was taken outside the prison and shot dead by members of the Saunders family.
    Sir Horace Williamson, director of the Intelligence Bureau, wrote 'His photograph was on sale in every city and township and for a time rivaled in popularity even that of Mr. Gandhi himself.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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