Monday, February 14, 2011

Accused No. 16: Shivram Rajguru:



As proved in Lahore Conspiracy Case.
This accused, who is also known by the alias M is a Marhatta and was arrested at Poona on the 30th September, 1929, by Inspector Mills (P.W. 413) and Said Ahmed Shah, Deputy Superintendent of Police (P.W. 411).
Shivram Rajguru was not present at the Delhi meeting of September, 1928, and his first appearance on the scene was his arrival in Lahore on the 17th November, 1928 when he came with Kundan Lal from the Ferozepur direction and was met by Jai Gopal at the Railway station and taken to the Mozang House. Shivram Rajguru was a gun man and he was evidently brought to Lahore to take part in the raid on the Punjab National Bank Lahore and in the murder of Mr. Scott which actions required a man skilled in the use of firearms. He took part in the Punjab National Bank affair and was one of the murderers of Mr. Saunders. He was also present at the meetings held at the Mozang House at which these affairs were discussed.
He left Lahore with Bhagat Singh on the 20th December, traveling as Bhagat Singh’s servant. The evidence of Shivram Rajguru’s presence in Lahore is that of Jai Gopal and Hans Raj Vohra, approvers, corroborated by the statement of Ram Parshad (P.W.58), who identified him at a magisterial parade and also in Court as having frequented the house of Mussamat Parbatti in Gowal Mandi; the confession of Mahabir Singh who met Shivram Rajguru at the Mozang house and knew him at that time by the name of Raghu Nath; and the evidence of Hussain Baksh (P.W.64), Budhu (P.W.73), Gaman (P.W.74) and Fakir Chand (P.W.86) all of whom identified Shivram Rajguru at magisterial parades as well as in Court as a man who frequented the Mozang house. The evidence of Jai Gopal and the confession of Mahabir Singh are particularly important in proving the guilt of Shivram Rajguru in all matters in which they mention him because of confession of Mahabir Singh was made in June, 1929, and the first statement of Jai Gopal to a magistrate was made in June, 1929, while Shivram, Rajguru was not arrested until the end of September, 1929. Mahabir Singh’s confession gives a description of the man whom he knew as Raghu Nath and this tallies with the appearance of Shivram Rajguru.
The proof that Shivram Rajguru participated in the Punjab National Bank affair is the evidence of Jai Gopal and Hans Raj Vohra corroborated by the confession of Mahabir Singh and this participation is fully proved.
Shivram Rajguru is proved to have been one of the murderers of Mr. Saunders by the evidence of Jai Gopal who also took part in that affair corroborated by numerous other pieces of evidence. In the first place, there is the confession of Mahabir Singh that at the meeting where the murder of Mr. Scott was discussed it was resolved that Raghu Nath alias Shivram Rajguru should be one of the murderers and further that Shivram Rajguru was present at the Mozang House on the morning of the 17th December, 1928, with Panditji, Bhagat Singh, Jai Gopal, and others and that at about 4 or 5 P.M. Bhagat Singh, Panditji and Raghu Nath returned to the Mozang House together on the bicycles. Next, there is the evidence of some of the eye witnesses of the murder and of the retreat of the murderers after the murder which has been mentioned above, in discussing the case against Bhagat Singh. Of those eye witnesses the majority described the two murderers as being a tall man and a shorter man and this description fits the two men, Bhagat Singh and Shivram Rajguru, respectively. Abdullaha (P.W.34) the driver of the taxi which drew up while the murder was going satisfactorily identified Shivram Rajguru both at the magisterial parade and also in Court as one of the two men who actually fired upon Mr. Saunders. The remaining eye witnesses of the actual murder are disregarded for the reasons already stated in connection with the case against Bhagat Singh.
But Mr. Fearn (P.W.46) though he did not identify any body gave a description in the report Ex. P.A.T., which he drew up immediately after the murder of one of the two men, who had fired the shots and whom
he stated to be 5’x5’ in height, and to have a thin moustache which description might apply to Shivram Rajguru. Ajmer Singh (P.W.181) is the student from whom the three murderers tried to take a bicycle and
he has identified Shivram Rajguru at a magisterial parade and also in Court as one of those three men, though it should be added that at the magisterial parade his identification was not very definite, what he
then said being that Shivram Rajguru was possibly one of those men but that he could not be sure as the man whom he had in his mind had been a little stronger than Shivram Rajguru appeared to be at the time
of the parade. This parade was held on the 7th October, 1929 nearly ten months after the murder (see the evidence of Ch. Mushtaq Ahmed (P.W.33). The other witnesses who saw the retreat of the murderers
such as Som Nath (P.W.144) and Abnash Chand (P.W.145) testified that they were three in number and no suggestion has been made at any time that any other person that Shivram Rajguru was the third one of
the three. Having regard to the consideration above mentioned, that the statements of Jai Gopal and Mahabir Singh were made long before Shivram Rajguru was arrested, and having regard to the evidence of
Abdullah (P.W. 24) and Ajmer Singh (P.W.181) it is fully proved that Shivram Rajguru was one of the men who fired upon Mr. Saunders.
Regarding the departure of Shivram, Rajguru with Bhagat Singh from Lahore on the 20th December, 1928 there is the evidence of Jai Gopal and Hans Raj Vohra, corroborated by the of the four railway officials who have already been mentioned while discussing Bhagat Singh’s case namely, Ram Saran Dass (P.W.114), Hari Chand (P.W.115), Niaz-ud-Din (P.W.116) and Tej Singh (P.W.117).

That Shivram Rajguru was present at Agra and was a member of the rescue party of Jogesh Chander Chatterjee is proved by the evidence of Phonindra Nath Ghosh, who also knew Shivram Rajguru by the name of Raghu Nath, and is corroborated as well by the evidence of Lalit Kumar Mukerjee who further prove that Shivram Rajguru was the messenger whom Bhagat Singh sent to call either Ajoy Kumar Ghosh
or Lalit Kumar Mukerjee from Allahabad to Agra to assist in the making of bombs. Lalit Kumar Mukerjee identified Shivram Rajguru at a magisterial parade. There is corroboration of this evidence in the statement of Beni Parshad (P.W.236) who identified Shivram Rajguru at a magisterial parade as one of the men who had occupied the Nuri Gate house at Agra and at the time of that identification this witness shook hands with Shivram Rajguru though he subsequently failed to identify him in Court ; also in the statement of Abdul Azis Beg (P.W.239) who identified Shivram Rajguru both at a magisterial parade and also in Court as having frequented the Hing Ki Mandi house. Regarding his participation in the rescue party of Jogesh Chander Chatterjee, there is the evidence of two railway officials Ram Lal (P.W.270) and Din Dyal (P.W.271) which corroborate the statement of Phonindra Nath Ghosh that seven persons travelled on that occasion from Agra to Cawnpore.In view of this evidence Shivram Rajguru’s association with other members of the party at Agra is sufficiently proved.
The evidence regarding Shivram Rajguru’s presence at Ferozepur is not satisfactorily proved and does not amount to proof, the witness on the point being Gajju Ram (P.W.295) and Ram Sarn Dass (P.W.408)
neither of whom identified Shivram Rajguru in satisfactory manner. Phonindra Nath Ghosh mentions that Shivram Rajguru went from Agra to Delhi as men were required at Delhi for the action and the presence
of Shivram Rajguru at Delhi prior to the Assembly Bomb affair receives confirmation from the evidence of Nur Muhammad (P.W.174) who identified him both in Court and a magisterial parade as having frequented the house of Ram Saran Dass at Delhi. The visit to Delhi is proved by this evidence.
When he was arrested at Poona on the 30th September, 1929 a revolver and 14 cartridges were found lying in a tin box near where Shivram Rajguru was sleeping. (see the evidence of Inspector Mills, P.W.413 and Said Ahmed Shah Deputy Superintendent of Police, P.W.411 a fact which is relevant to prove his character as a gunman.) The truth of the evidence of Dattatraya Balwant Karendikar (P.W.416) is doubtful
and is, therefore, disregarded.
To sum up against Shivram Rajguru alias M he was brought to Lahore in November, 1928 to take part in the raid on the Punjab National Bank and he actually took part in the bank affair on the Punjab National Bank and was also one of the two men who fired upon Mr. Saunders. He is proved to have visited the house which the members of the party used at Jhansi and he was also at Agra in February, 1929 and was a member of the rescue party of Jogesh Chander Chatterjee. From Agra he went to Delhi before the bomb was thrown in the Assembly Hall.
When arrested at Poona in September, 1929, a revolver and cartridges were found near him.

               (With thanks from book "The Hanging of Bhagat Singh - Complete judgment, and other Documents"  edited by Prof. Malwinderjit Singh Waraich and Dr. Gurdev Singh Sidhu, published by Unistar Books Pvt. Ltd, S.C.O 26-27, Sector 34 A Chandigarh, Total pages 244)
 


No comments:

Post a Comment